Today I’m going to begin tackling a topic I will return to numerous times over the next few weeks: why writers don’t start or finish their writing projects. Why am I going to return to the topic? Because more than one answer exists to the question, “What stops you from writing—or finishing—a book, ebook or other writing project?”
Why am I even broaching the topic and asking the question? Because many writers ask themselves this question over and over again and come up with no answer—and then continue feeling unsuccessful as writers and authors. Even I ask myself this question now and again. I have more writing projects started and not finished then I care to mention as well as a few dreamed up and not started as well.
Let’s start with the first answer I have to the question, “What stops you from writing—or finishing—a book, ebook or other writing project?” What stops many writers from writing or completing the projects they say they want to write lies in the fact that they never start. Plain and simple. They talk a lot about what they want to write. They mull over it. They outline it. They research it. They might even write proposals and query letters about it. (Ooooh….that one sounds like me!) However, they don’t ever sit down and write the darn book, ebook, booklet, or article.
Today, here’s my writing coach tip: Start writing whatever it is you say you want to write. Don’t put it off any longer. As Nike likes to say, “Just do it.”
If that isn’t enough to get you to your computer to open a document and start typing, do this: Be accountable. Here are a few suggestions for how to accomplish that:
- Start blogging your book—If you do this, your readers will expect you to continue writing. For more information on this, visit www.howtoblogabook.com.
- Get an accountability partner—Ask a writing friend or the members of your writing group, club or critique group to hold you to a certain number of words per week; knowing you have to show up at meeting with the pages in hand will drive you to write rather than to show up empty handed and red in the face.
- Get a real deadline—Set a deadline with a designer, editor, POD publisher, magazine (by sending a query and getting your article accepted), or even with a friend; then meet the deadline.
- Decide to have a “product” to show by a certain event—If you want to have a finished book in hand for your next teleseminar or workshop or to take with you when you go home to visit family, that will make you accountable for keeping some deadlines.
- Enter a contest or challenge—Enter a contest or challenge with a deadline and/or word count, like Write Nonfiction in November; this will keep you motivated for at least a short period of time. Hopefully, you can keep up the momentum after the contest is over if you haven’t finished.