I finished the last book of a 5-book series at the end of April. What an accomplishment, right? As I contemplate on the next book to write, I reflect on the process that helped me before. It’s funny how each time I began something knew I began the self-talk of encouragement. Yet, that is not what it takes to accomplish writing goals. I’m motivated and inspired most of the time when I have an idea. Maybe this can be helpful to someone else too. What I have found to be most helpful in completing my writing goals is what I like to call the “Art of Consistency.” This art form has three components that are sure to help you stay on task.
Plan your Writing
I am a planner. Planning is not just for trips, it’s for anything you want to accomplish. When I began to write a new idea, the first work I do is plan out the separate pieces of the project. I have found that this helps the whole process run smoothly. I always start with a well thought out outline. For fiction novels, I give more time to building character profiles. The last step in the planning process is carving out time on my calendar to write. Sometimes this is challenging at two points, one of finding the days that work and when the day comes I don’t always feel like it. This is where the Art of consistency really matters. In those times, I had to push through whatever I was feeling and be consistent.
I don’t think I’m the only one guilty of making excuses when it comes to getting something done. I will be the first to say, writing is work. Forming words in a manner that tells a story well for several pages is not something to be taken lightly, it’s a craft and a form of art. I have been there, believe me with my own excuses. There have been times when I have sat done to write and assessed the work that needed to be done first and thought of something else that needed my attention. It happens.
When it becomes a pattern, is when the work suffers. The solution could be as easy as saying “maybe I don’t really want to be a writer,” or as challenging as finding out what’s holding you back.” I learned some time ago that excuses play no part in the done list.
Just Do It
How can I say this plainly, just do it! When I began work on the last book in the Brady Boe series, I decided to write it in 30 days. I needed to do this because I wanted to have the series done for a book fair I wanted to participate in. I spoke with my husband who is very supportive of my goals and he suggested that I get away for a few days and just focus on finishing the novel. Of course, I hesitated at first, but I warmed up to the idea and took on the challenge.
I booked a hotel room for three nights. The plan was to only be distracted with finishing that novel. Let me first tell you, every picture online of hotels don’t match what you see when you get there, but that’s beside the point. I just needed to focus on writing. In two days I wrote more than I ever have in that time span. I wrote five chapters! I woke up writing and fell asleep in the wee hours on my laptop. The third day, I had to leave, and I was okay with that. When I got home I had one last scene to write in the last chapter and I did that within the time frame I mapped out. Consistency paid off!
The Art of Consistency speaks volumes about how serious you are about getting something done. In writing, it is a well-traveled path for me. I have found it impossible to accomplish my writing goals without it. The challenge we all can’t ignore is life outside of the list of goals. Life comes with emotions, disappointments, distractions, and a routine of things we must do. In consideration of life, balancing your writing along with becomes an art itself. Believe me, when I say you can do it. I hope these words have encouraged you to take that extra step towards accomplishing your writing goals. I’m right there with you. Happy writing!