The majority of aspiring authors don’t have a strong enough desire to achieve this status. This results in lack of action to manifest their dream of writing and publishing a book. That’s why, while 81 percent of the U.S. population wants to write a book, only two percent of those very same people accomplish that goal. You must have the motivation, organization, tenacity, mindset, and energy to write your book.
Maybe at this moment, you feel like I did at one point in my life (and sometimes still do). You are frustrated with your past level of performance and achievement, and you are ready to make a change. You want to generate more motivation, organization, tenacity, and energy to write your books. You want to rid yourself of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that hold you back from becoming an author or succeeding as a writer.
Change Happens in a Moment, Transformation Takes Time
You can make the decision to change in a moment, but that doesn’t mean you will change at that moment. Think about New Year’s resolutions: You may decide to change as the clock hits midnight, but how many resolutions have you only kept for a few days or a week? Transformation didn’t occur even during those early weeks of the New Year.
That’s because real transformation takes work and commitment. Change takes time. Personal growth requires a moment-to-moment commitment as well as a high level of intention, consciousness and initiative. You need these qualities to make the changes you want or need related to writing a book as well.
High-Performance Habits for Writers
I’m sure you’d prefer to know you will keep your resolutions or develop the positive habits that will help you achieve your goals. You would like to create sustained change so you can write your book or books, produce more content and do so in a consistent manner.
To write a book, employ the habits used by high performers in every industry as well as in publishing. Here are 10 such habits you can use to help you meet your writing goals consistently. Add them to the original 10 high-performance habits for writers I wrote about in this post.
- Use a daily to-do list or productivity planner. Rely on this tool to help you stay organized with your time and projects. Plan out the next day as you finish your work. When you show up at your desk, you’ll know exactly what you need to accomplish.
- Use time blocking. Organize your daily schedule in blocks of time, and include one or more for writing. Set an intention, or goal, for each block. Nothing else happens in your writing time block other than writing. You also can set goals for each time block.
- Turn off the Internet. While working on a time block, shut down your Web browser completely. You know what happens when you check email or a new Facebook or Twitter message; you get lost on the Internet—sometimes for hours. You must turn off the Internet for periods of time. There are great programs for this, such as:
• Write or Die
- Show up. Every day, show up as the person you want to be with the energy and attitude you want to have. No matter what happens, you have to show up and be effective.
- Be on purpose. Determine if your activities align with your goals. For each activity or opportunity, ask yourself, “ Is this helping me achieve what I want as a writer or author?”
- Do the most important things first. If writing is your priority, that gets accomplished before everything else.
- Create a restart button. This will helps you stop the processes in your mind or body that hold you back when external situations become challenging. Your restart could be a 30-minute jog, a meditation period, a bit of chi gong, a nap, or playing catch with the dog. Choose an activity that brings you back to center and reminds you of your purpose and how you want to show up.
- Realize that fears aren’t real. There are only two types of fear: The first involves physical safety and the second emotional safety and comfort. Few writers fear for their physical safety, but many make excuses that allow them to feel emotionally safe and comfortable. If you suffer from the latter type, fear becomes a mind-management issue. You have to become conscious of your thoughts and aware of how they control your behavior. Then you have to change them into ones that support your writing rather than hinder it.
- Combine your passion with your purpose. Passion will sustain your writing efforts. That’s why when you start a writing project it’s important to choose subjects about which you feel passionate. You want to choose a book project that feels on purpose—that aligns with your Big Why. If you do those two things, you will feel inspired. That feeling will move you forward to the conclusion of your project more often than anything else.
- Make yourself accountable. Set a deadline for the completion of your first draft and for the publication of your book (or for finding an agent or publisher). Then schedule time into your calendar for the necessary tasks, including writing, so you meet that deadline. Don’t create a deadline that is a year or two years from now. Push yourself to get your book written and published fast! You’ll get more done if you push yourself.
To write a book, to become an author, learn high-performance habits and mindsets. If you are struggling to become an author, or if you are finding it difficult to finish your book project, your current habits likely are not helping you achieve your goal. You need to adopt new habits. Put a few of tips above to work for you along with the 10 from the original list, and you will find yourself more productive each day. That means you’ll become a consistently more productive and successful writer. You’ll move into the two percent that actually gets the books out of their heads and onto paper.
Don’t wait! It’s your time…now…to level up so you can achieve your potential, fulfill your purpose and live your life fully.