Advice on getting your work done is rampant.
I’m not kidding. Do a search for articles and books on how to complete your novel or screenplay or blog posts and … well, you might not come back up out of that rabbit hole. Maybe don’t do the search; just trust me on this.
I don’t have exact figures, but I’m pretty sure there are more write-ups on how to complete projects, how to stick to schedules, and how to get more paying gigs than there are actual things being worked on right now.
Ok, so there’s a lot of advice out there. That’s not a bad thing. Advice can be helpful.
What isn’t so helpful is that much of this counsel tends to skip the key ingredient that will ensure success:
You must get your butt in the chair and do the work.
All the reading about effective systems and chats with friends (even the well-intentioned ones who boost your spirits) and meditating on how to prioritize your 27 urgent projects — none of that will get the work done until you sit your butt down, position your hands on the keyboard, and start.
Or, in the words of the inspirational poster on the wall in my office:
Ass + Chair = Script
Truer words never spoken, my friend.
Not sure exactly what to write? Those words won’t write themselves. Get your butt in the chair and type until the words come.
Afraid it’s going to sound stupid? Maybe it will. So what? It can be fixed. (This is why God invented editors.) Get your butt in the chair.
Worried your plot might not be good enough? Guess what? If you don’t start, the whole thing will never see the light of day and, ergo, it won’t be good enough. Get your butt in the chair.
Stop the hemming and hawing, the planning and pondering, the dillying and dallying.
Stop talking about it. Stop wondering about it. Stop worrying about it.
Stop reading helpful advice – including this blog post. I mean it.
Butt in chair. Get to work. Right now.