For a lot of people writing a book is not the issue but finishing and finally publishing it is the major struggle.
There are people who set out to write a book, they dump the project after probably writing the first five to ten lines.
But I have been there!
There was a time I had an idea to write a book. I got really excited and went to buy an exercise book to start writing.
I wrote the book title and the pages.
That was all.
I never opened that book again.
In fact, as I’m typing this right now, I can’t remember what the book title was again.
I know many people whose new year resolution every year is to write a book.
They keep setting this goal and five years have gone and nothing is done about it.
According to statistics 97% of people who start to write a book never finish it. That’s a pretty staggering statistic. Out of every 1,000 people that set out to do so, only 30 actually complete the task. And if you then add on top of that the fact that only 20% of people who write a book actually publish it, this means only 6 people get published. I sought out the top reason why this was the case and found the barriers to be things like “procrastination,” “trying to be too perfect,” “waiting for the optimal time to write,” “no target market” and “writer’s block.”
– Source: www.marketingandsalesbooks.com
A lady sent me a message the other day asking:
“How can I condition myself to finish a book I have been working in since December”?
I gave her few tips that I thought would be helpful to her.
So, this is in a way answering her question more elaborately with the hope that it will help you too reading this.
1. Get an accountability partner program
when it comes to achieving a goal, an accountability partner may give you an extra push needed to succeed.
An accountability partner is a person who coaches or motivates you to keep to a commitment to achieve a goal.
When I facilitated an accountability partner program at the beginning of this year, those people whose goals were to write and publish a book crushed the goal.
To help you keep committed and responsible for your actions in achieving your goal of writing a book, I suggest that you look for an accountability partner that will you offer you the wisdom and support required in writing your book.
This person could be a friend, a family member, colleague, your mentor or an organized accountability partner program. Find someone that can guide and support you in your goal of writing a book. Ensure that you make your goal and your result clear to your partner.
When will you say your goal has been achieved? When you finish writing your manuscript? Or When you publish it?
Hold a regular meeting with your partner as often as you both agree on. You can decide to meet online every evening to talk about your progress. You partner will be there to support, encourage, motivate, challenge and inspire you to write your book.
And of course, both of you have to agree on how to measure your progress. Most of the time it’s usually the number of words you have written in a day.
If you’re really serious about writing your book this year then you should seek out for an accountability partner. It’s pretty easy to find one these days. Announce it on Facebook, a Facebook or WhatsApp group you belong to. Someone will reach out to you to assist you.
I must warn that writing your book is first your responsibility. Nobody will push you if you’re not willing to push yourself.
2. Discipline yourself to write daily.
This is simple.
Just do it – daily.
It is your book and the whole responsibility lie in your hands. You have to make it work.
If you can’t discipline yourself to sit down to write, there’s nothing anyone can do to help you.
Unless you want to outsource it to a freelancer.
Here’s what you should do
– Decide to write every day: Decide in your heart that no matter what happens that you will set out time to write.
– Choose a specific time to write: There’s power in forming a new habit. Choose a particular time of the day to write no matter what happens. For someone who’s very busy with school, work, family or business you can wake up every 5:00 am to write your book. When you do that consistently for some time, it starts becoming a habit.
– Choose a specific place: Some people are more comfortable writing in a particular place than others. Choose the place that’s convenient for you. It could the table in your room, the dining table, sitting room, the garage, in a car. Any place you choose is totally fine. The idea is to make your brain get used to a particular place.
– Choose your writing material: What you write with doesn’t really matter. You can use your phone, PC, Mac, tablet or the old’ good paper and pen. For my book, Be Phenomenal or Be Forgotten, I used Evernote on my phone to type. Evernote is an app used for taking notes. It syncs with all your devices. This means that you can write with your phone and have access to the same thing with your PC. What you have to do is create a “New Notebook” and name it the title of your book. Then use the “Text note” to create a note for introduction, each chapter and every other thing in your book. Remember, a new note for each chapter of the book.
– Decide to write a particular number of word daily: This is important if you want to finish your book. Decide on how many words you want to write daily. For me, I set the goal of writing at least 1,000 words daily. Most times, I wrote more than that but the minimum was usually 1,000 words. You can make yours 500-700 words. Whatever works for you is fine. What’s more important is being consistent. Let’s assume that you decide to write 1,000 words daily, in 30 days you might have gotten over 30,000 words. With that, you are good to go.
– Set a reminder: We tend to forget things if we’re not reminded of it. Use the reminder app on your phone to set a time for writing daily. And when that time comes, just start writing.
– Avoid distractions: It’s really difficult nowadays to sit down for an hour to do something without distraction. It could be a Whatsapp message, Facebook post, email or a call from your friend. There’s always something to distract us. Since you can’t completely kill distractions, you can at least minimize it. Turn off your internet connection, put your phone in silent mode. Tell your friends and family not to distract you at a certain time of the day – when you’re writing. It’s fine if listening to a calm music helps you relax and focus.
3. Announce your intention on Facebook
According to Olumati Isaiah, “the internet does not forget”. When you announce your intention of writing a book to your Facebook friends, you in some way become accountable to them.
You don’t want people to see you as a liar.
This is what has really helped me in writing my book. The moment I announced on Facebook that I was writing a book, I knew that there was no turning back.
Since then people keep asking me about when I’ll publish my book.
The reason you’re yet to finish your book might be because nobody knows that you’re even writing a book. You don’t want to be accountable to anyone.
Don’t make the mistake of writing your book in secret. Tell it to everyone who cares to listen that you’re writing a book.
This will in some way put pressure on you to finish your book.
4. Set a launch date
Apart from announcing your intention on Facebook or telling your close friends, you should set a launch date. It is the day your book will be available to purchase and download.
This will, of course, put a pressure on you to finish your book. If you care about your integrity then you will do everything to ensure that you finish your book before the launch date.
And of course, make the launch date public. With this, you cannot go back on your words.
In addition to that, set a launch team – volunteers who will help you promote your book when it is launched.
You have these things put in place then you have no choice than to finish that book.
Another thing you could do to put pressure on yourself to finish your book is to hire a graphic designer to design the book cover.
With this put in place, then you really have no excuse not to finish that book.
When the design is ready, you put it out there for people to see. This creates anticipation for your book and motivates you to finish it
5. Just do it.
At the end of the day, there’s actually no magic formula for writing and finishing your book quickly.
You really have to take conscious action to achieve it. Nobody can help you if you’re not ready to help yourself.
This means you have to wake up early to write, write at least 1,000 words daily (You can make it 500 in the morning and 500 in the night before you go to bed).
There’s really no excuse good enough for not writing your book. You have to take full responsibility for your goal. An accountability partner can only do his/her best to help you achieve your goal.
But you still need to put in the work.
Something you must not neglect is knowing why you’re writing in the first place.
People have different reasons for writing a book.
Whatever it is your reason, it should be strong enough to motivate you to write and publish your book.
What’s your struggle with finishing your book? Share with us in the comment box. If you find this article useful, do share it with your friends
Recommended book to read:
Disclaimer: I was not paid to recommend the book above. I have read the book and I recommend it to everyone who wants to write a book and make a profit from it.