There are five essential tips that, should you follow them, will dramatically increase the chances of your completing your manuscript. Do you want to know which ones?
Tip #1 – Find out your why
If you have a strong why, and by why, I mean the reason why you are writing this book, you increase your chances of completing it. There is such a thing as beginner’s enthusiasm but when you get to the middle of your first draft, that enthusiasm usually wanes and you start to wonder why on earth you have embarked on such a long winded and tedious journey. Or it might not be that you find it tedious but by then, your mindset gremlins are coming out of the woodwork and demanding from you that you stop what you are doing because it is a waste of time. Or you could be lucky. It could happen only after chapter three. In these moments, you will question your sanity and having a strong why on a post it note on your desk or computer screen will remind you of the reason why you are writing your book.
Tip #2 – Set a weekly writing goal
Without goals, you are like a ship without a set journey. You can meander, lose yourself in beautiful creeks and never get to your destination. So set that goal. Even if you don’t like goals, get over it. Decide how many words your book should be. There are average number counts for different genres (again do your research), divide it by how long you would like to take to write your book. Let’s say three months for your first draft. Divide the total by twelve and here you have your weekly count. Divide it again by five and you have your daily count. Stick to it. Measure it. Keep track of it. What you measure gets improved. If you just wait for the muse to show up, you will be wasting precious time. She might never show up because you are not committed enough. She is fickle that like.
Tip #3 – Create a conducive writing space
Writers who finish books have a writing space they use consistently. It does not mean that they need a perfect office with the latest computer and software, but it does mean that they have a space that is dedicated to their writing where distractions are kept to a minimum. If you have kids, the kitchen table might not be the ideal spot. But it could become it, before they all wake up in the morning. I do my best writing before 7 am. And I have written most of my books in bed, on my iPad, on my lap. If I can do it, you can do it. In my course Get Started with Your Book, we make sure your writing space is feng shuied, so that it supports your writing process. Organised mess. Not chaos.
Tip #4 – Write every day at the same time
This is probably one of the most fundamental elements of the writing practice. Set a time and stick to it. Enter it into your diary as if it was a client appointment or an appointment with your boss. You need to make the time to write that book and to do, it needs to be on your priority list. Time never magically appears when the book is ready. You have to pull your weight. Also, by having a routine, this gives you the best tool to fight the mindset gremlins. You can tell them to wait until you are finished. You are too busy to entertain them.
Tip #5 – Find an accountability partner or hire a coach
The majority of people need that encouragement and framework to get going. There is no shame in it. An accountability partner should ask you how you are doing and challenge you when you find excuses why you have not done what you said you would. This is healthy business practice and writing your book should be taken seriously. If you are ready to be a professional author, then you should treat your book as a product and keep to the schedule you have set to bring it into the world.
I hope you liked my five tips. If you would like to explore ways to work with me, why not hop over to my work with me page.
To your writing,
(c) Ange de Lumiere 2018