Writing.com once asked its Facebook members if they would share their writing goals for the coming week. I was amazed at the number of people talking about procrastination. “Finding time” was mentioned, along with a small number of people with goals set for the days ahead.
If you really want to write, I mean seriously want to write, you’ll find the time or make the time.
“The thing to do with procrastination is to put it off until tomorrow.”
Writing shouldn’t be something that pulls at your coattails all day. It shouldn’t be something to tackle and get done amid the excuses that arise. Writing should be a pleasure, something done with desire—or need because the story voices in your head are chattering about. Apply fingertips to keys, start typing, and share the story.
I wonder about the people who need to get writing. People who hold themselves back. Is that the professional that an agent will want to work with? I mean, why write if the effort is so great? I’m not trying to discourage people. All I’m looking to understand is this need to push yourself to write.
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
So please make up your mind about it and be happy when writing. Choose to write. Make time. Delete excuses. Procrastinate tomorrow.
At a conference, I once heard a literary agent say that you shouldn’t be approaching an agent with a query until you’ve written at least a million words. That means you query when you’re on your third or fourth novel—providing you are adding rewrites toward those million words. That is a severe amount of writing.
So why are people trying to find time to write?
Interviews with newly published authors ask when they found time to complete their novel. Many talk about writing around work schedules at midnight or during nap time for their little ones. One author said she had no time through the day or the evening, so she’d set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. to allow two hours to write before work.
“The most significant discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not conveying the message not to write, nor am I roasting people who write slow or whenever they get around. I’m only suggesting that if writing is important to you and you want to move forward, you need to take it more seriously. It’s about prioritizing and putting it in the right place in your life. This post is for people interested in being published and ultimately paid for their work.
Writing the book is only the first step of many. Victoria Strauss once said the average amount of time for authors to get their first book sold was over eleven years. That’s right, eleven years. The definition of “average” means some books are published quicker, yet they are just as many books that take longer than eleven years.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get writing. No excuses. You need to type.
“Thinking is the most challenging work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.”
Where do you see yourself in a year? In three years? Are you published? Are you working on another novel? On a book-signing tour? And now examine where you are right now. What are you doing to make those dreams possible? Are you giving it your best? Or are you self-sabotaging?
I once heard someone say, “While one person hesitates because they feel inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. There is no traffic jam on the road to success.”
Keep writing. Allow no excuses. If you can’t find time, make time. Believe in yourself. People aren’t lazy; they have impotent goals, which means their goals don’t inspire them. Get inspired or re-examine what you’re doing and why you’re doing it in the first place.
“Your mind is a creative tool that you direct by exercising your will. Simply put, you are responsible for monitoring and choosing your thoughts so that they support the manifestation of the results you desire in your life.”