Commit and Finish

So many people want to write a book. I think it must be on about 65% of the populations bucket list. Yes, I just pulled that out of my back pocket, but it feels right. They may even delve into the pool of ideas and words. The struggle for most who get to the point of starting a book is they give up and never finish it.

Writing is hard. It takes a lot of time. There is a steep learning curve. There is so much more that goes into publishing a book than just writing a bunch of words on a page and throwing it out there for the world. Well there is if you want to sell your book. If you are only writing for your family and friends, then it doesn’t have to be perfect or even look professional. If you are writing to get readers outside of your family it does need to be professional.

This post is about finishing what you have started and part of that is not getting lost in the overwhelming tasks ahead of you. Focus on finishing your manuscript first and foremost. There are somethings you will want to start doing while you are writing, if you intend for your book to sell to more than your family and friends and especially if you want to have a writing career either full or part-time. We’ll talk about those things later.

Set yourself a word count goal and set aside time each day or each week to write. This is important if writing is your hobby or if you are working full time at the day job. Word count goals should be something you can reasonably achieve. You don’t want it to be something too high where it is difficult to achieve because if you fall behind it is easy to just give up and say you cant do it. So consider this goal carefully.

Having a special time and space to do your writing is also helpful. The time is probably a bit easier than the space. Both are a challenge when you have a full time job and a family. You can write on your phone as well. There are many apps that are specific for writers. You can just keep ideas or you can compose a full novel in the spare moments you find hiding in the bathroom or in a closet.

If you can only find an hour a week, then start there. Start with a word count of 150 words for each hour you have to write. If that is way easy, then bump it up a bit. The point is to make it doable and also motivating. If you go over, that doesn’t mean you get credit for the next session and can skip. If you need to miss a session try to make it up somewhere else.

Tell other people who care about you. If you tell those who support you in your goals then they can help make sure you have your time to write. They can also hold you accountable and encourage you to keep at it. This can be critical when things are difficult or you hit a block or lack motivation.

Just keep at it. It can take years to write a book. It’s okay. It really is. Lots of authors only produce one book every year or more. You have to work within your life.

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