Make Writing a Priority in Your Life
One of the most difficult parts of being a first time author or self published author is fitting writing time into an existing life that is already too full of obligations. The typical advice, such as “get up earlier” is useful, but obvious and often unworkable in a jam-packed day. Instead, try these tips to finish your book. Then in time, regardless of whether you choose self-publishing or the traditional publishing route, you will be the author of a completed work.
Work on your book every day
Many authors have trouble finishing a book because they concentrate on author marketing, creating a fan base and a platform, rather than writing the book. A platform and a fan base are important, but useless unless you actually finish your book. Doing some things in parallel is fine, but you had better get your book completed for publication. So, to finish, your book, spend your time writing it, not on Tweeting about how great it will be when it’s done. Contests such as NaNoWriMo may seem gimmicky at first, but they will help you learn to write every day and to reach your goals.Turn off your Wi-Fi
One of the biggest impediments to finishing your book is the temptation to spend “just a minute” checking email or Facebook. That minute often stretches into more, and before you know it, your entire block of writing time will have flown by. When it’s time to write, eliminate the temptation to shop or check in with friends by turning off your Wi-Fi. It’s best to do this at the router, because then you will have to get up to turn it back on. If you can’t turn the router off completely because you share your Internet connection, at least turn Wi-Fi off on your PC while you write.Store your book in the cloud and carry a tablet and Bluetooth keyboard
Few of us have the luxury of long blocks of uninterrupted writing time, but we can all grab a few minutes on our lunch break or while waiting to see the dentist. Store your writing project in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere, and carry a small tablet and wireless keyboard so you can take advantage of downtime by writing. Even a few extra paragraphs a day or week mount up. You can find inexpensive Bluetooth keyboards on Amazon or other e-tailers.Leave your PC set up and turned on
Most people who write on a laptop turn it off and put it away when they’re not using it, but retrieving it and turning it on wastes precious time when you have to eke out a few minutes of writing time. Hauling it out and turning it on starts to feel like more of a hassle than the available time may be worth. Find a place where you can keep your equipment turned on and ready, so you can grab a few minutes to write whenever the opportunity arises.Use a reward system
Finishing a project is much harder than starting one. Many aspiring authors have several partially completed projects in the works, but they never seem to finish any. Don’t let your projects languish too long. Reward yourself with a small treat when you complete specific milestones. For example, you could treat yourself to a decadent chocolate dessert, a manicure or a round of golf when you complete every two or three chapters. If you meet your daily goal, you might also give yourself five minutes of reading a favorite author’s blog or to check out a writer’s forum on LinkedIn. Set up your milestones and the rewards for meeting them as part of your pre-writing planning.Don’t edit until you’re done
The most important thing you can do is to write. Edit later, when you have finished writing. Don’t go back and edit anything at all until you have finished the entire book. Spelling errors and dead-end sub-plots can be removed during the rewrite phases, but if you continue to hone what you have written over and over again, you will never get past chapter three. The first rule of authorship and book marketing is to finish the book. All else is secondary.
Start now to use these tips and tricks and see your book progress toward completion.