Here are three ways to revive your book project after falling off track.
“It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.”Albert Einstein
It happens to the best of us – all authors, even the famous ones! We all fall off track sometimes, our once inspiring and passion-inducing book project falling forlornly by the wayside as “life” gets in the way.
But what happens when you ARE ready to return to your work-in-progress (WIP)?
Here are 3 ways to get re-energized, reconnect, and recharge your book writing project!
#1: Write Your Why
Without looking at your WIP, freestyle write about your original WHY for writing your book, as much as you remember it.
Why did you want to write this book in the first place? There could be one reason or a dozen. Write them all down before you attempt to reconnect with the actual words in your manuscript. As Simon Sinek says, start with why!
Find the spot where you left off writing your manuscript. Rather than diving back in and writing forward from there (especially if it’s been awhile), read the chapter or scene leading up to that point to get yourself back into the story.
Then, jot down an outline of where you want to go next – all you need is succinct bullet points, nothing complicated. Also realize that your original outline for this part of the book may have evolved with time, and might no longer apply.
That’s fine! It doesn’t mean you wasted your time. It just means that when you stepped away from your book, similar to a plant or other living organism, it kept growing without you. This doesn’t mean you wasted your time outlining the first time around, that was just an equally valuable part of the book writing process. It’s an artists prerogative to change their mind.
Map out as far as you’d like – to the end of your current chapter, section, or even the whole book. Bullet point as far out as your imagination can currently see.
#3: Switch Up the Form!
Okay now that you’ve refreshed your why and plotted out your next steps, it’s time to return to writing your book! But here’s the twist – write the next scene (or section for nonfiction) in a different form.
This means if you’re writing a fiction book, write the next scene in a different genre, or even as nonfiction – perhaps a memoir, real life crime, self-help or how-to book! If you’re writing a nonfiction book, write your next piece as a novel. Or for either, write the next piece of your book as a poem, a song, a screenplay, a television pilot, a sitcom, a documentary, a journal entry, a speech, a 1940’s radio program… the creative possibilities are nearly endless.
The goal is to shock your brain, throw it off balance, and force it to fire up its creative juices by challenging it to write in a style that it’s not expecting (if a creative brain can have expectations).
I hope these 3 tips help you revive your book project after falling off track so you finish writing an awesome, transformative book!
Still stuck trying to revive your book after a hiatus? Feel free to contact me for a free consultation so I can help you get moving again!