The difference between a success author and a person that dreams of being an author often comes back to words. The author makes words a priority – coming up with new ideas and putting those ideas to life on paper. The dreamer comes up with new ideas and then dreams of what would happen if those words took flight.
In other words, a writer WRITES.
My manuscript sat in the desk drawer for two full decades. I brought it out and dusted it off every now and then. There were even moments when I would add to the words . . . getting closer to finishing what I started. Most of the time I just made doodles about what I would do with all the money when my unfinished novel reached the best seller lists.
I had the chance to encourage another writer in pursuing his dream. I challenged him to finish his current manuscript – mostly because never getting to finish reading a manuscript was driving his wife a bit crazy. He took my challenge, and landed a publishing deal because of it.
He wrote while I still sat at my desk and dreamt of what I would be if only others would see the amazingness of my still yet to be finished manuscript in my desk drawer. I finally accepted my fate. I would never be a writer until I made the words the priority they needed to be to become a writer.
I finally wrote and by getting all the words down – by writing the idea – I created a manuscript that others could help me mold into something worthy of the best seller lists (and it has made it to some of the top levels in Amazon).
So now it is your turn.
Write out your ideas. This first draft is not about perfection, but about completion. The goal should be to get all of the words down – maybe even see how fast you can get them down. Avoid stopping to review, reorganize or edit in any way. Think of the first draft through as a trail run – the goal is just to get it done.
Tips for Writing the Idea
- Participate in programs that push you to write fast. The National Novel Writing Month happens each November, but you do not have to wait until then. Get together with your writing group (online or in person) and challenge each other to write. Give a prize to the one that complete a particular goal the group sets. In other words, make up your own novel writing challenges.
- Set aside a day when you can focus on your writing. It might require getting away from the house (and distractions that run rampant through the house). I may just require that you put it on the schedule so that you – and those around you – will know that writing will be your focus for the day.
- Avoid letting others read the unfinished product. First, you may end up with something completely different when the idea has been trimmed, tidied, and polished. Second, they might get annoyed if you never finish it. Third, their ideas can stray you from the goal of just writing the idea. There will be time for critique later down the road.
- Make writing a priority. Know when you are most productive, and then make that the time that becomes dedicated to your words. John Grisham got up an hour early each day so that he could write before work – while he was working full-time as a lawyer and juggling a new family. There is enough time in the day right now for you to make writing the priority it needs to be IF you are willing to sacrifice something else to make that time available.
- Develop consistency in your writing. You are already a creature of consistency. The teeth get brushed. The pets (or kids) get fed. A schedule of some type is followed. Writing the idea comes easier when you take that habit of consistency and apply it to the words. Write every day – even if it is only for an hour.
You can be a writer – you already have the ideas floating around in your head. Slow down long enough to get those ideas down on paper and you will be one step closer to that writing dream that you desire.
Begin moving down the path that will make words a priority in your life – if you want your words to be more than a dream on the doodle page. You have to find a way to write if you ever want to see your idea written.