If you don’t pay your rent or mortgage, someone is likely to scream at you. If you don’t take out the trash, your house will quickly smell atrocious. But nothing really bad will happen if you don’t finish your book. No one will scream at you. No one will kick you out on the street. And that’s why so many people sit on their book ideas for years.
How do you actually finish a book? Write like a bulldog. Give yourself a set deadline for when a draft needs to be completed; set aside a given amount of time each day to write. And then protect that time like a bulldog. Unless it’s a life threatening event, you write and write and write until you reach your goal.
About ten years ago, I was stuck at a stop sign and had to make a decison: Right turn to go home. Left turn to someone who would likely reject me.
I turned left and drove to a book store called Andersons Book Shop. I asked the woman at the counter if the store would take five copies of my self-published book on consignment. All five other book stores I had asked, including Borders, had said no. She said yes.
Her store ended up selling more than 1,000 copies of my book. One of the book sellers there ended up becoming my agent, selling my book to Little, Brown and Company (think Twilight) for six figures in a two-book deal.
I wish I could say I’ve taken the left turn every time in my career. But I haven’t. Fear of rejection, fear of trying something new, fear of wasting my time have stopped me.
How about you? What stops you from making your left turns? What left turn can you take today? What left turn can you take this week. Being a Kind Author is an invitation to take left turns continuously, knowing that most will be dead ends, but some Magical.