We all need inspiration, especially when we’re neck-deep in our manuscripts. I’m in that situation right now, trying to pick up momentum, kick myself into gear. So I do the only reasonable thing: I procrastinate making pretty pictures! 😛
Seriously, though. The following are things I absolutely believe in, things which always help me overcome inertia, self-doubt, and the endless slew of distractions. I hope they help you find your focus & strength, too!
The most important thing each day, is to get those words out. We can’t edit a blank page, can’t market an unfinished book, can’t build a career on partial manuscripts. We have to write as often and consistently as we can.
Make it your top priority each day.
Pay yourself first. Investing in your dream is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Of course, sometimes (and sometimes often) you will hit a snag. A roadblock of some sort. A complication. It can be “real life,” your health, your job, a new shiny project that threatens to derail your current one (*points guiltily at herself*), or any number of things. Sometimes it will slow you down, other times it will kill your momentum stone dead.
But the only way to pick things back up and resume your Mission, your Writing >> is to:
Five minutes a day. One paragraph each morning (or evening, before bed).
And keep your eyes on the prize: in the end, you’ll have a finished book. And then another.
Sometimes, that snag is your own perfectionism. But a perfect partial manuscript is not a book. Only a finished book is a book. So what if this one won’t be perfect? So what if it won’t be your best? The reality of being a writer is: you get better with each story you write. The next one will be better, and the one after that even more, and so on. If you stop and hover over this imperfect one now, you’ll never get to write them.
So you kick perfectionism and insecurity in she shin, and GET. IT. DONE.
But then, when it’s finished, other doubts set in: Will they like it? Will they care?
Truth is, no story is everyone’s story. No book is unanimously loved. But every story touches someone the right way, and that‘s the reader you want.
You just have to help yours find them.
Your job—after the book is written—is to help it go out into the world and meet the right people. People who will gain something from it. People who will be glad they read it. That’s what marketing really is: hitching your book with the right readers. Good ol’ matchmaking.
Then you write some more.