An acquaintance recently asked me, “So is writing a book hard?”
After I got passed the WTF moment and the urge to stomp on his foot, I answered him this way:
“No, writing a book isn’t difficult at all. But actually finishing it is incredibly difficult and often painful.”
I’ve finished two now with a third in process. I hope I’ve learned a few things along the way. Everyone works differently, and my methods may not work for you. But they might, so here it is:
- Set daily and weekly goals for word count. I created a punishment and reward system for myself mostly involving martinis and chocolate. In fact, it worked so well, my second book is about a book club that likes – Martinis and Chocolate!
- I wrote the plan on paper and shared it with a few friends. Now I was on the hook. My friends knew of my goals and they asked me about it.
- I checked off each successful day on the plan in a cheerful, pink pen. Non-successful days – no checks. I really hated those days.
- I built some contingency in to the plan. Life happens.
- Built writing in to my schedule. It wasn’t easy with a day job and a family. But the key was to write at the same time, in the same place.
For me, the key to finishing was creating a plan to finish.
What are your keys to finishing?