Is this the year you take up your pen, metaphorically or physically, and raise your voice for a cause that you believe in?
Is this the year you write that article, or share an opinion piece with the local paper about a topic that you care deeply about?
Will you write a blog post that will help dozens or hundreds of people? Or learn how to do a podcast and invite someone you’ve always wanted to talk with?
Will you start that book you’ve been meaning to write?
Is this the year you stop being a bystander and start participating—amplifying the important ideas or adding your own into the mix?
If so, start now. Jump in.
Don’t wait for the stars to align and the perfect book thesis to alight in your brain. Don’t wait to finish every last shred of research. You can keep researching even as you write.
Start small and keep moving.
Identify the logical first (or next) step and do it.
If your project is huge, focus on the first thing. What’s one thing you can do this week to advance that project? Put it at the top of your to-do list for the week.
Once that’s done, what’s the next task? Start small and keep moving forward.
Great things happen this way, step by step.
Maybe you’re not sure what the first step is, or exactly how to get where you’re going. If that’s the case, getting started might mean journaling about the project every day.
Write every day.
Create a journal, whether physical or virtual, for your project. You might use a notebook, a Google Docs file, or a folder in DropBox. It doesn’t matter.
Commit to writing in it every day, at least 10 minutes. If you’re still going when you hit 10 minutes, keep writing until the ideas stop.
At the end of the month, take a look at what you’ve done. Are you clearer about what you’re doing? Do you spot an outline for a book? Maybe your goal will shift. Even if the path ahead isn’t clear, you’re on a path to somewhere new.
Sure, you might throw away some of what you write. That’s part of the process. Sometimes, the early writing is essential “inner research.” It’s kindling that starts the fire, but then disappears in the flames of something larger.
Start. This week, then the next, then the next.
If you’re thinking of writing a nonfiction book, check out my latest book Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference.
Or, read these posts about the process of writing a book: