by Suzie Eller
You’ve wanted to write forever, but you feel that you are in park. You want to go somewhere
with your words, but you feel stuck.
In today’s Tuesday Tip, I share five things to help you move from parked to published.
1. Just write
Often, writers do everything but write. They pay bills. They mow the lawn. They rearrange
furniture, or they do writing things, like social media or brainstorming. While these are good
things, writing requires sitting in a chair and putting your fingers on the keyboard.
2. Schedule time for writing
If you are waiting for your muse to show up, the chances are you’ll never write a word. Life is
busy. Mark a day and time in your calendar for writing. Treat it as sacred as you do everything
else on the calendar.
3. Take a risk
One of the greatest barriers is fear. Can I tell you something? You will receive rejections. You
will make mistakes. You will throw away that manuscript you worked on, because it didn’t turn
out the way you hoped. That’s OK. Taking risks means that eventually you’ll publish. You’ll
overcome that mistake. You’ll learn from that rejection. You’ll pull pieces out of that
manuscript that you hated and put in chapters that you love.
It’s all part of the process. When those things you fear happen, celebrate that you were brave
enough to take the risk. Learn through them. Keep going. You will eventually meet your goal!
4. Be open to critique
Few of us feel confident as people critique our writing, and yet it’s necessary. They may see
something we don’t. They may force us to clarify something that we understand, but it’s vague
to the reader. They may ask us to go deep when we’ve chosen shallow. Not every word of
critique is “gold,” but there’s value in holding up our work to the light of critique.
Procrastination kills creativity. It stunts growth. It lies to you and tells you that you’ll do this
another day, while piling up excuses and marking days off the calendar.
Just start. Put that lesson into practice. Send that query. Polish that manuscript. Learn from that
rejection and then send the next. Don’t wait until you feel accomplished or comparable to that
other writer. Start where you are and grow, grow, grow.
Leave a comment on the COMPEL Blog and share one thing that is keeping you parked in your writing journey. Is it not having enough time? Not having the courage to start? Whatever obstacle you’re facing, make a plan on how you are going to overcome it so you can reach your publishing goals. For example: If you don’t have enough time during the day to sit down and write, you can plan to block off sections of your morning, evening, or weekend to help you make your writing dreams a reality.
In this week’s Tuesday Tip, Suzie encourages you to schedule time for writing and create a sustainable plan to overcome writing habits that are keeping you parked, instead of published. For our COMPEL Members, we’ve created a truly one-on-a-kind resource to keep your writing goals organized! Click here to access our COMPEL Resource Library and download our FREE 2019 Writing Planner to keep your writing momentum going, receive encouragement from the COMPEL Leadership Team and keep track of your goals!
Not a COMPEL Member? Click here to become a COMPEL Member and get instant access to our extensive library of writing courses and invaluable resources from industry leaders and insiders exclusive to our members.
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Yes I am in park right now – I am trying to write a book proposal but I am stuck on how to make my idea something unique and interesting – I need to come up with a structure to the book that will bring the idea to life and hook the reader into each chapter.
Rachel, one of the COMPEL courses contains many of Lysa’s teachings. I promise there are helpful hints and practices in those teachings that will move you from parked to producing to published. Do you need help finding them? If so, I’m your girl. Just go to Courses and search “Lysa TerKeurst” and they’ll pop up!
Thank you for the article. Yes, that is me!
For years I have been in park but this year I have been making some real progress and it’s because I am doing these things above. The whole “writers write” kept hitting me from different places and I knew it to be true but until I set the goals this year to actually schedule out the time with real deadlines that I enforced did I see changes.
I have scheduled to publish a blog post every Monday and Wednesday. I informed my readers about the goal and gave them permission to call me out if a post didn’t land in their inbox on those days. They have been very encouraging and just knowing that I have people out there I am accountable to makes me push toward getting it done. So far I’ve met the goal! 🙂
Sitting down and actually writing has been my biggest step forward. That and hitting publish even though it’s not perfect. Done is better than perfect. That’s what I’m learning as well! 🙂
Thanks for this encouragement and tip!
I am loving this sight so much, and I am learning so many facets of writing that I had never really given a lot of thought to.
All of this information started to overwhelm me just a little. I joined thinking that I was going to make my little book that I wrote for fun a few years ago, book worthy, and get it published.
Now I see clearly, that it is not that simple. Thank God for bringing this sight to my attention. I need to slow down, try my hand at blogging, maybe try some freelance projects and see how that goes towards making a presence.
I can still work on making my book worthy for publication, with the knowledge that it will take some time.
I’m beginning tonight by starting a journal. My hope is to write 1,000 words a day on a consistent basis.
When I master this, I hope to move on to creating a blog or submit a freelance article. I am 56, so I need to focus.
Wow. This is me at this very moment. Stuck in park and wondering why on earth this isn’t going anywhere. I am blaming a lack of clear direction or purpose, but I suspect if I sat down and started the hard process of just writing, that direction or purpose would become clearer. The heart is fear, tho. If I never start, it’s a dream I can still hold on to. But if I start and fail or it never goes anywhere… it creates a catch 22, where I am forever stuck. Holding on to my dream, yet sacrificing it in the process.
So true. For years I wanted to write a book. I don’t really know why, other than it was just a thing my husband and I joked about. He got deathly I’ll and I thought he wouldn’t survive, so I wrote a little ditty for him. Three years later he is in great health, and I have a desire to do it right.
So yes, let’s get busy writing. Good luck to you.
If you start and fail, you’ll get back up and keep going. That will become part of the learning process. You can do this!
I think fear and feeling overwhelmed keeps me parked. I don’t give myself freedom in the process very well.
For years, I pondered and prayed over my writing projects during my hour drive to and from work. I retired and now work fewer hours and closer to home. But when I just can’t get started writing, I hop in the car to ponder and pray in a familiar setting.
Where are you when you get your best ideas? Sometimes a familiar rut is a good place to start.
That is really a good idea. My current problem is that I’m thinking about writing my book while i’m at work. No good! I need to designate a time and place.
Sigh. This is me. Literally written to me. Fear, lack of discipline and perfectionism are keeping me’parked’
Fear is definitely the main thing that keeps me paralyzed and holds me back. Just like the paralyzed man in the bible had to just get up and walk and trust that it could be done; I just need to pick up the pen and write and trust that it can be done.
The fear of rejection is the one thing that keeps me in park. I am a writer hoarder, I have so much work I’ve completed and yet sent off for a response but after today’s blog post I’m inspired and motivated to push past my fears and let God have His way in my life and my writing! God bless you and thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for these weekly tips. They never fail to energize, motivate and encourage!
I can relate to all of this! My main obstacle is my own thoughts. I am constantly thinking what if no one likes what I write. I had to start telling myself over and over, that everything is not for everyone, and I just have to write what I feel God has given me. I did not go to school for this but the love of stories and my imagination keeps me writing anyway.
Lastassia, you are in school now, friend! COMPEL is going to teach you what you’ve longed to know. We’ll cheer you on every step of the way.
You know how real it is when you laugh out loud. Busted! Thank you, Suzie.
You are welcome, Dawn!