As of today it has been one year since I started writing my first novel TAKING CHANCES, a cozy mystery. That may not sound too bad when you take that one sentence at face value, however when you add the fact that my original goal was to be finished, completely finished edited and ready for submission in two months, using the Book in a Month Program by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D, you can see why I am upset.
I admit that I set an unrealistic goal for myself. I planned to write an 80,000 word novel in 30 days, then edit it the following month. I figured at that rate I would have completed six novels in a year and be ready to submit this year. i know you are reading this shaking your head, rolling your eyes and falling out of your chair laughing.
2009 wasn’t a total wash however. I did participate in two poem a day challenges, win the NANOWRIMO, write 80K words on my current project and start this blog. I have met some amazing writers via twitter and other writing chat groups to which I belong.
So what’s the problem? I’m a procrastinator. I put my family, my job even sleep above writing. Well sleep really comes first. Yet I have ideas and stories burning a hole in my heart, my brain is dying to release. I set goals and then kick myself when I don’t achieve them. According to Webster’s dictionary procrastination is to delay action, but I think the thesaurus describes it better as neglect. If I treated my children as I treat my writing I would have child protective services on my door step. Where is the writer protective services to protect my neglected creative endeavors?
So I’m asking my readers, what do you do to keep writing? How do you avoid procrastination? Here are a few of my tips, I cannot wait to hear yours.
1. Make writing a priority. Do it first thing in the morning. (No more morning naps for me.)
2. Create a schedule. Dedicate a certain amount of time to your craft each day.
3. Develop a support system to keep your accountable. (Join a writing group, there are many available at www.yahoogroups.com)
4. Break large task into small more doable units. Instead of writing 10 pages a day, set a goal to write one page a day. In one year you will have a 365 page novel.
5. Eliminate distractions. (I haven’t figured out how to get my family to let me have an uninterrupted writing time, but I’m working on it.)
6. Set a achievable deadline, or goal and put it in writing. Tell someone in your support group your goals to once again hold yourself accountable.
Until next time, Lexi