Are you struggling to finish writing your book? Is it writer’s block or perhaps its procrastination? Do you feel guilty for not writing each day? Does the word count stay static every single day?
I know completely how you feel because I was there not so long ago. I would dream about my book being on Amazon, on people’s bookshelves, in people’s hands, making a difference to their lives.
Yet that dream was very far away because I was nowhere near complete of my first draft. By the end of the video, you’ll know the 4 steps that made me a published offer. Read on where I share the four steps that got me over the finish line to write that ‘damn book’, including the killer question that got me racing to the very end.
Step number one is having a plan. To finish right in the book, let’s go back to the start. Do you have a plan? One that is solid? Before I started writing, I mapped out my entire book under the guidance of my Book Mentor, Lucy McCarraher. I had every section, every chapter, every topic, every story that I wanted included in the book mapped out on one A4 sheet of paper. As I kept writing, I was able to cross a line under each one of those to help see the finish line. So go back to your plan and make sure you one, have one, and two make sure it’s solid.
The writing environment, finding your writing zone.I tried writing in cafes, in libraries, but it didn’t quite work for me. I always came back to a spot at home where I know if I sit down and focus the creativity flows. But then I began tracking the distractions, There are two distractions I really want to share with you. One is the music I was listening to. I’d plug in my headphones and have a playlist on Spotify. Then I’d get distracted because either I didn’t like the song or I liked the song so much that I wanted to know who sang it and what the lyrics were. It wasn’t helping me. So then I found a classical playlist, which had zero lyrics and I had no desire in knowing who the composers were. So find your distractions and do something about them.
I also turned my phone on to airplane mode during my writing time, which helped because I wouldn’t be getting those notifications pinging to take me away from my creativity.
I’d always make sure I’d have my plan, which was on an A4 sheet of paper to hand, which helped chunk down my writing.
Do you have a writing zone? What does your writing environment look like? Let me know in the comments.
Step number three is accountability. My friend Joy Zarine, author of the Five Star Formula, held me accountable throughout my entire writing process. I’d come up with one excuse after another. She wasn’t having any of it. I eventually ran out of excuses because for each excuse there was always a counter. It’s amazing how creative the mind can be at coming up with reasons to not finish the book. In fact, it was reading Joy’s book, The Five Star Formula when I decided I wasn’t going to read any more books until I finished writing my own and it was a commitment I stuck to.
I can’t stress the value and importance of having someone there to hold you accountable. I’m part of the Key Person of Influence programme run by Daniel Priestley, and Dent. The programme has accountability built in, so there are no excuses. Do check out the program.
Step 4 is remembering the reasons for writing in the first place. It was September 2017. The school holidays had just finished and my nephews came over on the weekend. Nuhan, who was 11 at the time from nowhere asked, are you still working on that thing? I instantly knew he was talking about the book and it was a simple answer. ‘Yes, I am’. Second question, have you finished it? It was a simple answer. ‘No I hadn’t’. And then the third question, is the killer. ‘Have you quit?’ And it was like, Whoa! Where is this question coming from? And there wasn’t a simple answer here, I paused for a moment and then just said ‘I’m finding it a little bit difficult, to get over the line.’
But after the boys left, I pondered the question he asked because I’m always telling them to finish their homework and if they haven’t finished to get in touch to ask for help.
And there I was one year on from September 2016, still not finished writing my book. There was a sense of hypocrisy there. And I got in tune with what was stopping me. I didn’t quite know how to finish off the last few chapters. I had my plan, I had the topics, the stories, but I just, I just didn’t know what to write. And so I went back to Joy who was holding me accountable and she just said to start bullet pointing. And that’s what I did. Each bullet point turned to a sentence. Each sentence then turned to a paragraph and each paragraph turned to chapters of the book.
Now my nephews are probably the biggest reason why I wanted to get the book done. With a cancer diagnosis, it’s very uncertain how long I would have left to live and when I started writing, I wanted my book to document my story for them to read it when they grow up. And so that question ‘Have You Quit’ jolted me and once I decided I hadn’t quit, the first draft was done in the next four weeks and once I finished the first draft, I was able to begin thinking about book covers. And I’ve got a video coming soon about that entire process, so do subscribe to my channel to look out for those videos coming soon.
Those are the four steps that got my dream of having my book, Choosing To Stay published, on Amazon, on bookshelves and most importantly in people’s hands.
If you have a life goal of writing a book, do check out this blog by my publisher’s Rethink Press. It’s on the W.R.I.T.E.R process, a foolproof way to write your book.
Do let me know when you’ve published your book. It is the most surreal experience ever, and be sure to video the moment you hold your book for the first time. It is unbelievable. You can see my video here.
What are some of the tips you have of finishing your book. Drop them in the comments below because they might help someone reach that goal of becoming a published author.