Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The One Thing You Need to Do for the #BestWritingYearEver

the1thing.com


It's easy to make resolutions and proclamations in the new year.

This year will be my Best Writing Year Ever!

Alas, that statement will die as quickly as your weight-loss promises.

Why?

Because the statement has no focus. It's not broken into achievable steps. That's where the work really begins, and where the objective becomes daunting.

It's easier if you break your focus down to the simplest denominator. What is the one thing you can do right now to make this the Best Writing Year Ever?

Let's try a short exercise, just for fun and practice. No pressures. No commitments. Think about these points:

  • If you could only work on ONE writing project, what would it be?
  • If you could pick just ONE indispensable tool for working on that project, what would that be?
  • If you could choose only ONE time and place to work, when and where?
  • Finally, who best would support you in this ONE focused project?
Now take a deep breath, and simply as an experiment (and keeping those four considerations in mind), try a writing session just for an hour. Or maybe two. Or even a half day. How did it go? Did you write anything? Did it feel good? Will you continue, now that you've begun?

Remember it's about focus and zeroing in on that ONE thing you need to do to manifest a book. Right now. Each and every day. Keep it simple and steady. 

Here's to the Best Writing Year Ever!

Dani Greer is founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil. Her January 2020 art and writing project is called Cat By Cat. She and her artist husband live in rural Colorado where they pamper far too many felines to be considered sane.

20 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. True for me, too, Linda. Distractibility is a real downfall.

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    2. This is an excellent idea, Dani. Focusing is the area where I struggle the most. Writer's block has never been a biggie for me, but keeping my mind focused on the project at hand when it wants to go 14 other directions never fails to challenge me. Thank you for the suggestion.

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    3. Funny you should mention distractability. I just came across this book and have ordered it through our library. It looks intriguing. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal.

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  2. I stopped making resolutions many years ago. Instead I have reaffirmed goals and plans that I may have made at any point where it became necessary or desirable. Prioritising has been something I've been doing mindfully since I started and completed a book (my first published) while pregnant with my second child.

    So,
    1 Writing project: This one I'm about to wrap up.
    1 Tool: Currently, because I'm working on illustrations, Inkscape. Or maybe the tool is my computer + all the software on it ;-)
    1 Time and Place: First thing in the morning, at my usual spot at the dining room table.
    1 Support Person: I'm beta-testing a business mentorship programme - so my mentor is currently providing encouragement. I guess that counts. But usually my answer would be no one.

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  3. Okay one thing. And a reachable goal. I've got it! I think.

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  4. The hardest part for me to reach a writing goal is I've lost my motivation. With thirteen books published, I sometimes feel I'm written out. I also have 92,000 words on my work in progress and just can't seem to put it to bed. Today is another day.

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    1. Losing passion has become an issue in my life. Do you suppose it's aging? Just wearing out?

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  5. Great suggestions Dani. The one project I must finish this year is my memoir. The one tool I could not be without right now is voice recognition so I don't have to type as much - good old arthritis in my hands big time - and my phone for dictating.

    The time that works best for me is late afternoon for some reason. Used to be first thing in the morning, but that has changed.

    I need to find that one person. I lost my main cheerleader and helper with brainstorming when my husband died.

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  6. Maryann, could you write about voice recognition in a future post - best writing hacks or tools ever? And how blessed you were to be married to a cheerleader. Truly.

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    1. Yes, and yes, I was very blessed to have his support for all those years. I don't think I would have ever come out of the closet so to speak if it hadn't been for him finding me scribbling one day when we were first married.

      Are we going to have a month devoted to writing tools?

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  7. I get stuck on just picking one thing...which is why I have so many unfinished projects. I'll try, I'll really try.

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    1. Hahaha. It is so easy to jump around. I could work on any of 30 projects, which is part of why I never finish one!

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  8. I think my most indispensable tool is the internet. Also the thing that distracts me most. Hahaha.

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  9. Excellent post. I learned along the way that having three major goals to do every day helped me a lot. I have other, lesser goals, and I give myself permission not to do them if I run out of time or energy. My goals are writing new words every day, marketing for one hour, and exercising. Each one takes about an hour. That leaves plenty of time to edit, blog, do other projects, get personal stuff done, etc. Keep writing--you're doing great.

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    1. What great discipline. I used to have more of that. LOL But you give me hope, Jan.

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  10. Spend 80% of your day on the most important things on your list, right? I must be much slower than you. :D

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  11. Great advice. I plan to be a lot more focused this year.

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  12. Great advice... I've got to figure out how to get life's daily "to-do lists" under control somehow, or ignore the chaos and focus on the writing project at hand. Otherwise, the hours and days just slip away...

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.