Confession time.

Since my 10-day writing retreat in December 2016, I haven’t really given much attention to my current book project.

For the last three months it has been sitting all by its lonesome on my computer being ignored. During this period I’ve been riding on the coattails of the retreat’s success (I wrote over 100 pages!) and focusing on other writing and creative projects that need to be moving forward like:

  1. two edited collections for my day job
  2. a new book proposal with two co-authors
  3. a book series I’m editing
  4. an edited collection that was just released
  5. presentations at 3 conferences and speaking/consulting gigs at 3 universities
  6. lots of podcast episodes
  7. this essay series

Admittedly, I have been doing some things related to the book such as:

  1. talking about the book with interested colleagues
  2. creating a new podcast that’s releasing in April about the process of writing the book
  3. starting to present on topics related to the book
  4. engaging in social media here, here, and here as practice for what I’m discussing in the book

However, all of the above is not actually writing the book.

And — most importantly — I miss it.

So. It’s time to get writing again.

I’m a huge believer in creating action plans when you have a large project to tackle. It’s especially helpful to have an action plan when a project needs to get moved back on track after being derailed or paused.

To help me get jump started again, I’m creating an April challenge and I’m really excited about it.

This April, I’ll be spending an hour a day working on the book. I may not be writing for the entire hour each day, but I will be devoting my brain space to the book for that hour.

During those daily mini-retreats I plan to:

  • clear out the pile of emails I’ve been sending myself with notes and ideas to add to the manuscript (there are at least 25 of those flagged in my inbox)
  • fiddle with sections of chapters I’m not happy with until they make sense
  • complete the book’s introduction (it’s outlined, but not drafted)
  • layer in some more research to the current chapter drafts
  • settle back in to working on the book regularly and consistently

Here are the ways that I’m setting myself up for success:

  • I’ve been dreaming about this challenge for the last few weeks as I’m wrapping up some travel commitments and the anticipation has been building and building
  • I’m NOT traveling in April for my day job or for consulting (although I am taking a fun day trip to celebrate the retirement of a dear professor from my undergrad days — I guess I’ll be working on the plane!)
  • I’m sharing the challenge with all of you to hold me accountable! (feel free to ask me throughout the month how it’s going…)
  • I’ll be writing a wrap-up post at the end of April to share my progress

Spring is the perfect time to get projects moving and I can’t wait to dive back into this one!

To think on:

  • Which projects in your life have been dormant for too long?
  • Have you ever completed a writing challenge? What was it?