You Can't Write a Book in a Day

I had a teacher once who asked us a very important question: “What do you wish you could change?”

Well, I want to change my meager lazy bum status in life, become responsible, and become a published author. To write a book, to become a sensational blogger who actually helps people, to not necessarily become famous but to impact a lot of people.

He then proceeded to ask another question. “What do you plan to do about it today?”

Um… write a book?

Nope. C’mon myself.

You can’t write a book in a day.

You can’t reach your long-term goals today, you can’t say “A year from now I will have published an article on The Rebelution” or “two years from now my book will be accepted” and not do anything about it today. You won’t wake up on that day magically ready for the applause and the famousness. You won’t automatically walk into Barnes and Noble and search through all the aisles and finally see your book on the shelf.

 It has to happen because you worked through the daily life of traffic, commercials, distractions, getting supper on the table, all those meager things that make up life and yet are barriers to finding time for writing. You gotta push through that, one step at a time.

One Step at a Time
Characters in your book can't reach the ending all in one moment. You can't either. While going about your daily life, doing chores, or writing, steps are the way to go. I have found this helps with stress and even efficiency. Even when sweeping the floor, I like to break the huge gigantic floor into little sections, helping me concentrate on working hard in one little chunk. It seems to go a lot faster and easier that way!

Chunking is a common practice I learned in my piano lessons.  For competition each year and for other events, I learn a very complicated difficult piece. At a glance, it looks like I could never do it. It looks like I will never be able to play through the whole thing and get remotely anything right, it looks as if it will take me a lifetime to learn, and it looks depressing.  But you don't learn the whole piece at a time.

My piano teacher helps me with one measure over and over until I master it, then I move on to the next section to learn. Before I know it, it's done. I have carefully worked my way through the whole song, and it's accomplished. A feeling of high achievement and greatness I never had before coursed its way through me as I stare in disbelief.  It was done after many long weeks and perhaps months of torture and sadness and it wasn't all fun. It happened because I pushed through on days when the clouds were out and the sun was away, dreary rainy horrible days when I didn't feel like it. But it happened.

You can't do it all in a day. You can't write a book in a day. (Sadly;))

That's why today I encourage you not to feel depressed about all those millions of pages looming ahead of you, but concentrate on fulfilling that one chapter, that one page, that section. Then move on to the next. It is quite encouraging to see the progress you really make when you look back on all the little steps you have taken.

And when you feel you can't go on, you can just say I'll take one more little step. Then another. A day at a time. And eventually you will realize, it's done. It's written, it's published. The book is on the shelf. An amazon kindle edition. Whatever. You did it after years of hard work.

Now stop looking ahead until what the beautiful future holds, and think how you can get there. Get out your notebook and plan out your master plan, your steps to achieve your goal. Breathe and smile and relax, but work now. Work with all your might, and change your mindset from “somehow it will get done” to actually doing it.

What can you do today?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you.
    This is a good article on the most dificult part of writing [in my humble, non- experienced opinion].
    God bless you.