The greatest enemy to your unwritten project is you. Your fears, your insecurities, your priorities, your procrastination all block those stories from being told.
Unlike anything else in this crazy world, the written word is always black and white. You're either writing or you're not.
Writers operate under the Newton’s First Law: an object at rest tends to remain at rest until acted upon by an unbalanced force. Journalists have deadlines, authors have editors, copywriters have clients. For an independent or freelancer, getting that push from someone other than a spouse can be hard to find. Who do you have?
The first project I had in construction was to watch two other men work. That's it. I just sat there, pretending to do paperwork, for eight hours, while my two laborers hung sheetrock. I was told that not having me on site would lead to extended coffee breaks and absenteeism, both true. My job, for the last 13 years, is a glorified babysitter for grown men.
Why did I do that? Because my boss was watching me.
We all need babysitters, writers most of all.
Get yourself a buddy
Depending on what motivates you, do one of the following:
1. Compete with a friend on word count. Challenge them to keep up. This works for the competitive types. Think of humiliating consequences for the loser. Writers have egos fragile enough to make this easy.
2. Write with a friend. They can take a chapter, or some research, or maybe pick up where you left off. You can write pretty fast if your partner is in a distant time zone. Hit ‘send’ just before you fall asleep on your keyboard and let them get started.
3. Have an in-line editor. This person asks you every day for the next installment. Publishing each page or chapter on a site like Wattpad will not only build an audience but drive you to write through a waiting audience. It worked for Dickens.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to having a buddy in any form is that they can help you move past your slumps. Don’t bet on a spouse for this. You’ll need someone who understands.
Have you tried this? Did it work for you? Send me a comment.