1. You don’t just know you want to write a book — you also know why.
2. You’ve taken your dream to the next stage and turned it into a goal. You’ve spoken your goal out loud. It’s no longer something you want to do, it’s something that’s happening now.
3. You’ve written down your goal: “I’m writing a book.” It’s somewhere you can see it. You can’t just ignore it. You know it’s time to sit down and work.
4. You have more than just an idea — you have a very specific message you want to communicate to the world.
5. You’ve accepted that what you write isn’t going to be perfect, especially in your very first draft.
6. You’re no longer concerned about what other people might think of your story.
7. You know what kind of accountability you need and where to get it in order to reach your goal.
8. You have a “start date” and a deadline set in stone. You’re making the commitment. It’s real. It’s happening.
9. You’ve told someone what you’re about to do. Just one person! Someone who won’t judge you if you’re unsuccessful — sometimes the relief that comes along with telling SOMEONE is enough to allow you to focus better on the task at hand.
10. You’re willing to create time and space for writing your story … whatever it takes.
11. You know this isn’t going to be easy, but you’re ready to learn from your mistakes.
12. You know that you might not succeed. But you’re going to force yourself to try anyway. What do you have to lose?
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.