Last time I discussed what I believe to be the number one enemy to successful Indie Publishing. I should have also reminded you that in Indie Publishing you are 100% responsible for every aspect of your business and that work that needs to be done. Everything a publishing house has a department for is down to you. You can choose to outsource things like cover design or editing, and in a lot of cases you should (money permitting). That’s why procrastination is the #1 enemy. Because if you don’t do it for yourself (or organise it) no one else will.
In this article I’m going to discuss ways to beat the monster back into submission. I’ve read so many books on the subject that I’m not sure how many of these suggestions are things I’ve figured out myself or things that other authors and coaches have suggested: because if it’s one thing everyone agrees on it’s that to be successful you actually have to get off your butt and actually DO IT (whatever your IT is whether it’s writing, art, fashion, building stuff, whatever). So, I’ll include a suggested reading list at the bottom of the article. You can also keep an eye out for a future post that will feature my top 10 Indie resource recommendations.
- Pre planning: Whether it’s planning out all your blog posts for a year, or plotting out your story including a daily word count goal, success relies on getting it done.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg Reid
The task of writing seems much less daunting, and much more achievable, when you know you only need to write say 2000 words or four pages. It’s much easier to keep writing past your goals when the goals are achievable because completing a task releases endorphins into your brain (that’s those good feeling hormones that you get after you work out or when you eat chocolate). Endorphins are somewhat addictive so they can help your productivity because you want to keep writing so you keep feeling them, but you also want to make sure that the rest of your life doesn’t suffer by becoming a work-a-holic.
- Bulk Content creation: I don’t always write a new blog post every week even if they get posted that regularly. Sometimes I share posts I wrote for my old website (partly to consolidate all my content onto one site, and partly to take some of the pressure off). Sometimes I go over older material, maybe an essay I wrote at Uni to see if I can rework it into an article you’ll hopefully enjoy. I also do this for my graphics, posters etc that I make for my newsletter, blog posts, website and social media. I use Canva and I’ll make up graphics ahead of time. I currently have graphics for my blog topics well into 2021.
- Scheduling posts on social media is your friend. I don’t know if this can be done on Instagram or other sites (I only use Goodreads, Facebook and Instagram myself) but it’s a function I often use on Facebook. Once a week I will sit and plan out, create and schedule my posts for the week. Then I can spend the rest of the week knowing I only have to worry about reaching my word count.
- Setting aside time uninterrupted: It might be as short as half an hour. Time where you can sit interrupted and choose not to touch your phone, t.v etc. Be strict. Turn off your phone if you have to. Shut it in a draw in the other room. Turn off your modem if you think you’ll be distracted by Facebook. I’ve been known to go somewhere I know I don’t have internet access (like my grandma’s house) so that I can’t even be tempted.
- Discipline: Forcing yourself to write for an hour, or a day, whatever works for you. It doesn’t have to be masterful writing. Something is better than nothing.
“Just keep going. Anything you write can be fixed, but you can’t fix a blank page.” – Neil Gaiman via Twitter
It’s like going to the gym. You aren’t going to see results unless you actually go.
- Keep Notes: For my blog and newsletter I keep a notebook of things I’d like to discuss or I think that people would find interesting. Like this article for example. Then when I’m having a day devoted to writing a stack of articles I have a pool of topics to discuss. It’s less daunting than sitting down and going “Ok, what am I going to write now?”
- Education: Educate yourself further. Join a writing group or class. Sometimes you’ll be given prompts to write a piece on that you can tailor to the book you’re working on. There are so many options especially in these days of online EVERYTHING. At the very least you can buy books on the craft of writing and learn new techniques, and there are plenty of those out there too.
- Be realistic: Sometimes your goals are not achievable. It’s okay to break them down into smaller goals or to restructure your plan to something more manageable. If you’re trying to make a living as an Indie Author it’s fair to assume you have ambition. Sometimes that ambition manifests as biting off more than you can chew. I know I do. The key is to continue to take steps towards your goal. That doesn’t necessarily mean sprinting towards the finish.
- 100 Common Publishing Questions Answered: Produce more, publish quickly, market your books, build your platform, and earn more today by Derek Murphy
- How to Write, Format, Publish and Promote your Book by Derek Murphy
- Book Marketing is Dead: Book Promotion Secrets You MUST Know BEFORE You Publish Your Book by Derek Murphy
- Guerrilla Publishing: Dangerously Effective Writing and Book Marketing Strategies by Derek Murphy
- Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
- Show, Don’t Tell: How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions (Writers’ Guide Series Book 3) by Sandra Gerth
- Thinking Like A Romance Writer: The Sensual Writer’s Sourcebook of Words and Phrases by Dahlia Evans
- The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman
- Done in Three Months Workbook: Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing & Publishing Your Book in 3 Months (Author Like a Boss 2) by Ella Barnard
- Build Your Author Website: Everything You Need to Create a Website That Sells More Books (Author Like a Boss Book 3) by Ella Barnard
- Start Marketing Your Book: Best Practices & Core Principles for Authors Selling Books Online (Author Like a Boss Book 1) by Ella Barnard
- Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman
- The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.