While it might be appealing to go away to a writing retreat for a week or weekend, the reality is that you will probably write most of your book in the interstices of your life. But because you don’t want “Write book” to be something on your calendar that you see and dread, you will want to find ways to integrate it into your life so it’s easy to drop into and get your words out on the page.
Consider that writing a book is a new relationship you are entering into. The book is a place where you connect with your ideas and yourself. It’s a repository of your ideas and what you want for the world.
As women, we tend to be relationship focused, so let’s make that work for you and your book. Instead of thinking of your book as something that takes time away from your current relationships, consider it a new and exciting relationship that you get to devote time and attention to.
Think about your author self. She’s super smart but not intimidating. She’s the kind of person you want to be with because she always has something to say. Most of the time it’s good stuff, too, insights and observations that somehow bring light to your life. She has a way with words, that one!
She’s a great friend, and is always there when you want to connect. You can tell her anything. She can take it. She’s wise and because she knows you well, she can help you shift into new ways of thinking, being and acting. She’s that kind of friend that makes you feel like a better version of yourself just by spending time with her. How cool is that? You will love getting to know your author self.
Clients ask me if they can work on a book and another project at the same time. Maybe two books are vying for your attention. It’s easy to think we can spread our creative love around. Everyone has to discover this for themselves, and in my experience, it’s very hard to do our day-to-day roles and juggle two major projects at once. Every project we have going is like a burner on our stove cooking away. It may be on low, it may be on high, but it’s taking away from our ability to focus. It may not seem detrimental, but losing our precious focus because of many projects can really slow us down.
If you have a record of being able to drive multiple projects consistently over the finish line with your sanity intact, by all means go right ahead. But I suggest becoming a creative serial monogamist, finishing one project at a time so you can give each its due. Keep a file or notebook for all your other projects. Use the magic phrase “for now.” For now, I’m focusing on my book. For now, I’m setting aside other projects. For now, I’m in a monogamous relationship with my book.
Take good care of this relationship. Follow through with all the dates you set aside to write your book. The power of keeping those promises to yourself cannot be overstated. The more you show up for your book, the easier it will become to devote time to it. If you find yourself avoiding your book, ask yourself what it will take to get back in touch with it. You can always do a free-write about the current state of your relationship with your book.
What does a healthy relationship with your book and author self look like on your busiest week?
This is an excerpt from my book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing a World-Changing Book. If you’re ready to write your book and want support along the way, this is the guide for you. Available wherever books are sold in paperback, e-book and audio book. Get your copy now.