As we approach 2018 we may well look back on the year past and reflect upon our successes, goals, achievements and our focus for the new year, we may be looking to accomplish that one task or goal that slipped us by, determined NOW to make it happen in 2018.
For many of us who set New Year’s resolutions they can last months, weeks or just days, starting the new year with the best of intentions only to go back to old ways quicker than you’d like, from a writer’s perspective this can mean starting that new book only to shelve it in February (never to finish), or actually publishing something and after a couple of weeks promoting leaving it to stagnate at the bottom of the Amazon charts.
So, a New Year and a New YOU!
In order to make your goals a reality you have to commit to three things:
Plan for Them, Believe in Them and Work for Them.
It sounds simple right? Well most things are, if you want a great new body you’ll need to eat right and exercise, simple…....But we get distracted and don’t always want to put the effort in (I mean who wants to get up at 5am for a run?).
So as simple as it may sound, these three elements can and will bring you success with focus and commitment, you can achieve anything you desire as long as you are committed to it entirely, whether your goal is to write a novel or successfully publish your existing manuscript, you can make it happen.
Plan for it
A goal is just a dream if you don’t get organized, daydreaming that you want to be a number one best selling author is great but how will you achieve it? Have you written your book? Have you planned how you’re going to market it, have you contacted any agents or publishers? Do you have a timeframe for writing and a roadmap to publication?
Starting off with a dream is a great place to begin but you need to plan how you’re going to get there, work on timeframes and be realistic, if you want to publish a book that is 350 pages you need to understand how long it will take you to write, edit, proof and publish. So, 350 pages at writing one page per day will take you roughly one year to write the book (some days you may write more, others less), can you commit to this? If not, pick another target, maybe one page every two or three days, be realistic with your time.
Next look at editors, proofreaders and publishers, how long will it take using them and how much will it cost? Once you have these details, look at marketing, where do you want your book to be and how will you get to that position?
Understanding your goal and what makes it happen will enable you to establish a path towards it.
Believe in it
A goal or dream without your full belief is completely pointless, only when you believe in what you want or want to become will you make it a reality.
If you look at EVERY single success story one thing remains the same, they ALL believed in themselves and what they were doing.
Ask yourself honestly, is this what you want?
If not, then take time to reflect upon what your actual goal is, this may be an odd question but your goal may be more from necessity than from a place of creativity and desire. A goal born from a place of passion has a greater chance of success, when you work upon something you love your path to success becomes assured.
Work for it
When you know what your goal is, have a plan for it and are excited by it, the next step is to work for it, this is where believing in your goal and being passionate for it is so important. In order to make something which has longevity you have to put effort in, however, if you love what you’re doing then it becomes a lot easier.
Passion for your goal combined with dogged determination should be with you always, one thing that rings true is that those who succeed are those who never gave up, do not look for instant success, look towards giving the most and achieving the highest standards every single time…success WILL follow.
Overcoming writer’s block can seem like an uphill struggle to anyone who has ever felt a certain lack of creativity when staring at a blank screen or sheet of paper, you may have already written several thousand words and even completed a hundred or more pages, but then, bang! Like a huge stone wall, the ideas stop and you struggle to take the narrative any further.
So, what happens now? You know that some of the greats in literature have been through the exact same issue, yet they still went on to widely acclaimed success and glittering careers within the publishing world, so deep down you know that it is something that can be overcome, right?
Relax, overcoming writer’s block can be achieved but getting stressed about any lack of creativity will add to your ‘lack of creativity’, so the first thing to remember is not to beat yourself up about it, when ever you face a block keep in mind that it is only temporary, your inner dialogue should not be one of ‘I can’t/don’t know how to go any further, what if the ideas aren’t any good, this isn’t good enough, no one will ever buy or read it………’and so on.
Fear is a major reason why books don’t get finished, it feeds self-doubt and helps to lengthen any blocks of creativity, however, adjusting your attitude to one of confidence is easier said than done, but there are things you can do to push forward. The majority of successful best-selling authors all had to fight through rejection and overcome their own self-doubt, but they all kept going,
So, here are our tips on overcoming your doubt and beating writer’s block
Remember, any first draft of a book is simply just a draft, you can and should go back to it to edit and rewrite where needed, remembering this helps to take some of the pressure off.
Give yourself time, don’t try to write your novel in one weekend, if you can realistically only spare two hours a week then so be it, just make those two hours count.
Get out and get some fresh air, a walk in the park does wonders for creativity.
Make sure you have no distractions whilst writing, turn off your phone,
social media and email.
Write somewhere new, grab your laptop and go to your local café.
Have a routine, plan when you can write and stick to your schedule.
Meditate, so many successful people do this and it works wonders for their creativity, meditation helps you to get rid of the self-doubt and connect you back with your creativity, you can find loads of videos on line on how to meditate and if you’ve never tried it before give it a go (you may be surprised).
Read some classic literature to give you inspiration.
Listen to music and mix it up a little, try genres and styles you maybe wouldn’t normally listen to.
Get enough sleep, ensuring your mind is refreshed and rested helps you to formulate ideas and work at your very best.
Free write, just start writing something else, it really doesn’t matter what, but just the act of writing alone will get your creativity flowing again.
Keep going, don’t stop and tell yourself you’ll take a break for a few weeks or months, your book will never be written by adopting this approach, those who keep going are the ones who succeed.
Book cover designers.