Book in a Year Club
Do you have an idea for a full-length book but feel overwhelmed with the thought of writing it? Or is that perfect novel burning in your heart but you haven’t written it because you can’t imagine when you’ll have the time to complete it?
I felt that way a couple of years ago when I had an idea for writing a book on marriage. Since I write mostly for children, the project seemed daunting. How could I ever write a manuscript with over 20 chapters and more than 50,000 words?
One day I read in a writer’s magazine, however, that if we just wrote 1 page a day for an entire year, by the end of that year we’d have an entire book-length manuscript. Wow. The thought intrigued and challenged me. Could it be done? Could I do it? I wasn’t sure, but I was willing to give it a try.
The end result was success! Even in the midst of my busy schedule, I carved out the time to write one page a day, 5 days a week. It took the whole year to finish my book, but when that year was done, I had finished the entire first draft of my book on marriage. It wasn’t perfect, but at least I had written it from beginning to end! Now I could go back and polish and edit and hone until it shone.
If you have a full-length book you’ve been aching to write, you can join the Book in a Year Club today! All it takes is a commitment to set aside at least 15 minutes each day to sit down and type out 1 entire manuscript page. The page doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be written. If you commit to this challenge, I guarantee that you’ll experience the same success I did—almost before you know it, you’ll hold in your hands the first draft of your entire book!
Here’s How to Start:
Write your book however you want. Some folks will want to just jump in on the first day and start writing and see in what direction their book takes off. Others may want to take several weeks or months before the year begins to work on the pre-writing research and organization. Whatever works best for you is great! Here are some tips for those of us who want to plan ahead:
If you’re picking up a manuscript that you already started earlier, take a week or so to familiarize yourself with your project. Get your notes in order. Organize any loose ends. Read over your material again.
If you’re starting fresh from scratch, prepare for your project. Make an outline for the entire book and flesh out details such as character sketches, or research sources. Organize everything into easily accessible folders so you won’t get frustrated throughout the upcoming months trying to locate important notes.
Make a separate folder for each chapter of your book. If you have an idea for chapter 18 when you’re in the middle of writing chapter 8, you can just jot down your idea and tuck it into the corresponding folder. By the time you’re ready to write that later chapter, your idea will be sitting right there in the folder, handy and at your fingertips.
Depending on your schedule, you might want to allow extra time for editing each day before you begin writing. This keeps a constant flow of writing-editing-writing-editing and helps maintain a better first draft. Just be careful not to spend too much time in the editorial process. Your main goal is to continue moving forward with the manuscript and write one new page each day.
Make A Special Calendar:
Purchase a mini-calendar for you to track your progress. Ask God to give you a Scripture to encourage you as you go, and clip this on your calendar.
Determine when will be the best time each day for you to write. Will it be each day during lunch break? At night? When the kids are in school? Don’t write less than 15 minutes a day. Organize your daily and weekly writing goals, allowing time for research, if needed. Write your goals on your calendar. Purchase tiny stickers to stick on your calendar each day you reach your writing goals.
Remember to take one day off each week for your Sabbath rest. You can put a sticker on these calendar days, too! Don’t write on holidays or weekends if it means you’ll be neglecting your family. Keep focused on writing for the year, but keep your life balanced as well.
You can use this calendar as a type of journal, or write in a separate journal. Keep track of your progress, the secrets God whispers in your heart about this project, and special thoughts or incidents that occur throughout the year.
The Importance of Prayer
Spend time in prayer as you prepare yourself to start. Also plan on setting aside at least 15 minutes to meet alone with God every day throughout the upcoming year. Prioritize this time above everything else. Read the Bible, worship, and pray. You’ll receive direction, inspiration, and encouragement in the presence of God that will sustain you and nourish your writer’s soul.
Enhance Your Work Area
Atmosphere is very important to a writer. Some personalities love to carry their laptops to a popular coffee shop to plunk out their next thriller. Others need a quiet retreat far away from the crowd. Still others flourish on variety. Whichever type you are, plan on creating and maintaining an inspirational work space to write in over the upcoming year.
Gather motivational mementos to decorate your space. Magazine clips, photos, stuffed animals, candles, and Scriptures…ask God to help you find small things that will inspire you in a big way as you write.
Consider adding music to the atmosphere. Inspiration instrumentals or bouncy praise music…whatever suits your tastes and helps you focus is best.
Check to make sure your work space is a healthy environment. Ensure proper lighting to reduce eye strain. Is your keyboard set up to best limit effects from carpal tunnel? Does your chair fit so you won’t suffer unnecessary back pain?
Make good health a priority as you write. If you sit at the computer for more than an hour, plan to take a 5-10 minute break. Do something vigorous to stimulate your blood flow and oxygen supply to your brain. Take a brisk 15-minute walk. Drink at least 8 cups of water a day and eat lots of fresh, nutritious veggies. Make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep.
Get Ready, Get Set, Go!
Feel like you’re ready to hop on board? Pick a date to start and prepare to launch out on the first, Big Day! Happy writing!
Book In A Month Club
For a different kind of challenge, consider joining the Book In A Month Club. Experience the excitement of writing your entire book in just one short month! It’s crazy, it’s zany, and it’s fun! For more information on the Book in a Month Club, CLICK HERE.