Every writer has a favourite writing process stage. Mine is discovering where my ideas go. But that’s only one part of the process. Once the ideas are on the page, it needs editing to refine the words into the book they’ll become. This is where my struggle starts.
Editing is more of a left brain, analytical activity. My mind prefers the more right brain, creative approach. That’s my happy place. I understand editing is necessary and something I need to do to polish my work before it goes to a professional editor. But it doesn’t mean I always enjoy it.
In case you’re in a similar situation, today’s post is about how I get through the areas of the writing process I least enjoy. The single biggest thing I’ve found that helps me to show up and keep moving forward on my book is accountability.
I’m not always great at holding myself accountable, particularly if I what I’m meant to be doing isn’t fun. That’s where having someone else hold me accountable helps. There are lots of ways to do this – apps, a coach, accountability groups/buddies, etc. I joined a writing group.
We meet every Friday at a local library and each work on our project between 10.30 – 4.30pm, with scheduled breaks using the Pomodoro technique; something I also learned about in my university studies. My goal is to edit one chapter every week.
The writing group works for me on three levels. First, I’m around other people, which satisfies the extrovert in me, even though we’re working quietly and independently. Second, it gets me out of the house and is a dedicated time and space that helps me get into the mindset of editing my book. You can check out more about mindset here.
Third, if I miss a class, I know I’ll have to explain why the following week. It’s not that they’re Nazi’s who crack the whip. It’s more my feelings of failure for not attending. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable, like a 3-day workshop I’ve got coming up that includes a Friday. In this case, I’ll set aside some time the day after my workshop instead to edit my book.
What tips do you have, or strategies you use to keep your writing project on track? I’d love you to share them below.
Cheers to your writing success!