Saturday, December 11, 2010

4 Ways to Advance Your Book Project Over the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and no doubt you’re feeling the crunch. There’s shopping, cooking, gift wrapping, cleaning, partying and planning to be done, yet there are still only 24 hours in a day. During “normal” weeks you find it difficult to work on your book project. With the added distractions and to-dos of the holiday season you might find it even more strenuous to find time to write. Here’s a tip to let you off the hook: Don’t stress. Do what you can and enjoy life.
I’ve said it before -- writing should be pleasurable. However, I understand the stress of trying to finish your book on time or, better yet, ahead of schedule. But I’m here to let you off the hook, give you a break, allow you to breathe this holiday season. Instead of adding to your stress level by trying to squeeze in writing time between gatherings and holiday projects, use the holiday season to do some other work on your book. Here are 4 things you can do to advance your book project over the holidays:
  1. You better tell somebody! The holidays are the perfect time to (finally) tell your family and friends that you will be a published author in 2011. When wishing people Happy Holidays, add that you’re looking forward to next year when your book will be finished. Develop a short spiel to explain what your book is about and why you’re writing it. Toss in a suggestion that you’d love their support in promoting your book.
  2. Do some research. This is a really non-creative way to move forward with your project. Review some of the resources your writing coach has shared with you, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to get that will help propel your project, interview a colleague or other professional whose expertise you want to include in your book. 
  3. Speaking of interviewing ... You’ll be around family for days; take the time to gather stories, quotes and photos for your memoir or autobiography. Once you tell Aunt Ethel that you’re writing a book, she might open up and tell you more about that incident with your dad when he was 12; or your siblings might enjoy taking a group photo so they can be included in your book.
  4. Reflect and Review. Think about how far you’ve come with your book project. Give yourself a pat on the back for making some progress. Then, review the content you already have. You might need to adjust your outline, revise a few paragraphs here and there, or make notes for other content to add.  

See how easy this can be! Use the holidays as an opportunity, not an excuse, when it comes to your book project. If writing seems out of the question, take this time to do some other things that will keep your book project going. When January 2nd arrives, you’ll not only be ready to start writing again, you will have made progress in other areas and you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Happy Holidays!

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