WANT TO KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR 25 BESTSELLING AUTHORS?
Psst, want to know a secret? How about 25 secrets?
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There’s great suggestions in this lovely guide, including a few I plan to use.
One of my secrets is to spend time alone, removing distractions (people and the Internet) and focusing only on reading and writing. Recently, I spent a week solo camping, as a way to kick start my writing this summer. I viewed solo camping as a “Writing Retreat.”
Feeling ambitious, I took half a dozen books with me. I finished three: a short biography of Jules Verne, an illustrated history about Charles Darwin, and a Jon Krakauer bestseller.
I also wrote 10,000 words on my new book, a fluffy, fictional novel that completes a series I created several years ago.
Reading well-written, nonfiction books about interesting people makes it difficult to justify writing fluff fiction. The problems my current character faces are not on par with starvation and death in the Alaskan wilderness, like Krakauer’s main character in his bestseller “Into the Wild.”
My book’s plot does not involve a fabulous adventure, like Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” or “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Maybe someday …
Solo camping meant lots of time to watch birds and read books, including “Darwin’s Notebook.”
I have experienced a bit of writer’s procrastination, like Darwin did, in completing and publishing this sixth, and final, book in my series. Darwin, however, did not complete his manuscript and publish in a timely way because he had an earth-shattering theory that denigrated the world view (which included his wife, Emma’s) of God as the architect of all life. I avoided working on my manuscript because I’m bored with the topic.
As writers, our job is to push on, despite our personal feelings and ennui.
Being alone allowed me to focus. Being focused allowed me to punch out 10K words in five days. It worked because I made it work. If I made it work there, I can make it work here, and that’s the lesson I have to take away.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!