Want to write your book? Whether you’ve previously been successful in this project or not, these simple tricks will help you.
The big challenge in writing is finishing. Many new authors started their novel in November, which was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you’ve ever experienced it, you know that the first week tends to go well. After that you have lots of excuses — 1001 reasons you can’t write your book.
Here’s the only difference between you, and a professional writer who writes for a living: the professional has no choice but to write. It’s what he does. He writes even when he doesn’t feel like it, when he has family emergencies, and when he’s ill.
“Choice” is always the operative word for writers. We have a choice in what we do, and we choose to write.
These tricks will help you to write your book.
1. Let Your Writing Go Where It Wants to Go
Don’t be fussy. Realize that every piece of published writing: a movie, a book, or an advertisement, started out with a blank page. A writer filled that page with words.
Chances are the initial words on the blank page were junk. The writer expected this. He was also grateful for those junky words. He knew that something is always better than nothing, and once it was on the page he could fix it.
Get into the habit of writing, without expectation. It will stand you in good stead.
Confession: it’s VERY hard to do this. I’ve been writing for many years, and I STILL “expect”, even though I know better. Great expectations will wreck you. Seriously. When you have expectations, you’re firmly lodged in your uncreative left brain. You can’t write well until you let go of your expectations — if you’re not writing, this is why. Let go. Write — have fun with it.
When I coach authors, encouraging them to let go is just about the most useful thing I can do for them, because it unlocks and unblocks their writing.
2. Complete Your Word Count Goal Every Day
Create a daily word count goal. To do this, decide how long your book will be. These days, with digital publication, a book’s length no longer matters. It can be 10,000 words or less, or $300,000 words or more. As a rule of thumb, most novels come in somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 words.
Let’s say you’re writing a thriller, and your total word count will be around 100,000 words. If you write a thousand words a day, it will take you over three months to write your book. Work out how many days off you want each week, and get out your calendar. Mark off your working days.
Next, create a word count spreadsheet, so you can keep track of the words you write each day, how many words you’ve written, how many you still have to write.
And please, keep a writing journal. It will keep you on track.
3. Write Wherever You Are
Writers write wherever they are. In a train or bus, a cafe, the park, the lunch hour at work… Write a few words when you can. Even if you write just 20 words, those words will keep you within the world of your book, and will eliminate procrastination.
If you take these simple tricks to heart, you will complete your book, and your next book. Enjoy the process.
Article update September 18, 2014
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