Everyone who has ever written a book, or even tried to write one, knows how much hard work it is. Sure, writing requires creativity, talent, and ability to play with words and grammar, but perhaps perseverance is the most important element in a writer’s toolbox.
Especially, writers who are planning or writing their first book may regard the task too big to handle. That’s right, it is a huge task. That’s why it is important to prepare for it well by learning what kind of working method is the best for each personality, making sure that all the writing and research tools are in place, and learning to focus on the work even though distractions are constantly tempting online.
Bec Evans and Chris Smith have developed methods that help aspiring writers to establish habits that promote writing. They regard writing a book such a demanding work that individuals who are seriously pursuing it, should develop habits that support it. They have listed five tips that help you to build the motivation to write :
1. Scale down your goal.
A book (it doesn’t matter if it is a non-fiction or fiction book) must be planned before you can begin writing. This way, you know you goal and you have divided the big task into small pieces. It is easier to start working on a chapter that is about the same length as a long article than to start working on a 300-page book.
2. Slowly crank up the time.
In the beginning, it maybe difficult to sit down and type for eight hours or even two hours a day. Once you get started and words begin to flow, time goes quickly. Start small, and slowly extend the time spent by a keyboard.
3. Stretch yourself.
In the beginning of the project, goals should be achievable, but you should enhance your goals as the work progresses. From personal experience, I can add that even though I have never set an explicit goal, like one or two pages a day for myself, there are days when it feels that nothing was achieved after eight hours of hard work. Then, the next day, I realize that I have suddenly completed 10 pages. The things is that those days that felt like nothing was achieved were groundwork for those 10 pages that magically were completed in one day.
4. Track, monitor and adjust.
Tracking and monitoring helps you learn how you really work. Adjust your ways in order develop habits that support your writing.
5. Use other people.
Most writers don’t like to talk about the book they are working on. I completely understand this: plans may change, another project may take priority over the current one, or even the intended content of the book may change. Yet, Evans and Smith suggest that it is important tell other people about your goal and update them on your progress. Peer-pressure and accountability can do wonders for writers.
My tip is to use Table of Contents as the key planning tool for a nonfiction book. For a fiction book, many writers have character cards and maps that show how the story flows.