1. Write what you’ll finish and publish soonest, first. Propulsion increases closer to payoff.
2. Don’t tinker forever. Set a deadline. Stick to it, on penalty of noogies.
3. If you’re a slow writer, outline first so you’ll stay on track. Stop at a place where you know what happens next. You’ll start tomorrow without pausing, stopping or getting stumped.
4. Think of how great it’s going to be once you’ve published. Alert your readers to your progress so they know when to expect the next book launch. You’ll keep your momentum going with a little positive pressure. There are numerous free word count bars you can put on your author site to display your daily progress. That which is measured, improves. That which is not, is rued.
5. Give your graphic designer enough warning so when you’re ready with the manuscript, he’s ready with the cover. You’ll deliver rather than stretch it out past the deadline you set.
6. Give editors, proofreaders and beta readers a deadline so the manuscript gets read, checked and back to you in a timely manner. Write an editorial and production schedule down but put it up where you can see it.
7. Write to a word count or write to a page count or write to a timer. Write. The hardest part is to start. If the story is any good, you won’t want to stop.
8. Don’t wait for inspiration. Go find it by sitting down to write. (My bills, narcissism and terror are all the inspiration I need. What motivates you? Use that.)
9. Don’t count procrastination, marketing, or Internet distractions as writing time. The earlier in the day you get your writing done, the more you’ll get done because your greatest resistance is at the beginning. Start early and you’ll write longer and more.
10. Sleep, exercise and eat well so you don’t rob from your writing time by having to take a nap (due to a gluttonous, glutenous binge.) Naps can be great and rejuvenating, if they’re short and scheduled. (If you’re sleeping to retreat to a safe place, stop reading your bad reviews.)
If you aren’t lost in fun as you write, something’s probably wrong.
Spice it up and twist that plot like you’re wringing out a wet towel.
No one willingly gives time. Take it. Have a schedule and control it.