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How to Bring New Energy and Excitement to Last Year’s Writing Project
From:
Nina Amir - Nonfiction Writing, Blogging, Publishing Consultant Nina Amir - Nonfiction Writing, Blogging, Publishing Consultant
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Gatos, CA
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

 

New energy for old writing projects

It’s possible to bring new energy and excitement to the writing projects you began last year but never finished. In this post, Jay Artale (@BirdsOAFpress) describes the three-part process she used to “adjust the sails of her leftover 2020 projects in the new year. This is the second part of a two-part series. Read part one part one here.

If last year didn’t turn out to be your best writing year ever, no worries. It’s possible to overcome the hurdles you identified in part one of this series. In that post, you were asked to reframe your perception of failure. Instead of beating yourself up about how you failed to finish your writing pojects, you were encouraged to focus on the why. Now, it’s time to utilize a three-part strategy to get in the right mindset to achieve writing success in 2021.

After all, its a new year. You dont want to keep making the same mistakes.

Are You Unmotivated by Your Writing Goal?

Im a big believer in writing your passion. A full-length book takes effort and concentration to write, and the self-editing phase can be arduous. So why would you make that effort or take on that challenge for a topic you dont care about?

If you’ve lost your passion for your passion writing project, how do you get it back? Its as easy as this three-step process.

  1. Step Back
  2. Evaluate
  3. Adjust your Sails

1. Step Back

If you find yourself procrastinating because youve lost your motivation, take a break from your work. (Not a procrastination break, but a conscious break.) Put your writing project aside, and spend a few days thinking about it and weighing up the pros and cons of continuing. Giving up on a project youve already made progress on is a difficult decision, so it deserves some serious thought.

2. Evaluate

If your project has dragged on too long, maybe your priorities have changed.

Were all writing books for different reasons. Some of us are writing to establish ourselves as thought leaders in our niche. Others are focused on creating an income stream or for personal growth. Whatever your reason, its time to question whether theres still value to finishing your project.

I procrastinated on my Cambodia travel guide. However, it supports my brand and aligns with my growth strategy. I knew I couldnt give up on it, so I drilled down on the root cause that was sapping my motivation and kept asking Why?

I wanted to get to that lightbulb moment and ended up having two. I conceded that I didnt have the enthusiasm to do more research rounds for the information that was out of date and knew I had to think of a way around it.

I accepted Id lost belief in my book—in most part because of the pandemic and the impact its had on travel. People just arent traveling much anymore, and we dont know when that will change. So I questioned the value of writing a travel guide.

Time to adjust my sails.

3. Adjust your Sail

Depending on how much content youve already written, adjusting your sails can be as simple as getting a motorboat to help your boat do an about-turn. Or it can be as challenging as navigating the Titanic past an iceberg.

Identifying your audience is essential when writing a book. When youre at an impasse, its helpful to confirm who youre writing for.

Could adjusting your target audience reinvigorate your writing project?

Using the example of my Cambodia guide again, I realized I could kill two birds with one stone. I could eliminate the need for more research and get excited about the project by changing the scope and target audience for my book. Heres my plan:

  • Im keeping the evergreen content and cutting the time-sensitive content.
  • Im changing the book from an informational travel guide to an inspirational I plan to include the joys and challenges of backpacking with my husband for the first time and recount our volunteer activities during the trip.
  • My target audience is baby boomers traveling to Cambodia who want practical advice about independent travel. However, now it also has the potential to appeal to armchair travelers, too.

Old Project, New Energy

With this change in direction and new plan, Ive reinvigorated my energy for the writing project. I dont have to do research—Im writing from the heart and memory. Ive narrowed my target audience, so Im writing a book that hasnt already been written. And the guide is no longer contingent on pandemic lockdown restrictions being lifted.

I feel slightly guilty that I even considered leaving this project in the dust. Im suddenly filled with excitement about writing in this new genre and creating a book that distinguishes itself from other books about Cambodia.

3 Questions to Help you Adjust Your Sails

If you feel uncertain about developing a new strategy for your writing project, answer these three questions. Your answers will help you determine how to adjust your sails.

  1. Do you need to start your project from scratch, or is some of your content salvageable?
  2. Could you adjust your content to appeal to a different niche audience?
  3. If the pandemic (or something else) has impacted the potential appeal of your book, can you approach your topic from a different perspective?

The goal of this exercise is not to get motivated by your project. It is to get excited by it. So how can you adjust your books scope or audience to feel that bubble of excitement in the pit of your stomach?

Are You Overwhelmed by Your Writing Project?

The other challenge we identified in part one is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Overwhelm can arise when you have more commitments than time. Also, you might feel overwhelmed when you lack control over what you need to do.

Thats the situation I faced with my book marketing project. I was suffering from information overload, and I didnt know what to focus on next. I found myself jumping around from chapter to chapter and not making any progress.

I followed the same three-step process we used above and found a solution to being overwhelmed. If you are struggling with overwhelm, answer these questions:

1. Step Back

Take a break. Sometimes you get so knee-deep in the details that you lose sight of the big picture. It helps to get in the right headspace to objectively evaluate whats essential and what you can let go of.

Give yourself a couple of days, and when youre ready, dive back into your project.

2. Evaluate

Look at the content you plan to write and make sure youre focused on the right things. With your target audience in mind:

  1. Review your book outline and chapter summary. If you didnt create one, nows the time to write a list of all the content you want to include in your book.
  2. Identify the content that isnt relevant to your target audience or isnt important enough to be included in your book. Delete that from your list.
  3. Prioritize the remaining content based on the level of effort required to write it. Take a blank piece of paper and create three columns:
    • Content youre knowledgeable about that doesnt need any research.
    • Content that needs a little fact-checking.
    • Content that needs intensive research.

For my marketing book project, I ended up cutting a lot of the chapters Id planned. I realized they werent relevant to nonfiction authors. It felt great to cross those off my list.

Once youve created your three-column list, youve started reclaiming control of your book. At that point, your feelings of being overwhelmed will begin to fade.

3. Adjust your Sail

Now its time to organize your writing time so you can start crossing tasks off your list.

When I have a short writing timeframe, I work on the content Im knowledgeable about first. When I have a more extended deadline, I tackle the content that needs research. You also can prioritize based on whether youre in the mood to write or the mood to research. We all have different ways of working, so experiment to find an approach that works for you.

No matter what hurdle or emotion is obstructing progress on your writing project, adjust your sails, and find a strategy that helps you get to “done.”

What projects will you breathe new life into in 2021, and what challenges are you facing with your writing goals? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with another writer.

About the Author

Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.

Nonfiction Writers UniversityDo you want to learn more about becoming a nonfiction author? Check out the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Get the basic education you need and the coaching to help you succeed as a nonfiction writer. Take advantage of monthly live educational and group coaching events. Enjoy a 30-day trial membership for only $1.

Do you want a more advanced approach to your nonfiction writing education? Join the Nonfiction Writers’ University MASTERS program. Receive ongoing live Certified High Performance Coaching, Author Training, and Authorprenuership Training as well as monthly educational and group coaching events. Learn all the steps to becoming a successful—and profitable—author. Discover how (finally) to write consistently, boldly, enthusiastically, and productively. Develop the mindsets, strategies, habits of the world’s most successful writers. Click here to learn more.

Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, blog-to-book, and high-performance coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, National Book Blogging Month, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 19 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time. Her most recent book is called Creative Visualization for Writers, and tomorrow her 19th book will be released, The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Creativity and Flow. Find all her books at booksbyninaamir.com or find out more about her at ninaamir.com.

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Name: Nina Amir
Title: Inspiration to Creation Coach
Group: Pure Spirit Creations
Dateline: Los Gatos, CA United States
Direct Phone: 408-353-1943
Cell Phone: 408-499-1084
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