Following the successful launch of our first book, the Pharmacy Marketing Formulary (PMF) I am really excited to begin work on our next publication. For many the fear of a blank page is overwhelming and can be too much to bear. Luckily the first book published by DOSE Publishing was the second book I wrote if you get my drift.
I am starting on our next publication with a clear idea of what I want to produce and a lot of material to work with. That makes it a whole lot easier than actually starting with the dreaded blank page. That said it isn’t exactly easy. This time I know what is ahead, how much work is involved and how much energy it will take! However I am confident about the material so here are some of the tips I’ve gathered to help overcome the inertia when getting started on a new work.
- Write: Sounds simple and it is but it can be the hardest step to take. If you want to be a writer you have to write. Thinking about writing will not get anything done. Writing will. Write.
- Suspend judgement: It doesn’t have to be perfect first time. If you set yourself too high a bar in terms of what you write in your first draft it may well lead to not writing at all which we know from tip one is key. You will inevitably come back, review and re-write what you have written a number of times.
- Be disciplined: Longer works of writing take time to produce. There is a limit to how quickly you can get your thoughts down so anything that is approaching a well considered book will take months to write. Don’t rush. Set yourself a target for writing each day. It can be an amount of time, a number or words, a chapter or something else. Then stick to it come hell or high-water. You will find that before long you have something worth reviewing.
- Stream your consciousness: If you are really stuck just write anything you can about the project you are working on. Describe it. Where you are up to. What the next steps are. Anything to get you moving. For extreme cases write whatever is in your mind irrespective of whether it relates to your project or not. You could, for example write a blog about starting your next book and overcoming the blank page.
- Know when to stop: The blank page isn’t just there on day one of a project. It is there every time you sit down to write. Ernest Hemingway had a failsafe way to tackle this. He’d stop writing each day when he knew what he was going to write next. That way he’d know where to start when he sat down the following day. Which means he could always just write and brings us back to tip one.
There, now that feels good. I’m eager to get going with todays writing now that I’m writing, I’ve got some of my thoughts down, I’ve reviewed and improved and while I’ve been writing this my subconscious has worked out where to begin on the new book…
I hope these tips were useful and get you writing.
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