Here’s the Way to Make Yourself Write

Do you feel the call to write your book but can’t seem to get any writing done?

Do you know it’s the right thing to do for your business, but you haven’t made much progress?

As a book coach, I see two big reasons people struggle with doing the writing they KNOW will make a difference, not to mention alleviate all the guilt they feel at not getting it done.

Here are the top two reasons people say they’re struggling with writing:

  1. Sitting down to write
  2. Finding time in a busy schedule

Today, I want to share with you what I do to get past the first of these struggles.

How in the world do you get yourself to just sit down and write?

(And why the heck is this even an issue in the first place?) 

If you know that a book will…

  1. Help you become a thought leader in your space
  2. Attract your ideal clients (automatically, if you have the right strategy)
  3. And make a lasting difference in people’s lives

…then why isn’t that knowledge enough to get your hands on the keyboard?

Here’s why.

First, did you know that as human beings, we make choices based on how we’re feeling? And I’m not just talking about the choice to buy the red sports car or the safe sedan, or the choice to buy the cookies on the way to the checkout instead of sticking with your grocery basket full of fruit and veggies.

We make the choice to write or not based on how we FEEL in that moment.

Okay, but why does that matter?

Because when most of us think about writing, we think about the outcome and not the process. And the outcome is too big to chew in one bite.

Let’s say you want to write a book about your experience and expertise. You’ve got a lot to share.

When you think of your book, do you imagine your first draft, printed out, red marks all over it to show changes you need to make, and about 50 pages too short (or too long if you’re wordy like me)? 

No? Me neither. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who said yes to that question.

Instead, this is what we imagine... 

a) A book by an already famous person with a gajillion followers and an international book tour and a giant media budget. A book that you know has already changed countless lives and earned that author respect and clients galore especially compared to how little you’ve done.

            OR…

b) Your own book with your name on the cover and a polished, printed, and well-reviewed book jacket. You see yourself at a book signing or handing out copies after a speaking gig or being told by that one naysaying person you can’t wait to show your book to that, wow, they were really wrong about you.

Whether you imagine someone else’s bestseller or your own beautifully printed book, what’s wrong with either one of those visions?

Nothing. Except they don’t make you FEEL like writing. Big visions are for big picture thinking. They help motivate you to make choices about big moves. That big beautiful vision is what helped you decide to write a book in the first place.

But big visions do not always help you feel the way you need to feel to get the ACTUAL work done.

In fact, most of the time, people who are imagining a bestseller when they crack open the laptop just end up slamming it shut a few minutes later because they can’t get anything written.

This is called imposter syndrome, my dear reader.

It’s because of the voice in your head that cannot possibly imagine how YOU of all people could write a book that looks like the one you’re imagining in your big vision.

It’s the old self-doubt, the early childhood hauntings, or the recent lack of success creeping into your big vision and, well, pooping all over it.

Now listen, I am all for holding a grand vision for your book. In fact, I tell people from the start to imagine all the amazing things the right book could do for you, your business, and a hurting world.

But I don’t tell you to do that right before you sit down to write.

Here’s how to get yourself to sit down and write:

  1. Imagine your ACTUAL book as it is right now – a messy few hundred words on a Word doc in your computer maybe.
  2. Imagine how you will feel one hour from right now if you were to add another few hundred words to that Word doc. What time will it be in one hour?
  3. Imagine how you will feel tonight when you’re journaling about your day or tomorrow morning when you’re setting your to-do list, and you can truthfully say that you made progress on your book today. Really, how will that feel compared to the rock in your gut you feel when you don’t write at all?
  4. Now, say out loud: I will feel freaking fantastic after I get a few hundred words on this page. Let’s write a few words! Woohoo! Words! I can do words! (Or some equally silly but honest expression of how you will feel and what little tiny bit of effort it will take on your part to elicit that feeling in you.)

Because here’s the third part of this equation:

It doesn’t take much writing to write.

You can write about 500 words in 30 minutes if you just sit down, write what’s in your head about a topic, and don’t stop for half an hour.

500 words!

How would that feel?

Are you feeling right now like you want to write?

Why are you still reading this blog? Open that Word doc and write your few hundred words.

You are going to feel SO awesome tonight. Can you already feel it?

Good job. 

THAT'S how you get yourself to sit down and write.

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