Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Writing Sessions: Secret to Meeting Timelines and Deadlines

Timelines and deadlines can be either your worst enemy or your best friend when writing your book. These are the goals and guidelines that disciplined authors use to gauge their progress in developing content for their manuscript. However you view these necessary elements of your book production, you must know that they are truly essential to writing a quality book that gets published sooner rather than later (or worse, NEVER).

You’ll never get your book done if you don’t sit down and do it. That takes time, intention and focus. It takes your unyielding commitment to abide by your writing sessions to help you produce results. Your writing sessions are sacred; they’re a valuable and non-negotiable aspect of the book authoring process. When you see them that way, so will others. So how do you make the most of your writing sessions and stick to your timeline to meet your deadline?

First, create a writing schedule. In my self-study course,  “Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less,” I share the importance of having a schedule for writing your book. If you don’t schedule your writing sessions and give them priority, just as you do other important aspects of your life, finishing your book by your target date will be nearly impossible. Click here for a sample writing schedule and a template you can use.

Secondly, honor your writing sessions. Think of yourself as a genius at work, creating a masterpiece or the cure for what will heal the world. There is value in the words you create, the knowledge you share, the characters you introduce, and the insight you expose. Begin to see your book as the answer to a life-transforming question that someone is asking. They will never receive that answer if you don’t honor your writing sessions and get your book done.

Third, be realistic with your time. Understand that, even when you set aside time to write, you will need some time to get into the mood to write. Give yourself time to do so. When I was writing my novel, What Goes Around Comes Around, I discovered that it took me several minutes at the start of my writing sessions to get back into the mind of the character I was writing about at the close of the previous writing session. I had to be right there in the scene, feeling what s/he was feeling and living in the same moment. The same was true for when I was writing the self-help journal, Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You’ve Been Wanting to Write. I had to be in a place mentally that was comfortable and relaxed and free of worry or stress. I was writing a journal, after all. And since journaling is, by nature, an act of release and renewal, stress had no place in the creation of that book. I had to allow myself time to manage my mind and my craft.

Taking a no-excuses approach to writing your book is essential to achieving the results you want. Setting a timeline and meeting your self-imposed deadline are also important aspects of becoming a successful published author. The key to it all can be found in your writing sessions. Schedule them. Honor them. Maximize them. Your book – and your readers – are depending on it.

What’s the greatest challenge you face during your writing sessions?

Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".

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