“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”Friedrich Nietzsche
If you never completely leave, it’s much easier to come back.
Yes authors, I’m talking about your book project – staying connected to your manuscript in progress. If you never completely cut the invisible energetic connection between you and your book, you’ll never have to start from scratch in establishing it (like you did at the start of your project).
When I say staying connected to your manuscript, I don’t mean avoiding breaks when needed along the way. Resting, recharging your creative brain, and all those other good self-care strategies are especially necessary during long-term projects like writing a book.
What I’m talking about is how your book idea, from its conception, had an energetic charge to it. This is not uncommon with ideas. How many times have you been unable to get a certain thought or idea out of your mind, no matter how hard you tried? How many times has a writing idea woken you up in the middle of the night? Ideas have a charge and that includes your book idea and then, once you execute on it, your book itself.
Think of the energetic connection to your book as a bright electrified cord connecting you with your book. This cord exists no matter what stage your book is in – a mere idea or an actual manuscript in progress. The cord lights up (you pick the colors!) whenever you think of or work on your book. This includes brainstorming, pondering, mulling over, jotting down notes, or the actual writing of your book.
The invisible cord is powered by your attention, which is truly a powerful thing.
The attention you place on your book, in any form, is a note to self that you are, in fact, an author, and you do have a book in progress. That’s the energetic connection I’m talking about. If you never let the lights go out, you’ll have to figure out how to turn them on again.
Here are some others ways to keep your book project energized in between writing sessions:
Journaling: Incorporate your book into your daily journaling practice if you have one. If nothing else, gratitude journal something like: “I’m so thankful to be working on this book because_____.”
Downtime: It is my personal belief that things like housework, showering, leisurely walks, and driving (safely) are cleverly disguised bonus book brainstorming sessions for authors. Try it.
Author Community: Connect with other authors in a writing community, even simply to help celebrate their wins and cheer them on. This will inevitably remind you of your own project so you won’t stray too far.
Daily Thinking Time: Outside of your actual writing caves, schedule a daily habit of brainstorming and jotting down what comes next in your book, even just for 5 minutes. That’s enough to keep the cord lit up!
Revamp Your Writing Schedule: Is your current writing schedule conducive to keeping the energetic connection alive? If one extended writing cave once a week or month is not, consider how you can break those down into smaller, more frequent sessions. One of my clients wrote her entire memoir in 20 minute writing sessions. Anything is possible with a solid writing habit.
Moral of the story – it’s much easier to continue moving forward with your book project if you never completely detach from it, not even for a small period of time.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve committed to working on your book once a month. But in the days and weeks between, you completely disconnect from it. You push it out of your mind. You don’t even grant it a passing casual thought or modicum of interest.
Think of how much more challenging it will be when you DO finally sit down to work on it! You’ll have to power up all that attention and energy from zero, dust off that part of your brain, and get your book in motion again.
It’s like the flywheel author Jim Collins talked about in his book Good to Great. Or an object in motion staying in motion. Or the boulder being pushed up the mountain. Insert your favorite analogy here about going from 0 to 60 rather than 55 to 60.