Now you can write that book ….

Yes, now you can write that novel … or start that blog … or publish that manuscript to Kindle … or whatever you’ve been “gonna” do. You’ve been wanting to do it – been thinking about it – for some time. But life has gotten in the way. Or figuring out all the new techie stuff has had you dragging your heels. Or, like me, you’ve run into too many choices; too many decisions – but now we’re both “gonna do it.”

By sharing our similar experiences – and roadblocks – you will (finally) get around to it round tuit

Which of these describe you?

  • You weren’t born yesterday.
  • You’ve achieved success in your career – possibly even retired.
  • Your need as a caregiver to someone important in your life has ended.
  • Your family is now all grown and gone.
  • Your business or your job has changed markedly, freeing up a block of time.

(Full disclosure – That last one describes me. Recently, a magazine I’d been writing two articles for every month, for several years, suddenly decided to save money by bringing that work in-house. OK, the first one describes me, too 🙂 )

Now, for the second part of our little quiz –

  • What have you been “gonna do” for some time – but simply haven’t had the time?
  • What have you been jotting down notes about? Or bookmarking Web pages about to get back to later?
  • Or reading books about?
  • Or what have you actually started at some point, with the intent to “really get serious soon as I can”?

For me, it’s this blog. I’ve talked about it with some of you for, what, more than a year. And I’ve collected lots and lots of tips and tons of how-to material. Heck, I could write a book about thinking about writing a blog!

And what reason do we now have to put it off? Not a single one. As I’m writing this, Bob Bly’s Direct Response Newsletter arrived in my in-box with the subject line: “Just do it.” Talk about timely coincidences 🙂

In his newsletter, Bob talks about a man who lost his life during Superstorm Sandy, and cautions that “we don’t have infinite time” to pursue our dreams or even our “gonna-dos.” He adds, “People spend too much time planning and preparing, when they should be doing.”

Ah, that hit me in the solar plexus!

But I have started “doing” – as you can see because you’re reading an actual post on my long-planned blog.

Now it’s your turn to “do it.” Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Write down on a piece of paper or in your favorite note-taking app – This is the project or dream I will now actually DO – because now I can: … And I’ll do it before it’s too late for me – or for my family (perhaps your memoir?).

We’re going to do this together – and here’s how we’ll start . . .

First, since I’ve told you mine, now you can tell me yours. How has your life situation changed so you can pursue a dream or seriously get into a project? And what is it you’ve been gonna do? Have you been thinking about a nonfiction book? Or a first novel? Or do you want to start a blog that can generate income (they call that monetizing it)? Or do you want to get some content from your files into Kindle books or booklets? We’d love it if you could share with us (see the comment box below) your situation and your dream. But if you’re really shy or not quite ready to share, at least write down – or key in somewhere – your responses.

Getting it into fixed form is a critical first step.

Next step – begin three lists:

  1. What you need to do to actually get started. (e.g., set up a corner workplace; set up physical or computer files; gather together some of the how-to info you’ve been collecting).
  2. What you need to know and can learn on your own.
  3. What you’ll need help with.

The “doing” part you can probably start on right away – and with little assistance. But if you would like any suggestions on getting started or organizing stuff, let us know in your comments. I’ll be happy to share what I’ve found to work well – and our Network members will likely be able to contribute their methods and favorite tools.

The learning part you can also get started on right away. But learn from my experience, and limit your study to a specific, limited time each day, or a specific half-day or day every week. Why? Because in today’s Web world, so much information is so easily accessible, that you will soon become a professional student – and NEVER get that project started or that dream underway.

What will you need help with? That’s where this blog comes in. Let us know where you’re getting hung up. What you’re finding frustrating. What you need to know and can’t find the answers to.

How can you find help here?

1. I may be able to draw on my own experiences to provide an answer or possible solution.

2. If your problem is a common one, I can research and post solutions for everyone to benefit from.

3. Other members of our Network, many of whom have likely dealt with the same challenges, can chime in with their suggestions.

4. If any of us know of any tools or sources that would be helpful, we will add them to our Resources page.

And that brings up an important point – and the real point to this post –

That Resources page is blank. (You can find out by clicking on the yellow tag at top of the page.) I didn’t intend it to be empty. Nor did I intend those other pages to be blank. I was waiting to launch until I had content on all those (and more planned) pages. But it was taking longer than I thought to get this all set up. Plus “stuff” kept getting in the way. And now I’ve decided to use a different theme – which will take time to install and use because it’s more complicated.

And I kept planning it – and setting it up. But not “doing” the blog. So I finally, and simply, started “doing.” The revisions and additions will come along gradually – and you can watch and help it grow.

Now it’s your turn. I’ve given you a “round tuit.” Come along and work on your publishing dream or your gonna-do project while I work on this blog. Let’s share together and build together.

What are you going to start doing?

Leave a comment to put it in writing – and if you’d like, share the reason you can now get serious.

(If you want to share what you’ll need help with, tell us so we can start helping.)



About Dana K Cassell

Hi, and welcome to our Network. I'm Dana Cassell and am the one writing most of the posts on this blog. I've been in this writing/editing business for way longer than I care to admit. My goal here is to provide you with useful insights from our professional members and from my own experience - to help you achieve your own success, grow your editorial business, and publish successful and worthy books,


  1. I’ll have to frame that comment! 🙂 So exciting for you to be starting over on new project adventures. I’m across the way in NH, but we can’t get there from here — as you will understand. Do keep us all posted as you test the logs to see which burst into flames.

  2. You’re looking younger, healthier and happier since meeting you in Orlando at least 15-16 years ago! Great advice to Lorraine…’keep writing, but remind yourself where to fill in.’ As of Wednesday, I’m declaring myself ‘free’ of encumbrances and coming off ten years of care-giving and a year of mind-dulling wound care to a foot. New apartment; return to favorite city – Burlington, VT; going to try letting my body tell me when to eat (graze) and sleep. Many logs in the fire; now to zero in on two or three of them to see which still has a spark. Have saved all your Linkedin posts – love ’em.

  3. Great blog Dana!! Very informative!

  4. Sounds like a great plan, Lorraine. We need to have a voice in our heads reminding us that we can always look up that fact or verify something later on — preferably in the revision stage, after we have a full draft. One way to not slow down is to put actual notes to oneself in the manuscript — such as (need to see what the weather was on this date) — and not stop the writing, even for 5 minutes. Best tactic is to use some code (e.g., &#@ preceding each self-note) for easy searching and finding once the draft is done or the time is right for a bit of research. Be sure to keep us apprised as to how you’re doing during this coming year.

  5. I have an idea for my first novel and have even started writing it, but I needed to do some research. My protagonist is going to a country I’ve never visited so I had to learn about the place. I kept using the excuse “I have to do more research before I write”. I can’t use that excuse any longer. I think I have plenty of research. Now I just have to commit to setting aside time to actually write. I think that will be my New Year resolution – to get the book finished in 2013.

  6. Wow, this is so cool!
    Thanks, Dana.

  7. Dana, I have many pages of publishing resources on my website, which I’m happy to share. Link to:

    Readers of this blog can also find many other free resources by checking the Site Map, which is a link close to the top of my home page.

  8. Congrats, Dana!

    I’m so feeling this right now. I’ve wanted to update the WOW site for years. I even designed a template (way back in 2008! talk about procrastination!), but each time I waffle back and forth on exactly how I want the new site to look and what functions it should have. It’s such a huge job! There are thousands of content pages to move. And the more I study about technology and what I should be doing the more overwhelmed I get and don’t get anything done. I completely agree with what you said about limiting the time you study–great advice. I actually took a small step forward on Cyber Monday by purchasing the membership management software I needed. So at least I’m moving in the right direction. I bet when I finally DO it I’ll wonder why I waited so long.

    I’m sorry to hear about your magazine gig, but I’m happy you turned the experience into a positive one for yourself. 🙂

    • Oh, yes, technology goes way beyond the love/hate relationship 🙂 — I think we need to schedule (and do) X number of actual steps forward each day or each week – whether they be baby steps or long strides. And not do more studying, reading, thinking about it until that “step” schedule has been completed. Good luck with your redesign and membership section.

    • You’re right about making things positive, Angela. I’ve been my own boss since 1999. There are up and down times with work (and money) coming in. It would be easy during slow times, to say “Oh, it’s the economy,” and sit back doing jigsaw puzzles. Instead, I contacted a bunch of people I know in the writing industry and offered my services as a teacher, expecting maybe one online writing course gig. Lo and behold, I unearthed a whole new line of work, traveling to conferences and workshops! Did one at the Hilton in Myrtle Beach. Not only made $1500 but also got a half-dozen editing jobs when I got back. So, I guess it’s like you said, keep things positive. Look for new avenues. The money and jobs are out there, you might just have to change your perspective.

      • @Cindy – It’s fantastic you were proactive about your situation. Sometimes a shift in perspective is all it takes! If things ever slow down for you, we are always looking for new instructors to teach workshops for us. 🙂

  9. Great idea, doing this blog. I self-published my first book, A Sixties Story, two years ago. It took me twelve years to write it because I was working and, as you put it, stuff kept getting in the way. Now I’m retired and out of excuses for continuing my writing. I have a few short story ideas and an outline for a second book. I’ve cleared time for writing and I’m reading The Artist’s Way (again) during December to get me motivated. I’m clearing work space and I’ll start using The Artist’s Way Workbook in January to give myself a push. We can do this.

    • So pleased to hear you’re looking forward to our blog posts, Toni. And congrats on the great start you’ve made. Keep us posted on your progress – Dana

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