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Getting your book written

The start of a new year sees many people make resolutions. They believe the time of year will provide some sort of cosmic accountability.

I used to make resolutions, but I don't now as I just don't keep to them.

There's a wonderful saying that's appropriate here: Those who do make time; those who don't make excuses.

At the outset of the pandemic and when the first lockdown was imposed, I was in two minds as to what I was going to do with the time saved from not commuting and from being furloughed from one of my part-time roles. It was between learning British Sign Language and taking a beginner's course in Adobe Photoshop and its sister programs.

In the end, I did neither. I didn't beat myself up about this, however, I just figured that I didn't really want to do either of them badly enough.

If you have to bookmark January as the point when 'you'll finally finish your book', it won't happen. Because, when each January rolls around, it doesn't bring with it an extra ten hours in the day. It will offer as much spare time as you have any other month.

I know people in my network who have been writing their book for years and years. I don't for one minute think they're toiling away each week - what they mean to say is that they've started writing a book and boredom or procrastination set in and it's been put on the back burner.

Time is rarely the issue if your book is taking years to finish. It's a matter of mindset, and wanting to see the end result so much that you sacrifice your time and employ your efforts consistently until you get to THE END.

Now, I'm happy to provide accountability for any client. I can set up a coaching package that involves regular contact and consultancy, help and guidance, but what's the point of this if you're not committed to getting your book finished and carving out the time to do so from your current schedule? You'd just be throwing your money away.

You'll never find a spare month behind the fridge and the 'right time' - when you find yourself with half the commitments you currently have - may be years and years in the future (if at all). If you want to write a book, you have to REALLY want to write it. You'll have to sit down to work on it when you don't feel like doing so or find the momentum when you're already shattered after a hard day/week.

When writing one of my books, because the plot of the novel took hold of me more than with my other titles, I completed it in three months around my full-time job at the time. I woke up at 5am on my weekends off and worked until dinnertime each day to get the first draft finished. I also worked into the evening on many occasion, even though I really wanted to sprawl out in front of the telly after a tiring day at work.

It can absolutely be done...if you want it enough. However, no amount of new years or lockdowns will magic up a manuscript if your head is not in the right place.


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