At the beginning of a new year, many individuals set their sights on writing and publishing their books. But once the new year begins, life always seems to get in the way. According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. As we approach the end of January, let’s take a look at some tangible steps you can take to finish your manuscript this year.
Step One: Get It Out (aka the Brain Dump)
Set a timer for five minutes. Take this time to focus on your ideas for your book. What are your topics of expertise? What experiences do you want to share? What are your goals for the book? What themes or imagery come to mind? What are the key points you’d like to cover? Write for the entire five minutes. Don’t worry about editing yourself or making the text perfect. Just write down all the thoughts in your head.
Why is this important? Your subconscious mind will pick up on things your conscious mind may not. Freewriting is a skill many creatives use to focus.
Step Two: Find Your “Why”
Take your disorganized brain dump and read through each element. As you read, think of each item carefully. Why did you write them down? Why are they important to you? What impact would they have on the book? You might find later that some of the elements you’ve written do not fit into your book’s narrative. The path to a published book is not a highway, but a winding trail.
Why is this important? Reflecting on the things your subconscious mind comes up with will allow you to organize those thoughts into a cohesively organized book.
Step Three: Plan It Out
You might feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, which is why this step is so incredibly important. Remember that while the new year is a good time to start a new project, that doesn’t mean there’s a time limit on your goals. Writing a manuscript is difficult, which is why our process at SPARK Publications starts with a ninety-minute strategy session with our founder and president, Fabi Preslar. Fabi is an expert at getting to the heart of your book and giving you actionable steps to get it written.
Everyone has different ways of holding themselves accountable. Some people are incredibly self-disciplined and can make sure they follow their personal deadlines. Others need outside accountability to keep them on track. Create a system of accountability that works for you—keep a journal, find a friend who needs help staying on track with their own goals and keep in touch, or create rewards for each step.
Why is this important? Planning out a writing schedule and setting deadlines will keep you on track with your goals. That part of your brain where fear and self-doubt reside can always come up with good reasons not do something. Life circumstances can always interrupt your forward momentum. Don’t wait until the perfect moment arises—make your own perfection. It’s so incredibly brave to look in the face of the task ahead and do it despite your fear and doubt.
How SPARK Publications Can Help
SPARK Publications helps clients seeking to build a platform or brand through a beautifully designed, custom-published book, magazine, or catalog. Everything we do is customized for your specific needs. We guide you through each step with an approach that works for you. Some of our clients need gentle hand-holding throughout the process. Others just need a swift kick to get back on track. You can start phase one today by watching our free thirty-minute introductory video here.