“One day you’ll wake up and there won’t be any time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho
When people tell me they’re thinking about writing a book – or they’ve put their project aside and aren’t making progress – I tell them two things.
First, “Writing is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. If you expect and embrace that instead of fight it, you will finish your book – no matter what.
Second, “Books in your head help no one.”
Have you ever thought of it that way? If you have experience, expertise, stories and epiphanies that would benefit others; it’s almost selfish to keep them to yourself.
Sharing your stories and lessons-learned doesn’t come from arrogance, it comes from service. It’s an offering, a way of saying “Here’s something I think, feel, believe, see, have learned or have experienced. I hope it might be of interest and value to you.”
Yet, many people start with the best of intentions and then life intervenes. They get distracted, busy, overwhelmed, tired. They put their creative project aside to deal with other priorities – and never get back to it. That’s a path to regrets.
Are you procrastinating, waiting for more time? Are you too busy to write?
Face it. You’ll never have more time than you have right now. If you want results … carve out ten minutes every day to move your creative project forward.
Select one of these quotes that resonates with you and post it where you’ll see it every morning (your bathroom mirror?) It will help you keep your good intentions IN SIGHT – IN MIND instead of allowing them to drift out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
“If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” – Dan Poynter
“Nothing works unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
“Every creative project needs a spine. What’s yours?” – Twyla Tharp
“When asked the secret to finishing his 500 page masterpiece The Power of One, author Bryce Courtenay growled, “Bum glue!”
“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage … and you need to jump into it.” – Julia Cameron
“At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results.” – aviation pioneer Chuck Yeager
“If my doctor told me I had only 6 months to live, I’d type a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov
“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that separates the sheep from the goats.” – Sue Grafton
“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle
“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 a.m. every morning.” – Peter DeVries
“If you are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, you’re thinking like an amateur. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, does his work, keeps on truckin’, no matter what.” – Steven Pressfield
“I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” – Steve Martin
“I made a startling discovery. Time spent writing = output of work. Amazing.” – Ann Patchett
“Ever tried and failed? No matter. Try again and fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” Christopher Parker
“It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.” – Nancy Thayer
“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.” – Richard Rhodes
“The way to resume is to resume. It is the only way. To resume.” – Gertrude Stein
“Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.” – Peter Mayle
“If you want to be certain, you should never attempt anything creative. In fact, you might as well just stay home. Because I don’t know anybody who is certain. That need to be certain is just procrastination.” – Mark Burnett
“When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” – Anne Sexton
“You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesn’t matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.” – Leonard Bernstein
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. I had pieces that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.” – Erica Jong
“Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into action and put your heart on the line.” – Lakers basketball coach Phil Jackson
“The faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” – Raymond Chandler
“When you speak, your words echo across the room. When you write, your words echo across the ages.” – Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul author Bud Gardner
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind has to know it has to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck
“Planning to write is not writing. Writing is writing.” – E. L. Doctorow
“I think the worst, most insidious procrastination for me is research. I will look for some fact to include in the novel, and before I know, I’ve wasted an entire morning delving into that subject matter without a word written.” – James Rollins
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso
“There’s a trick I’m going to share with you. I learned it almost twenty years ago and I’ve never forgotten it … so pay attention. Don’t begin at the beginning.” – Lawrence Block
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work and write; you don’t give up.” -Anne Lamott
“I write because I cannot fly, but words can, and when they land, worlds appear.” – Susan Zeder
“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” – Rollo May
“Do you know the #1 precursor to change? A sense of urgency.” John Kotter
It’s time to feel a sense of urgency about getting your ideas out in the world. What’s the story you’re born to tell? The knowledge you want to pass along? The legacy message that could inspire others? The creative vision you want to contribute?
The time to share it is NOW. Promise you’ll sit down somewhere, sometime every day and take a minimum of ten minutes to move your project forward.
In the past twenty years, I’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of people write quality books. In all that time, I’ve never met a single author who was sorry they wrote their book. I have only met authors who were sorry they didn’t write it … SOONER.
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Sam Horn, Founder/CEO of the Intrigue Agency, helps people create quality books that add value for all involved. Her TEDx talk and work – including POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – have been featured in New York Times, Forbes, INC, Readers Digest, on NPR and MSNBC, have been endorsed by Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey and Jack Canfield and have been presented to such diverse clients as Boeing, U.S. Embassy in London, Capital One, NASA and National Geographic.