There are loads of Internet sites about various aspects of writing. In my search to get to the next level with my own work and help you do the same, I check out a number of them from time to time. One of my favorites is called Copyblogger.com. While its focus is online copy writing, it casts a wide net and offers very concise, well-crafted writing advice, along with helpful resources. Sonia Simone, the site’s co-founder, recently described a useful approach that I thought I’d pass on. In a nutshell, she suggests that,
1) You pick one writing project that you want to work on that promises to bring you closer to your overall objective, but that you’ve been avoiding. It could be working on a book proposal, outlining a tricky chapter, mapping out a table of contents, drafting a query letter, or some sort of marketing promotion that might be useful. Calling a spade a spade, Sonia dubs this “The Big Uncomfortable Important Thing.” Love that sexy title!
2) You put aside some of the online or offline distractions you’re most likely just using to avoid The Big Uncomfortable Important Thing — and find an hour a day to work on it.
If you can’t give it an hour at first, then start with 20 minutes a day and work up to a full hour. Use a timer to keep yourself on task if you have to (I’ve tried this myself with some success). During this time, focus only on the job at hand — no phone calls, no checking email, no organizing your desk! Just focusing on the task you’ve set for yourself.
Think about it: An hour a day, every day, spent pursuing what really matters to you and would make a real difference in your writing life — what a difference that could make! Eventually, you might find this so rewarding that you’d carve out two hours or more. Wow! Where would that take you?
“The Big Uncomfortable Important Thing” — sure it’s big and uncomfortable, but it’s also important. So often we shy away from this type of challenge (believe me, I’m right there with you!). And yet, finally tackling it just an hour at a time can be so valuable and satisfying. Let’s go for it!