How to keep up your book writing momentum

Have you ever noticed that you start work on your book or a new creative project full of fire and enthusiasm, with huge faith that this idea will work out? And then….

Life gets lifey.

Your kids/parents/dog get sick. A crisis on an existing project sucks up all your time. Your laptop dies; a pipe bursts and floods the garage; a fellow volunteer is called away, leaving you in sole charge of the sports’ club administration; or someone makes a comment that causes you to question the whole idea of your book.

You set aside your project just for today. Just for three days. Just for this week.

And when you eventually resurface and open up the file again…. Argh. The idea that once had you so excited suddenly sucks.

Who am I to write this book?
No one is going to buy this/ read this/ sign up for this.
This idea sucks
I don’t have the time to do it anyway.

This is how it goes, friends. This is the creative rollercoaster.

When it comes to writing a book – or working on any creative project – momentum is your friend.

Step away from it for too long, and those wobbles come creeping in. You start to judge your work not as a precious first draft, but against the standards of a polished product.

Instead of seeing a precious little sapling that’s yet to grow into its own might, you see only the flaws. You can’t see the mighty Kauri (or Redwood) it may yet become.

At this point you have two choices. The easy one is to walk away, give up the idea and abandon your book.

The other choice is to recommit.

You’re writing this book for a reason. You’ve come to this work because this idea won’t leave you alone. There is something in you that wants this book to exist, that sees a need, that has a burning passion to explore this idea.

When you’re writing a book, momentum is your friend. You need to tend to your sapling. You have to meet with it regularly, love on it, nourish it, top it up consistently, to nurture it into your full potential.

If you find yourself with a case of the writing wobbles, here’s what to do:

1.Reconnect with your purpose and intention

Why are you writing this book? Why does it matter? Why should it exist? And why are you the one to write it?

This is one of the first exercises we do in my Roadmap for a Book programme – and it’s the one that will see you through the wobbles. Coming back to your purpose and intention will remind you of your commitment to this work. It’s fuel for your author fire.

2. Commit to a schedule

Books can be written in many ways, but there’s nothing like coming regularly to the page to help you hold faith in your ideas. Try committing to a regular amount of time, or number of words, every weekday.

Small chunks of time and tiny writing dates can get your book written. Don’t believe me?

500 words per day x 5 days a week = 30,000 words in just 12 weeks.

That could be your first draft, right there, in little more than a school term (and with weekends off). Now doesn’t that sound doable?

3. End with a starting point

Finish each writing session by writing the first sentence of your next paragraph or chapter. That way you’ll never come to the page and strike a blank – you’ll always know what your next block of work should be, so you can crack straight into your next writing session.

That’s where my Roadmap for a Book programme is your friend. We plan out each chapter of your work in detail, so you won’t fall down rabbit holes or get lost in the middle of an idea and you’ll know exactly what to write about at each stage of the process.

4. Get an accountability partner

Whether you work with a book coach like me or a writing buddy, schedule regular check ins. Having someone in your corner to act as a sounding board, share ideas, spot gaps in your argument and help you troubleshoot roadblocks can make all the difference. I recommend meeting at least once every two weeks – longer than that, and the wobbles can kick in again.

I firmly believe we are not meant to write alone. You can read more about my own 20-year writing partnership, here.

If you’d like to create your own Roadmap for a Book, or you’ve got the writer wobbles and need someone to hold you accountable with regular writing coaching, I’d love to hear about your project. You can book a free consult here

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