The other day I had a session with a client who told me she almost finished her blogged book. In fact, she’d been almost finished for five years.
This blogger and writer had just two chapters to complete until she could say, “Done!” But something happened when she reached that final stage, and she just didn’t finish the manuscript.
As you enter the last week of National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo), I want to encourage you not to make the same mistake. And it’s a common one… Don’t leave the last part of your book unwritten.
Finish writing your book! Complete your draft as you blog your book, and then revise your manuscript, have it edited, and, finally, publish it.
How to Get to Done
If you lack inspiration or motivation at this point in the NaBoBloMo challenge, don’t give up! You can finish blogging your book. Here are five tips to help you get to “done.”
1. Remember why you started blogging your book.
Purpose provides your strongest motivator. To feel re-inspired, remember the reason you wanted to write or blog a book. Finish so you fulfill that purpose.
Did you want to help your readers in some way? Did you want to start a movement? Did you want to further a cause? Keep this reason in mind. Better yet, write it on a Post-It Note, and stick it on your computer to see each time your sit down to write.
2. Move through your fear.
The number one reason most writers don’t finish their work involves fear. Maybe you are afraid of:
- showing up or showing yourself
- hard work
Ask yourself this question: What is my payoff for leaving my blogged book incomplete? Your answer might surprise you. If you are afraid, your payoff might be, “I don’t have to worry about an editor telling me the manuscript is no good.” Or it could be, “I don’t have to do the work of getting it published—and continuing to blog to promote the book.”
Once you know your negative payoff, find a positive one. What’s the payoff if you do finish blogging you book? It might be that you gain expert status, your message gets read, or you inspired people to change. Write the positive payoff on a Post-It Note as well and put it somewhere you will see it often as you work.
3. Celebrate your accomplishments.
Burnout can stop you from completing a project. You feel you’ve already done so much. You’re tired. You’re ready to be finished. You are more likely to experience burnout when you take on a month-long challenge like NaBoBloMo, which pushes you to complete a lot of work in a short amount of time.
Take a moment to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished to date. Assess:
- how much of your book you’ve blogged
- how many posts you’ve published
- the blogging schedule you’ve maintained
Then celebrate those accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back. Then go out to dinner, have some ice cream, go for a run or to a yoga class, call a friend to brag, go to a movie, or do whatever feels like a celebration to you.
Then go back to work and finish your blogged book.
4. Chunk down the remaining posts.
Overwhelm can get in the way of completing a book manuscript—no matter how you decide to write it. When you take on a challenge to write or blog a book in a short amount of time, like a month, you may find yourself feeling more overwhelmed than the average writer.
With just a few days to go before the end of NaBoBloMo, you might feel a bit more than overwhelmed, especially if you still have a good bit of your book to blog. You might feel panic. Don’t!
First, realize that you can continue blogging you book for the next 30 days if necessary—or longer. Recommit to the process and give yourself a new deadline. Be prepared to stick to it.
To prepare, chunk down the remaining parts of your book into post-sized bits. Turn your large project into smaller pieces to eliminate overwhelm.
Determine exactly how many posts you need to write to complete your book. Then commit to a blogging schedule—two, three, four, or five days per week, for example. Now, divide the number of posts you need to write by the number of times per week you will publish posts. For example, if you have 20 more posts to write and you plan to publish posts twice per week, you need ten more weeks to finish blogging you book. (You can speed up the process by publishing posts more frequently. For instance, publish four times per week, and you’ll finish in five weeks.) You now know exactly how long it will take you to complete your blogged book.
No more overwhelm. Just follow through on your commitment to write and publish the posts you planned on that schedule.
5. Have a version 1.0 attitude.
Perfectionism gets in the way of finishing a manuscript. Don’t let a belief that your blogged book must be perfect get in the way of completing the project. If you think it must be perfect, you will struggle with each post of that blogged book, never believing it is good enough to publish. That will keep you from moving forward.
Remember: A blogged book constitutes the first draft of your book. Not the finished draft. Just get it blogged!
And here’s an extra tip: Sit down and start writing. There’s nothing like action to generate some energy for a project. Focus your attention on your blogged book, spend time working on it, and before you know it, you’ll type the last word, and say, “Done!”