Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Redefine, Recommit, and Reconsider.

I had planned to talk with you about the beginning of your book. However, a comment left last week made me take a detour. Don't worry, we'll discuss how to begin a book next week. 

One person wrote that while she could say yes to all the questions about whether she had a good idea for a book, she was still having a hard time finishing her novel.

I want her to know that this is not an uncommon problem. I have a lot of friends who are in the same place, in fact, they've been there for many years. I've often wondered what could be done. Perhaps it has to do with the dream of becoming a writer and how badly you want to accomplish it. That sounds too simple, doesn't it? We all want our dreams to come true, but how much are we willing to do to make it so?

To overcome this problem you may have to redefine why you're writing the book, recommit to your story, and reconsider your action plan.

Redefine  . . .
Why do you to want to write a book? Is it to fit in with your peers, have more money, or maybe the hope of fame? OR, did you want to write a book because you had something to say? Do stories keep coming into your head and you just have to get them down on paper? Take a good hard look at why you want or need to write a book. Redefining why writing is important to you, will help you when the going gets tough.

Recommit . . .
How do you see yourself? Do your see yourself as a professional writer committed to meeting a deadline? Or do you see your writing as a hobby? If you seriously want to sell your book, you need to think of yourself as an author with a deadline. There are several reasons to think this way: 1) you start living your dream instead of dreaming it, 2)you're conditioning yourself for the time when you are published, 3)you show others that you are serious about your writing. These are but a few, but I think you can see what I'm getting at. If your dreams are going to come true, you need to recommit and start acting the part.

Reconsider your action plan . . .
You're sitting back and shaking your head. You're saying, "Yes, Kathi, I write because I love to tell stories and I do see myself as a writer. BUT life gets in my way." So, your problem may be your action plan. Perhaps right now you have little babies that need your attention, or you have an elderly parent who needs you, or between church callings and family you don't have time to do what you want to do. 

REALLY? Hey, I do understand how crazy and busy life can become. However, if you start publishing books you are going to have to learn to balance the crazy along with the busy. 

I want you to try something. For one week write down how you spend your time. For example:
8:00 - 9:00 Got the kids ready and off to school
9:00 - 11:00 cleaned the house
And so on.

Once you've written it down, look at your schedule. Between exercise, cleaning, kids, and everything else, did you see where you could squeeze maybe an hour of writing in? And think about this: if you wrote for an hour during your lunch, at the end of five days you'd be five hours ahead on your story? It's not a lot, but it is progress. 

I want to see you succeed. But you will only succeed when you redefine, recommit and reconsider your plan of action that will help your dreams come true.

Okay, now it's your turn. Tell me what you think. I love reading your comments.  


  1. Good advice. I am in the very early stages of researching a novel and have been thinking along these lines, trying to decide how to proceed. Have to clear some clutter out and finish some projects and then give it attention.
    Thanks and blessings,

  2. Karen,
    It's always so exciting to start a new novel. I hope my suggestions have helped. Enjoy the journey! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I think, at some point along the way, my brain made a switch. Instead of, "How do you find time to write?" it changed to, "How do you find time to do laundry?" Who cares if my kids have to grab sox out of a bin in the morning as long as I get the extra 20 minutes to write. :-)

  4. Christina,
    Love how you switched the questions! Now that's what I'm talking about. :)

  5. Kathi, another great post. It's a good reminder that everyone is in a different place in their writing journey. It takes a lot of guts to commit to writing and completing a manuscript. I think plain old stubbornness is what gets me through. I write because NOT writing makes me cranky. Love the pic!!

  6. Last year I tried to fit writing in to what had become chaos in my house. I didn't do very well. Then I won a writing planner at Patricia Stoltey's blog - - that was created by Kerrie Flanagan. Not only do I track time, I also track what I want to accomplish. It's wonderful. It's kept me on track. It's kept me writing. And it's even made my dogs fall in line. It's a miracle.

  7. I am wasting a lot of time. My day is my own for writing. In November when I did NaNoWriMo, I was far more organised.

    I want that chance to be published, but if I do not take myself seriously, nobody else will.

    New Year started and I made a decision to get the smaller projects out of my way. The ones that niggle in the background. I self published my children's book. Tidied my poetry files and organised my resources.
    Now I am getting ready to have set writing hours. So far so good.

  8. Stacy,
    I know what you mean that if you don't write it drives you crazy. We must both be stubborn. ;)

  9. Carol,
    That sounds like a super-duper planner. I'm really interested how it made your dogs obey. My little Lizzi-bear seems to think she needs treats three times a day right in the middle of my writing time. Don't know what I'm going to do with her. If she weren't so darn cute . . . well, I won't go there. ;)

  10. Glynis,
    Wow, look at you go. Good for you. Keep at it. You'll make it to publication!!!



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