You know the roller coaster I’m talking about right?
I wrote about how I felt riding the low point on the emotional roller coaster last week as the high from landing my book deal wore off and the work I have to do on my book—plus life—hit hard.
"How can I draft a book proposal if I don't even know what my title is yet?"
"I'm overwhelmed so I'm not doing anything."
"How do YOU make time for writing?"
The Serenity Prayer that is often shared in 12 Step Meetings is a great guide for writers, even if you never intend to darken the door of a church:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Accept the fact that the roller coaster will happen. Don't beat yourself up when it does.
You may be a super organized person who color codes their calendars and knows exactly when you’re going to write. And yay for you! But life does have a way of interfering with the best laid plans.
Give yourself permission to let go for a few days AND set a deadline to get back in the game. Ideally find someone—a book coach or a writing partner—to help you stay accountable for that deadline you'll be setting.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all that's involved in writing a book, and it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can't do anything if you don't have at least several hours to commit to your writing. Set small goals so you can feel successful.
One hour a day. Thirty minutes, three times a week.
And in that manageable time you have set aside to write, pick ONE thing to work on at a time.
Chunk down a big project so it doesn't feel so overwhelming:
Break down the tasks into small pieces so you can feel accomplished at the end of your writing session.
Meaningful memoirs aren’t written in one weekend.
When you begin a book project, there's so much you don't know and that's why my book coaching process starts with some of those big questions:
My writers get enough clarity on the big questions that they can take action on drafting their manuscripts or their book proposals, but that doesn't mean that EVERYTHING is figured out right away.
Planning and writing a book is an iterative process and things will change. If there's something you don't know right now, that's okay.
That's editor talk for "to come."
You're not sure about your title yet? Type [TK] and write your first scene anyway.
When you are feeling low about your writing life, reach out and get support. There's something about voicing your feelings that makes things better even if nothing else has changed.
Make sure you have people in your writing life—a book coach, a writing partner, a writing group—who can remind you:
Because your story does matter.
Don't let the roller coaster stop you from writing it.
Writers go on a hero’s journey when they make the decision to get their story out of their heads and onto the page.
Queer writers go on a Queero’s Journey!
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