In today’s world, we are so used to ‘’doing’’ things, ‘’being productive’’ and just ‘’doing stuff’’.
And the more stuff we seem to do, the more productive we are supposed to be.
And the more productive we are, the quicker we are meant to reach our goals.
But is this the point of writing?
To rush through the process to get to the end?
I certainly am excited about having a completed book in my hand, but the journey itself holds nuggets of gold that I need to stop for and appreciate.
I admit to being a goal junkie. I have lots of goals and many ‘To-do’ lists. And I only ever feel my time is being well spent when I am ‘doing” something. Especially if it gets me closer to checking something off the to-do list.
But is working faster the right strategy? Or are we missing the point?
I often talk about feeling burnt out or overwhelmed on this blog as I document my author journey of writing my first book.
Sometimes I admit, I miss the point.
I become obsessed with increasing word counts but then feel drained by the whole process. Why am I chasing such arbitrary numbers and goals?
I mean who said you need to write every day?
Joanna Penn, the author of 20 books does not write daily. Instead, she applies a project approach to her work in that she will only produce words when she needs to.
So when she starts a new book, she will spend only 30 days writing down the words. Then she will edit and market in the following months (and not produce new words during this time).
I would only recommend this approach to writers who have the discipline to get the words done.
For others, like me, I still struggle to push past the inner resistance daily to write down the words. That is why I give myself a minimum word count of 500 days to write.
I am simply cultivating a habit that I know will serve me well in the long-run. In this way, I hope that when I want to write another book, I can just ‘tap ‘ into the source and churn out the words on demand.
It’s possible to do, but it takes effort, training and disciple, which is why I put in the hours now.
Daily Wordcount Vs Project Approach
By creating a daily writing habit you:
- Create a strong habit which will serve you well as an author for the long-term
- Allow your creativity to expand
- You will have more ideas
- Writer’s block won’t come near you
- Writing becomes easier over time
I’ve Finished The Manuscript….Now What?
Writing a book. I was overly obsessed with just getting it done. But now that the manuscript is complete and is being reviewed by the editor, I feel a bit lost!
I don’t know what to be writing. I have written a few blog posts but I feel like I should be writing something else. See that word again ‘should?
Half the battle is losing the word ‘should’ from my vocabulary.
You either do or do not, we cannot allow ‘’should’’ to come into the equation. All it does is create self-doubt and feeds the Resistance.
So instead of feeling like I ‘should’ be writing, how about I take a well-deserved break and congratulate myself on getting the manuscript done? Writing 50,000 words was not an easy task!
Sometimes I think we just need to take a break and go easy on yourself. So for today, I’m going to enjoy not putting pressure on myself. I’m not going to feel like I ‘should’ be writing. Instead, I’m going to allow myself to have some time off guilt-free.
I’m going to allow space for my creativity to work at the sub-conscious level. I’m going to give my creativity space and break it needs and deserves.
We are not robots but humans. And productivity is not measured in hours sat at a desk, but by the love and passion, you pour into your work which is evidently seen in the end product.
Speed is Relative
Remember there is no correct speed at which you need to be going. Some people take months to write and publish a book, others take years.
All you need to ask yourself is does your speed match your goals and strategy? Not compared to everyone else, but compared to yourself.
Is this speed good for you? Can you maintain and sustain it?
Pick your own pace and then run with it.
How long did it take to write your first book? Please share in the comments below.