DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a dream of writing a book, and in 2014 I rented a house on the beach and spent five weeks writing. I made good progress and was happy with the fruits of my labor. When I got home, I did not continue. How do I make it a priority to finish it? It seems that when I am home, I put everything and everyone before finishing my book. I keep telling myself that my book must not be as important as I thought it was or as the other things that I spend my time on. Is this some kind of mental block that is causing me to procrastinate? I have a husband who likes to do everything together, and when I rented the home to be alone and write, he insisted on coming with me. He worked from the house, and I worked on my book. I would appreciate any assistance or advice you can offer. -- Writer’s Block
DEAR WRITER’S BLOCK: It takes a tremendous amount of focused attention and discipline to write a book. Honestly, it takes that to do just about anything. To complete a major task, you have to work on it consistently until it is finished. How do you do that? I recommend making a plan that you write down and post so that you are reminded of it every day. Promise yourself that you will devote at least one hour every single day to your book, including weekends. The hour can be used for actual writing, for research, for editing or for review. Even if you only get a few thoughts written down, if you go to your computer or your tablet every single day and focus your attention on your project, something will begin to emerge over time.
Ask your husband to support your efforts just like he did a few years ago. It’s fine for him to be nearby if you do not allow him to be a distraction.