10 Quick Tips How to Improve the Art of B.i.c. H.o.k. (Butt in chair, Hands on keyboard)

butt in chair ajl letters

Last week we talked about how to set SMART writing goals.

This week I want to take it one step further.

Even if you have set beautiful writing goals, the only way to actually reach these goals is to again and again put your butt in your chair and your hands on that keyboard. Open your word processor. Start with a plan and a few letters. See them grow into words and sentences, then pages and chapters. Repeat until the book is completed.

The only thing standing between you and those written pages are the B.i.c. H.o.k.

B.i.c. H.o.k. is really the art of FINISHING your book, of making sure that you will write until done.

The principle is so easy, yet sometimes it seems almost unmanageable to find the time to place that butt in that chair!

I know it. You know it.

There are just so many things to do in a day, so many responsibilities, so many chores, so many crisis to save other people from, so many hours at the day job, such a nice, soft couch that seems to scream your name at the end of the day.

The art of B.i.c. is really about habit. And discipline. And stubbornness. About really wanting that dream of yours to come true. But mostly about habit. The more often you do it, the easier it gets!

So, here they are, 10 quick tips (so you can soon get back to that text of yours!) on how to become even better at the art of BUTT IN CHAIR, HANDS ON KEYBOARD!

butt in chair ajl2 text

1. Schedule writing time on purpose!

Do you want to be a writer? Then make time to write. Squeeze it in. Write it on your agenda – and meet up like you would to any other appointment. Write your writing appointment down. Meet up. If you do this, the odds just grew enormously that you will become a published writer!

2. Know your goals!

Put your SMART writing goal somewhere you can see it. You already have a timely and measurable goal. How many words do you need every writing session? Or if you don’t count words: How much time do you have to write? Find out what works for you and make sure to write during your writing time! Make your goals realistic so that you can achieve them even on a bad day. It is very motivating to excel your goals regularly! Every word counts – every single word means progress!

3. Keep a journal!

It is very motivating to write down how much you managed to write or edit every session in a journal, and your thoughts on it, what you don’t want to forget editing later, how many chapters are done, etc. Once you start this habit you will soon see in your little, cute note book that you’ve been doing well and that you are actually productive, which is a really good feeling!

4. Don’t respond to any distractions during this time!

Your writing time is sacred. Put your cell phone on silent. Don’t check e-mails. Prepare that cup of coffee or tea beforehand. Don’t even answer the door or go to the bathroom unless you absolutely have to. Don’t do anything else. Write those words. You can do it – one word at a time!

(Exception: If you do have kids you attend to simultaneously, you will obviously have to respond to their questions every now and then…)

5. Make your writing space inviting!

What kind of surrounding invites you to write? Make your writing space this way! Personally, I love it when the desk is free before I start. During the day the piles of notes that were stacked in my shelves grow like mountains on the desk around me, and I love this, too. I still tidy it in the evening, because a tidy desk is a boost to my creativity and makes me want to do it all over the next day. Are there any colours, sayings, decorations, books etc. that appeal to you? Decorate your writing space the way you like it the best to make sure you would want to sit down there again tomorrow!

6. Have a plan for the days when the story seems stuck!

There are several ways to work around the so-called, much rumored “writer’s block”. One way is to use mind-maps about the plot situationin the story and write down what every character is seeing, feeling, sensing and wanting in that moment. Another solution could be to plan the story in advance and just go for it – follow the plan from A to B. It could also be possible to work on another part of the story – you don’t have to write it all chronologically. It can also help to simply reread the last part, open your heart, start writing and see what spills out. I’ve used all of the tricks above several times, and I never really have to stop writing because of “writer’s block”. Know what to do for those days you feel stuck! Make a plan! And use it.

7. Know your characters so well that you WANT to spend time with them!

Know all the characters in your story inside-out! What motivates them? From what point and to what point do they develop during the story? Give them time to develop. Make them sympathetic but flawed. Funny flaws are good. Nobody likes a perfect hero, or even worse, a perfect villain. The more you understand even your villains, the better your story gets. Truly see what’s going on beneath the surface – and enjoy what your characters start teaching YOU about your story… Let your awesome characters take you on for a ride.

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8. Love your destiny!

Remind yourself often of why you write. Is it an inner urge? Is it the one thing you absolutely WANT to do for a living? If you answered YES – well, that’s awesome! It is your destiny to enrich others with stories that touch us, scare us, make us laugh and perhaps even cry. This is your job. Be proud of it. Own the title. You are a writer. It is your job to be a magician, to use words and turn them into stories. If it is, to you, the best job ever, and you manage to be grateful for your opportunity to actually write, those steps over to your chair and your laptop become so much lighter! For more tips how to work on a positive creative mind-set, to set yourself up for success, read this. A positive mind-set will boost your writing!

9. Stop your writing sessions in time!

Don’t wait until you have absolutely nothing more to say for the day to wrap up the session! It is so much easier to keep going the next day if you stop at a good place, where you still know what you want to write next and it still feels easy!

10. Reward yourself afterwards!

Biologically seen we all really do respond to rewards just as well as Pavlov’s dog, if we manage to find the right one for us. If we get a nice treat (even a cup of coffee, a chocolate, a walk or time with the kids) as a reward after the writing time, we will literally start responding to our writing time with pleasant anticipation and a good mood. You wrote today! Good for you! Now go and be kind to yourself – and allow the feeling of how good it does you!

***

How is Butt in chair working for you?

Do you have any more tips to add to the list?

I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Did you like these tips? Perhaps even found them helpful?

I would as always be absolutely thrilled if you would share my article with others!

Keep following your dreams, guys, you can do it!

Best,

A.J. Lundetræ

butt in chair ajl3 you can do it

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How to set SMART Writing Goals (with Infographic and Free Work Sheet)

How to Set SMART WRITING GOALS blog

I am rather often asked how I managed to finish writing three books.

I would lie if I told you it was easy, but I’ll tell you what it was instead: Doable!

Why was it doable?

Because I set very clear, realistic, down-to-earth goals on when to finish exactly what.

Yes, that is my entire secret behind finishing three rather long stories.

Setting reachable goals. Then reaching them. Again and again.

Perhaps you are reading this because you have a story inside of you – how marvellous! – and now perhaps you have hit a road mark where you wonder how you could be more effective or how to make your dreams happen by working more clearly towards your goals.

If so, this post is for you!

I’m here to tell you that since you already have a wonderful idea for a story – or a specific life or a dream – you LITERALLY have what it takes to finish it – and achieve what you want!!!

The secret behind reaching high dreams is to break them down into doable goals, and then work your way towards the goal, step by step. One way of doing this, is by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

What does that mean?

And how do you set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your writing – or for any dream you might have?

Here it is!

Let me tell you with this little Infographic…

How to Set SMART WRITING GOALS

 

By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals our dreams come a little more within reach.

Ready to set your writing goals?

Here’s a free work sheet to help you get started:

My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet

The work sheet has three pages and it looks like this…

My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-001My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-002My Smart Writing Goals Work Sheet-page-003

Have fun setting your S.M.A.R.T. goals!

I hope you set your own goals and give yourself the time to experience that goal setting really can do magic to your dreams and your ambitions!

Did you find this post helpful? I would love it if you would share it!

Do you think it is important to set goals – or perhaps rather to go with the flow? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

I wish you all a lovely day!

– A.J. Lundetræ

Your writing success is not a coincidence

The infographic was made with canva.com.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Create A Life-Changing Morning Routine

create your own life changing morning routine

In January I tested out different variations of the so-called “life-changing morning routine“.

The main result was that, yes, it does make a difference if you crash into the day or if your start it with mindfulness and purpose.

But no, there is no “one fits all” morning routine. There is probably one best routine for every soul out there and if we want a life-changing routine, we need to find our own.

That being said, there seem to be certain content categories to a life-changing morning routine which – with individual content – make up great morning rituals.

It DOES make a difference if we sleep enough – whatever that may mean. It DOES make a difference if we start the days eating healthy (whatever that may mean to your body!) – or eating junk, pondering our dreams – or worrying about the day, having time enough – or running around feeling stressed, being chaotic – or with a plan.

It literally changes the outcome of the day.

The “life-changing morning routine” is NOT to be seen as strict rules, they are rather kind of guidelines. Every new habit that is incorporated is a success. Trial and error is to be expected when building up a good routine that works for you.

Do YOU want to change your morning routine a little?

How can YOU start each day with purpose?

How can YOU change your life a little bit every morning?

Built on my main findings I made you guys a cheat sheet infographic you may use as guidelines to create your own life-changing morning routines!

You may use it to start building up your own great routines, and if you do, I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Anything in particular that works really well for you? I’d love to hear about that, too!

Here it is, the Cheat Sheet:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet Life Changing Morning Routine

 

Liked this infographic? I would love it if you would share it!

I wish you all an uplifting week!

Best,

Agnete

For Aspiring Authors: PROs and CONs of having a professional COACH

Happy Monday, dear readers!

This week I want to talk to you about a topic that has been and still is really important to me and has led to immensely positive life changes for me. If you are considering hiring a professional coach to guide you on your way, I expect you to ask yourself if it is a good enough investment to be putting a significant amount of money into it over a set period of time. Let me tell you a little bit about what my experience with having a coach has done for me and my writing career. Here are my personal pros and cons. Continue reading

June’s Writing Updates!

I started this journey with my coach in December, now it’s June. I already wrote about five important insights six months in. Now a couple of monthly updates – what I’ve been up to lately!

Continue reading

How to Get Started Writing a Book

To Vanessa, who asked me about this, and to every dreamer out there wanting to write a book.

1. Firstly, make sure you really want to write a book…

It sounds odd at first, but think about it for a second. Continue reading

My 5 New Year’s Writing Resolutions

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Do you have New Year’s resolutions?

I have five New Year’s writing resolutions and I’ve tried to keep them practical, measurable and doable. Continue reading

Day two

It is now day two of following my big plan of becoming a writer.

Do you want to know why I want to be a writer and how I got into writing in the first place? It’s all there – in my updated “about me” page!

I also got an official Facebook page today Continue reading

I have a plan. Oh, and a dream.

I have a plan.

I’m not sure it will work, but you’re happy to watch me try.

For the sake of absolute accuracy: This is even more an experiment than a plan. Continue reading