April already? Really? Well, the first quarter has come and gone and not many words or anything published to show. My overall plan was to have 2016 take off like a rocket ship, but as of today we are still stuck on the launch pad. However, there are some takeaways from these first three months that I believe will help propel me to success. And I share them with you in hopes you can learn faster than I did.
First: It takes a team regardless where you are at on the path
I believed people would help me with my manuscripts after I had finished several and became “established”, but for the first part of this career I would need to go it alone. That was the wrong way to think. You need people to support you every step of the way. Going it alone, at least for me, has been an invite for self-doubt, procrastination, and feeling overwhelmed. The indie community is very supportive, but I’m referring to more of the inner circle folks. A spouse, close friend, or another writer that is within driving distance is invaluable. And sometimes you need to look harder for those supporters than you thought. We need mentors, trainers, and teachers that are willing to invest in us. And paying for those services isn’t a bad thing. I’m reaching out more to others and building friendships, not just Internet acquaintances. That can be difficult to do and justify, however it is well worth finding the support you need to keep going.
Second: Making time
Time management is paramount to this endeavor. You must carve out time in your day, everyday. Personally, this has been extremely difficult. I have a full life and do many things, most of which I like. You must be willing to give something up in order to move ahead. I heard this advice early on, but never took it to heart. Fight for your writing time and don’t surrender it! My starting and stopping has derailed my goals too many times. There is cool Zen like moments when you write everyday. Words flow and stories come to life when you are immersed in them. However, get away from them for even a few days, and the mojo is lost. That lost mojo leads directly to my last take away.
Third: You need to say, ‘fuck it’
I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. Sure, I like to blame my work hours or other distractions, but the fact is we all have those problems. My self-doubt of any talent I may or may not have, presents the biggest obstacle of getting my work done. I worry way too much about the end product before it becomes an end product. I have come to the realization that those thoughts freeze my ability to produce words. My first takeaway is helping me to overcome these worries. And I have to come the point where I can’t look in the mirror and say these are valid reasons for me not to write. So no more caring if what I’m writing is good, bad or indifferent. Stealing a line from a very popular company born in Oregon. Just do it!
What is your biggest takeaway for the start of 2016? Share below.