Sorry, folks. Inspiration doesn't always just "strike" especially when you're on deadline. If you sit down and start writing, just like showing up to a job, you'll produce brilliance on some days and crap on others. And if you need to take a break one day, take it. Ditch the guilt and then get back to the work tomorrow.
2. Commit out loud:
People need to understand your schedule may be different. You might not be at your spouse's beck and call and you may have to pass up on certain activities. How do you make this happen? Not by hiding your writing in the dark of night, but by sharing your goal with the people in your life. State your intentions out loud so you not only force yourself to commit but you set others' expectations of your time and attention.
3. Get comfortable with feedback:
No one is perfect and every writer will tell you that good writing is re-writing. You need objective outsiders to review your work, especially from professional editors and proofreaders. What may make sense in your own head could leave readers scratching theirs.
4. Picture your reader:
It helps to identify your audience as a real person: picture an actual reader. You absolutely need to be clear about for whom you are writing and what they will get. What questions might they have? What information would they want to know? What would move, delight or inspire them?
5. Prepare for diverse reactions:
This one was a shocker. Turns out, the people I thought would be most excited by my book writing efforts expressed passing interest (if that) and others who I thought wouldn't give a damn became my best cheerleaders. At first, it really irritated me and, honestly, made chipped away at my confidence. Here I was, doing something that absolutely petrified me, and it was like certain people close to me were not even acknowledging it. But I finally learned that my big dream was big to me and people are usually just doing the best they know how. They have their own lives to live and dreams to pursue and may not even realize how deeply their reactions (or non-reactions) are hurting you.
6. Prepare for self-doubt....often:
This is natural when you follow a dream. Someone once said that if you're scared, then you know you're doing the right thing. Every writer has at one point during the writing process thought, "What the hell am I doing?" But if you believe in yourself, your knowledge, and your story -- and never lose sight of the value it will provide -- that will help you stay the course.
7. It's your story...TELL IT!
It's all in how you tell it, in your voice, which makes it a story people will want -- and need to -- read. No one can tell a story or share wisdom the way you can and you just may touch someone in a way no other book or story can. Don't think your story isn't valuable because the plotline has been done. If that were true, people would never write another book again. Put your unique spin on it and just believe.
What's your motivator?