“Writing a book is like driving a car at night; you can only see to the end of your headlights … but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L.  Doctorow

For twenty years, I’ve had the joyful job of helping people get their ideas and experiences out of their head and into the world in the shape of books, presentations and e-products.

I tell them, “Books in your head and on your computer help no one.”

Have you ever thought of it that way?

If you have insights, experience and experitse that would benefit others; it’s selfish to keep it to yourself.

When you think about it that way; writing is a way of contributing your gift to the world.

It’s a way of saying, “This is what I’ve learned, what I’ve seen.  I’m sharing it with you as an offering.

I’m not saying it’s perfect.  I’m not saying ‘I know and you don’t’ … and I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life.”

That’s arrogance.

All I’m saying is, “Here are my stories and lessons-learned and I hope they might be of interest and/or benefit to you.”

Yet, many people who want to write start out with passion and determination … and somewhere along the way, life intervenes and they get distracted.

They put their book aside as they deal with other priorities.

And they may never get back to their book.

Maybe what they need are daily sources of inspiration they keep “in sight, in mind”  … so no matter how busy, tired or overwhelmed they are … they write a page a day.

That’s all.

A page.

Because, if you write a page a day … in six months, you’ll have a 180 page book.

That’s a perfect size for today’s e-readers.

Sound good?  If so, print out these quotes and post them where you’ll see them.

Post them on your refrigerator, laptop or bathroom mirror.

Promise yourself you’ll sit down somewhere, sometime each day .. and write a page.

You can do that.

And when you finish your book and publish it (the joy of e-publishing these days is there are NO barriers to the kingdom; you hold the keys to your author destiny) … you will experience one of the most tangible satisfactions in your life.

You’ll be able to tell yourself, “I did it.”

I did what I set out to do.

Because, you see, getting a quality book out in the world is a legacy that can never be taken away from you.

Long after you’re gone, your book will still be out there.

Still influencing people.

Still sharing a message that might make someon’es day a little better.

Still offering insights that may improve someone’s life – make them a better parent, coach or leader.

You will never, ever regret publishing a quality book.

You will only regret not doing it.

So, start today.  When and where are you going to sit down and write your page?

1. “If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” – Dan Poynter

2. When asked the secret to finishing his 500 page masterpiece The Power of One, author Bryce Courtenay growled, “Bum glue!”

3. “If my doctor told me I had only 6 months to live, I’d type a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov

4. “Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle

5. “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9 am every morning.” – Peter DeVries

6. “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” – Steve Martin

7. “I made a startling discovery. Time spent writing = output of work. Amazing.” – Ann Pachett

8.  “Ever tried and failed? No matter. Try again and fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

9.  “It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.” – Nancy Thayer

10.  “If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.” – Richard Rhodes

11. “The way to resume is to resume. It is the only way. To resume.” – Gertrude Stein

12. “Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.” – Peter Mayle

13. “When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” – Anne Sexton

14. “You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesnt matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.” – Leonard Bernstein

15. “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. I had pieces that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avioding sending them out.” – Erica Jong

16. “Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into action and put your heart on the line.” – Lakers basketball coach Phil Jackson

17. “The faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” – Raymond Chandler

18. “When you speak, your words echo across the room. When you write, your words echo across the ages.” – Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul author Bud Gardner

19. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

20. “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck

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“If you wait to write your book, you’re a waiter, not a writer.” – Dan Poynter

As the 17-time Emcee of the Maui-Hawaii Writers Conference, I’ve met many people who say THIS is the year I get my book finished — and then life intervenes, their best intentions fade away and it never happens.

Want to know one way to keep your resolution to finish your book this year?

Craft a book cover and post it on your refrigerator where you’ll see it several times every day.

Put your ideal endorsement from a well-known thought-leader on the upper right hand corner of the cover.

Draw the title of your book in HUGE letters so you can see it from across the room and so it’s branded in your mind and memory.

Put your professional photo on the cover and your name in big block letters at the bottom.

You’ve heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind?”

If you don’t post a reminder of your resolution where you will frequently see it; it will soon get lost in your mental clutter.

By putting a visual reminder of your book in a prominent place, you’re keeping it “In sight, In mind.”

Furthermore, displaying a mock cover of your book helps you picture it as a “done deal” instead of it simply being something you hope to do . . . someday.

Many of my consulting clients say this helped them (finally) complete their book.

Try it. It only takes a couple minutes and it could be the difference between you “talking” about becoming an author — and completing a quality book that gets your message out in the world where it makes a positive difference for others and a prosperous living for you.

And if you’d like help holding yourself accountable for completing a strategic, profitable book; attend my POP! Your Book, Business, Brand and Career half-day, public workshop for the Independent Writers of Southern California on Jan. 24 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Email us at Sam@SamHorn.com for details about this workshop that can help you get your book out of your head and into people’s hands.

This year, don’t be a waiter; be a published writer.