Getting into the habit of writing is a difficult but necessary part of writing of a book. For both non-writers and seasoned writers, sitting down and putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) isn’t always easy.
But, when you make a firm decision to get your book done no matter what, recognizing and actively combating procrastination is essential. Developing a sharper focus means anticipating distractions that can deter you from your ultimate goal of starting and finishing your book. It also means putting support structures and accountability safeguards in place to keep you focused on writing.
Procrastination is real and normal. However, serious procrastination calls for equally hard-core solutions so that you get your book done.
If you’re ready to get and stay in action, here are 20 no-nonsense actions. Implementing several of the actions at once will make it difficult and nearly impossible to let yourself off the hook.
Set a timer and place it in front of you when you write.
Use apps such as Write or Die or Freedom to keep social media and internet applications closed while writing.
Post your daily writing goals in a clear visible date that you will see often throughout your day. If you miss a daily, don’t remove the goal until you complete it.
Schedule standing appointments in your calendar with a specific dates, times and locations or writing.
Identify at least two accountability partners. Inform your accountability partners of your weekly goals and request they check in with you on different days.
Form a small group of beta readers and keep them informed of when to expect drafts for their feedback.
Group your writing time with another important task that you perform frequently. If you have a daily routine that you follow, add writing a certain task somewhere in the middle of two important tasks.
If you have an office space where you write, create a Do Not Disturb sign for your office door to let your family know when you’re writing.
Place your cell phone in another room when you write and let your calls go to voicemail.
Enroll your family to help keep you accountable to your writing schedule. Reward them if you stick to it.
Make a high-stakes bet with family or friends that you will have have certain number of words written by a certain date.
Publicly announce on Facebook the completion date for your book. Sell copies in advance to family and friends.
Set short, doable writing goals with a target completion date within a few days or a week.
Join a writer’s group that meets every week or two for the sole purpose of writing.
Join a writer’s group that critiques writing.
Sign up and attend a multiple writer retreat to get you away from everyday distractions. Or create your own.
Get feedback from a writing coach to keep you on track while critiquing your writing.
Have a favorite song, food, or activity that you only allow yourself to enjoy after you complete a writing goal.
Surround yourself with inspirational writing quotes about being an author and the act of writing.
Identify and develop a strategy for eliminating your biggest three writing distractions.
If all of these sound like good ideas, and you're still not writing, let's talk and find out what's really going on. Click here to contact me for a strategy session to get your book done.
Alicia N. Ingram is a ghostwriter and book editor that helps aspiring authors start and finish their books. To receive more free information, inspiration and "The 5 Tips For Finally Getting Your Book Done" checklist, click here to sign up for the mailing list..