Today is a catch-up day. Pour a cup of your favorite warm beverage, curl up somewhere comfortable and spend at least one hour working on your outline.

You are not behind

There’s a temptation to slip into perfectionism. Perfectionism is great, until it’s not. It’s great, until you say, “Okay, that’s it, I’m too far behind, it’s hopeless, I guess I’ll stop for now and wait.”

The only problem is that the perfect time never comes. The people who write books do so DESPITE poor timing. They do it imperfectly, messily, haphazardly. They suck at it but they suck every, single day. So we’re not going to let perfectionism run the show this month. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone but I have taught online courses long enough to know that at least half of you are starting to feel it. I have the privilege of working with a lot of writers, and I can say, at least in my experience, this is completely normal.

It’s also why people don’t finish their books.

So, what do we do? What if you’re here on Day 8 and you haven’t even started yet? You’re in luck. You can start right now and still finish your outline. There’s plenty of time.

How to catch-up RIGHT NOW:

Remember the key here is to move forward.

Skip Scrivener if you’re struggling with getting that set up. You can do all the lessons in Word. You can use post it notes or index cards. It’s a tool that helps a lot of writers, but if it’s getting in the way, ditch it.

Renew your dedication to working at least one hour a day on your outline.

-Use these daily lessons as prompts but feel free to skip absolutely all of the materials if necessary.

-If you only do one hour, every day, going forward, you’ll be in great shape. Just think, that’s 22 hours of writing, plenty of time to complete a roughly 24 chapter outline for a 300 page book.

Quick guide to what we covered so far:

Day 1: Intro to the course. Totally okay to skip.
Day 2: Monotasking and writing one paragraph about your book. Skip it all and just write the paragraph.
Day 3: Installing Scrivener instructions. Skip if you’re not using Scrivener.
Day 4: Using Trello and Evernote for task management and storing research.
Day 5: Choosing 3 words that you hope readers will use to describe your book and reverse engineering it into your narrative. Useful to read.
Day 6: Expanding on Day 5 by fleshing out those words into scenes, chapters or themes you will incorporate into your book. Skip but do the assignment.
Day 7: Deciding on the length of your book and how many chapters you will have. Useful to read and if you’re scrambling to catch up, just do the assignment in a Word Doc.

Day 5 and Day 7 are the most important lessons, so if you have to prioritize (and sometimes we all do) then I think those are the best ones.

If you’re ahead of the lessons

Use this time to deepen and expand what you’ve written, to do addition research or to take a look at other books in your genre. None of that will be wasted time, it’s all work you’ll have to do as you move forward with writing your book.

And if you have the chance, please post in the FB group and share how far you’ve gotten… I think that’s really inspiring and helpful for everyone to see.

Keep Going. Keep Going. Keep Going.


1Daily Free Writing
2Catch up!
31 hour of writing