Friday, September 6, 2013
The Secret to Keeping Focused on Your Novel
o Organize your schedule: Set specific writing time. I mean genuine writing time, not research, social marketing, or anything else that takes you away from writing your novel.
Here’s where some real discipline comes in: If you absolutely must go on the internet to research a bit of information, do so quickly, get what you need, then close it out immediately. DO NOT check email, DO NOT check Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, or any other form of social media. Nothing, nada. Get back to work!
o Organize your social media time: This is the time you use for your novel, not personal time. Use it to do marketing, advertising, announcements, connections, etc., but DO NOT use it for personal use such as simply chit-chatting with friends. You can do that when your work time is through.
o Organize research time: Make a list of things that need to be researched for the book and then set the time aside to do it. Again, stay focused on the research. Don’t let anything else pull you away from it. Get an email while you’re in the middle of research? Well, why the hell are you checking email! You’re supposed to be researching. Close that program, NOW! (Didn’t think you’d get caught, did ya?) Research time is for research. Nothing else. Remember… DISCIPLINE.
Next, to reinforce the discipline, you need to do the following:
• Milestones: Set milestones to reach. Achieving these milestones will help you feel a sense of achievement along the way and will keep you motivated. Example: “I’ll complete 2000 words every day” or “I’ll commit to two hours of writing each day”, etc.
These are just a few ideas that have helped me complete two books and work on a third while maintaining a full time job, a house and family, and all the other obligations that go along with life. Without discipline and accountability, I don’t think I could do it. It isn’t easy, but it is necessary.