Do you have a temple?
An inner sanctum for thinking deep thoughts?
Or are you constantly fighting an external cacophony, your attention fractured into a thousand shards, brittle and spiky?
If you hope to write a book – or complete any project that requires deep work and concentration – you need a sacred space.
A place that's just yours, nobody else's, that you can protect against other people's chaos.
I'm lucky enough to have my own office, my cabin in the woods – but I haven't always had this sanctuary. In fact, I've only had it for a couple of weeks... yet I still managed to create a temple around myself even before that.
Do you have rules in place, so you get uninterrupted thinking and writing time? If not, set them. Set them now.
Do you have a way to bask in the quiet? Whether it's a door you can shut on the world, or noise-cancelling headphones, or a blanket fort? If not, find a way.
You can create a sacred space even in a shared office, a busy home, or a public café; it just takes a little ingenuity and a certain amount of hard-headed resolve.
Set office hours, where you'll answer your phone, your emails, your instant messages – and refuse to do so outside those hours.
Put a sign on your door and have house rules, if you work at home, that when your door is closed and it's your writing time, you're not to be disturbed unless the zombie apocalypse is going on outside. The family can and will cope without you for two hours.
If you're working in a public space, get everything you need set up before you get started: a pot of tea, your headphones, a sign that says "go away, I'm working" (not kidding about the sign).
Exude an air of "do not disturb" or people will disturb you.
You don't have to work like this all the time... but if you want to make real headway with your book or your writing project, you must carve out deep working hours in your sacred space, or you won't make progress.
And if you don't make progress, you'll want to give up.
Please don't give up.
It will be worth it in the end.
p.s. My book, the one I've been working on in my sacred space, is at the printer – all changes and corrections complete. I'm bloody excited about it 🙂 Finally!
If you've pre-ordered a copy, thank you so much for your support and excitement, it'll be with you in the first week of November!
If you haven't pre-ordered a copy yet, please do – I promise you an entertaining, valuable read, even if you think you're not ready to write a book yet. You can pre-order your copy here. ⬇⬇
Start Writing Your Book Today
If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.
Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she's not doing that, she's hanging from a trapeze by her feet.