Getting Inside of the Head of a Writer

Mindset is what ultimately separates those who only dream from those who actually make their dreams a reality. Any form of success requires a specific mindset. That mindset doesn’t come naturally, nor is it considered normal. One prime example of that is the common belief that true success comes from a lot of “hard work.” The truth is that real success comes from working smarter, not harder.

Every action you take should be devoted to accomplishing a goal. Those who are successful understand that an hour moving towards a goal is more valuable than 20 hours of unfocused effort. Don’t get me wrong, achieving your goals is going to take a lot of hard work. I’m not trying to tell you that it’s going to be easy. I just want you to understand that you have to make that hard work mean something in the end.

Hard work without a plan is useless.

A writer uses this mindset to approach every book they write. Whether it’s through inspiration, logic, research, or discipline, writers understand that it takes a completely different mindset in order to sit down and write a book. That’s the same mindset that you’re going to need if you hope to achieve this monumental goal.

With that said, we’re going to start this journey by going over three of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to write a book. Avoiding them is the first step to getting into the mindset of a writer.

Mistake #1: Unrealistic Expectations

This is not limited to writers. Those of you who are entrepreneurs know that having unrealistic expectations is probably the biggest mistake that you can make. Some people write a book with the expectation that they’re going to make a lot of money. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Your main goal of writing a book should always be to serve a need. Going into this with the expectation of getting rich is just going to end in disappointment.

Am I saying that you’re not going to make money from writing a book? Of course not!  I’m saying that the income you generate through a book goes above and beyond royalties.

For now, you should set goals and focus on accomplishing those goals. The rest will fall into place.

Mistake #2: Lack of Planning

Without a plan, your book will never be organized and your job is going to be much more difficult. When I talk to aspiring writers, there are always two questions I ask:

  1. How many hours per day do you dedicate to putting your butt to chair and writing?
  2. Do you have an outline?

Almost everyone struggling to finish their book does not have an outline.

“It’s not necessary to write it down because I have it memorized.”

Guess what? Even if you have memorized it, you still need to write it down. When you are forced to recall something from your memory, it drains you. You’re wasting your energy on something other than writing. It doesn’t take long to draw up an outline so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it.

Mistake #3: Poor Time Management

As a writer, I find time to be my absolute worst enemy. There are never enough hours in the day to do everything that I would like to do so I am forced to manage my time in the most efficient way possible. There are a lot of different methods that you can use to help you manage your time efficiently.

The first is obvious. You need to schedule your day on a calendar. I personally have two calendars: one is a long-term calendar and another is a daily calendar. The long-term one is used as a measurable way to keep track of long-term goals. However, the most important calendar is my daily one. Before bed each night, I decide on what I am going to do the following day. That way, when I wake up in the morning I do not have to make any decisions. I know exactly what I’m going to be doing.

Another time management practice is that during the time you specify for writing, make sure that you turn off all distractions. In other words, you should not be messaging people on Facebook. You should be writing. Those who know me understand just how much emphasis I put on time management.

Avoiding these three mistakes will make writing your book much easier. If you are an entrepreneur then you probably understand it better than anyone.