a woman writing a book

How To Finish Writing A Book – Finally

Wondering how to finally finish writing your book? Have you ever started a book, and before you know it, months have passed and you haven’t been able to write another word? It happens to many people who try writing a book. They start enthusiastic and full of energy, but before long, the excitement starts to wear off, the enthusiasm becomes less intense, and soon, they start feeling discouraged. 

Writing a book can be a lot of fun. But it’s also a time-consuming process and a long one at that. There are so many things that can go wrong—and they’re often the things that keep people from finishing their books. They may find themselves stuck for months, or even years. 

If you’re like most authors, you’ve probably had moments when you’ve hit a wall when it comes to writing your book. You might be thinking, “I’m not getting anywhere with this book.” Or, “I’m not sure how to make this book any better than it already is.”

When you’re stuck on a writing project, it can be difficult to know what to do next. In this post, we’ll go over a few of the common challenges that writers face and provide some tips on how to overcome them.

Reasons for Being Unable to Finish Writing a Book and How to Solve Them

When writing a book, once you have written a few chapters, you might find that you have run out of steam or inspiration and nothing much seems to happen. This is completely normal.

If this happens, don’t panic. Think about what happened and why. Did you become disinterested in the project or did you find it hard to find time to write? Was there something you didn’t have the skills to do or did you lack confidence?

Try to look at the problem objectively. Being aware of the reasons why you don’t finish writing your book would help you to address them and finally get over the hurdles, so let’s take a look at them.

Lack of Plan

a person making a plan to finish their book

There are lots of reasons why people fail to complete a book project. Often, they set out with a vague idea of what they are going to write about. Even when they do have a clear idea of what they are going to write about, they may struggle to work out how to organize it. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

It is difficult to finish writing a book if you do not have a plan. You may have a lot of ideas, but if you have no plan, it is very hard to get started and keep it going. A plan is a road map that helps you focus your thoughts and get things done.

Solution: Go Back to the Drawing Board

Planning is the foundation of all achievement. It’s important to have a strong foundation before you start writing. You must know exactly what you want to write, and how you will organize your material. When you have a clear vision of where you want to go, your writing process becomes easier. 

Think about what you will do next. It might help to make a list of the tasks you need to do.

Do the Groundwork

If you are writing a fiction book, ensure that you have done your research about your characters, plot, and theme. If you are writing a non-fiction book, get a feel for your topic by reading books, newspapers, and magazines about it. Do some research online and find out more about it. Find out what is already written about it and how other authors have approached it. Also, make sure you have the facts and figures you need, including references to where you got the information from. The more you know, the more you can write.

Create an Outline

Write down all the topics you need to cover, and then ask yourself if there is a sequence or order to them. The best books flow naturally and make sense. Your book will come together if you can start with an outline of what you want to include.

Make a Schedule

Start by planning your work-in-progress and deciding on a daily schedule of tasks to achieve each day. Once you have a general plan for how much you can get done in a week, look at the work you need to do to meet this goal and then break it down into small achievable tasks.

Lack of Self-Discipline

Most people who aren’t disciplined in their lives would also find it challenging to be disciplined in their writing. So to finish writing a book, self-discipline is a must.

You may think that writing gets in the way of other activities you want to do. You may find that you are unable to think of ideas or that you have difficulty putting words on paper. Or, you may feel that you don’t have enough time. If you believe any of these and allow them to prevent you from writing, then you have problems with self-discipline.

To develop discipline, you need to change your priorities, and that takes real courage. If you put off your writing until you have finished the other things you are doing or if you keep on making excuses, then you won’t ever finish a book.

People lack self-discipline because they are not willing to do what it takes to be successful.

Self-discipline is the ability to overcome obstacles, achieve goals, control impulses, delay gratification, and work hard to reach the goal. The self-discipline needed to write your book is the time and effort needed for researching and writing for hours, days, and months. It is also the ability to ignore interruptions, concentrate on your book, and be patient with yourself.

Solution: Get an Accountability Partner

One of the best ways to finish writing your book if you are struggling with self-discipline is to find an accountability partner that you can work with, who can hold you accountable and will check in regularly to see how things are going. Working with others, as well as discussing your progress and any challenges you encounter, will keep you on track.

Your accountability partner can push you to follow through when you start to slack off. Having one will force you to keep on writing and allow you to work out the kinks as you go along. He will also encourage you to continue working on your book when you might not feel like it.

Choose someone whom you are comfortable having honest conversations with and someone you would not want to disappoint. Set up a time to meet weekly to discuss your progress.

Lack of Time

There are times when you get so caught up with other tasks that you find yourself unable to write anything. When you’re busy, you’ll be time-constrained to make way for writing. You may also feel overwhelmed with other things in life, and you end up postponing the task.

Solution: Limit and Prioritize

When you have too much on your plate, it is hard to focus on writing. So, limit your responsibilities to a manageable number. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed.

Try to find out what is holding you back. Do you have other commitments and do you have a job? Could you get more time off work? Can you ask for help from others with your chores?

If you find it hard to write something because you are too busy, it is best to prioritize what is important and put aside the rest. 

It is recommended to set yourself a timetable of exactly when you intend to write each day and plan your tasks to fit into your daily schedule. Find a time when you won’t be interrupted. Try to start with a minimum of an hour. This will help to create a habit of writing, and it would be easier to add more to your writing hours eventually. 

Lack of Passion

It is extremely hard to write a book if you do not love what you are writing about. To finish writing a book, you need to be motivated to make it happen. And that motivation comes from your passion for your topic. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, there will be no motivation to keep working on it.

You will have to put in the work, but once you find your drive, it will propel you to keep on going until you finish writing your book.

Solution: Find Spark or a Co-Author

Ideally, you should be writing something you are already passionate about. However, if you suddenly feel that you lost interest in the topic halfway through the book project, look for other angles where your interest might be sparked again. 

Your passion can come from the excitement of learning new knowledge or new ways to solve problems, giving a voice to a community, or promoting a certain cause.

Do you want to be able to help people with the book you are writing? Can it make a difference in others’ lives? Is there a community that will benefit from it? Would it help you become an industry leader?

If you really can’t find yourself feeling passionate about the topic again, is there a possibility that you can collaborate with someone else? If you’ve already written a substantial amount of content, but just couldn’t seem to get it finished, explore the idea of having a co-author so your efforts won’t go to waste.

Lack of Motivation

People with low motivation may have trouble motivating themselves to get things done. Some people may feel tired or apathetic, with a lack of energy or desire to do anything. They may have difficulty staying focused on a task for any length of time.

Lack of motivation means not wanting to do something or not wanting to do something now. And it means you might almost never finish writing your book So it is definitely a challenge to keep on writing when you’re not in the mood.

Solution: Remind Yourself of Your “Why’s”

Re-examine the reasons you started writing the book. Ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? Why do I want to write my book? What does this book mean to me? What am I going to gain from writing this book? Or, what are my hopes and dreams for my life?”

It can be very helpful to focus on these questions. Write your answers down in your journal. Then, put your journal in a place where you can see it often. This way, you can easily take a look at it when your motivation level gets down.

Constantly reminding yourself of the reasons why you’re writing your book will ignite a flame within you to go on. Even if it’s just a tiny flame, it can help you to continue writing your book bit by bit. Eventually, the more writing you get done, the flames will get bigger until you see your book to its completion.

Lack of Confidence

There is a tendency to believe that you will never be good enough, that no one will ever want to read your book, and that you will fail. It may be that you think this way because you are not sure about your abilities or that you have been told that you can’t write, that you have no talent, or that you can’t sell your books. If you believe any of these, it can be hard to muster the self-belief to put yourself out there and write, as it can stop you from finishing your book.

You might also have a fear of failure, rejection, or criticism. Worrying about something can be very hard to control. If you worry, it is easy to get into a cycle. The more you worry, the more you are likely to think of things to worry about. You will also feel more anxious, and this can paralyze you from continuing with your book.

Solution: Treat the Root Cause

If you don’t think you have the ability to write, you probably won’t be able to. No one can force you to write; you have to decide you want to and then you must practice and persist. There is no quick fix, but there are ways of getting over your fears.

You need to understand what you’re really afraid of and why. Write down all of them, and analyze if your fears are valid or unfounded. If your fears are the former, think of ways to solve them. For example, if you fear you will fail, would you consider getting a coach to help you? If you do not have enough confidence, will learning more about your topic be beneficial? If you have very low self-esteem, do you think it’s time to seek counseling?

The best way to overcome fear is to take action.

Writer’s Block

Many writers experience a block or period of low productivity that interferes with their ability to write. This is sometimes a temporary problem but it can also be more persistent. 

Several factors can contribute to writer’s block: too much focus on the details of the plot, not enough focus on the story, too many distractions, too little practice, financial problems, or emotional issues. It may also be because the writer has hit a plateau of creative inspiration. Sometimes this happens when a writer hits a critical mass of ideas. However, sometimes the writer may have become stale or stagnant in his thinking, and it may take him a while to come up with new ideas again.

Solution: Get a Breather

A common myth about writer’s block is that there is something wrong with you. That’s not true! Writer’s block can strike anyone who attempts to write. You needn’t wait for the muse to come to you before you begin to write.

The best way to get over writer’s block is to take a break and do something completely different.

Take breaks when you feel you need to and don’t feel obliged to keep going when you are tired. It is important to take time out from your writing to do some light exercise, such as a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a game of tennis. Travel for a relaxing holiday or just chill with your friends. The time you take to rest will enable you to return to your work feeling invigorated with renewed inspiration.

Procrastination

It’s easy to procrastinate, especially if you don’t have any deadline or commitment. When things get hard while you’re writing, that’s when procrastination kicks in. You find reasons to put off finishing the book until you’re no longer able to finish writing it.

Everyone experiences procrastination and it’s common for people to blame it on “being lazy” or “just being busy.”

The thing about procrastination is that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you put off something, the more likely you are to not do it.

Solution: Trick Your Mind with “Just a Little Bit More”

You know how when you’re too lazy to get up in the morning and you say “just five more minutes,” you actually end up sleeping for an hour or more?

You can do the same trick when you’re procrastinating with writing but in reverse. Instead of saying, “I’ll continue writing later when I’m done with this and that,” say “I should write just a little bit more” or “just 100 more words.”

If you can trick your body into sleeping more, you can also trick your mind into writing more just by conditioning it that you will do just “a little bit more.” Your brain won’t resist it because it thinks that it’s pretty easy doing that small extra, but before you know it, you’ve already tricked it with “just a little bit more” several times, allowing you to have written more than you thought you could.

Perfectionism

Perfectionists seem to be the kind of people who never stop trying to improve and never achieve their goals. They are generally over-achievers who often strive for excellence. As a result, they put enormous pressure on themselves. 

If you think you should be able to write a book without making a mistake, it can be hard to continue writing for a long time. You might also be scared of letting yourself down.

If you are a perfectionist, it would be very easy to go round in circles in your writing. Instead of reaching the point where you can write, you will be forever stopping, trying different ideas, wondering if this one would work, looking for inspiration, finding it, thinking about how you should organize it, wondering if the character’s name is right, wondering if your plot makes sense, wondering how you can make it clearer, and so on.

This endless cycle can be very discouraging and you will soon find that you cannot continue writing. Or you will put in long hours of work, but you will never manage to finish anything, let alone writing a book.

Solution: Be Human

Try to accept that you are not perfect and do not be afraid to make mistakes. You don’t have to write perfectly. All you need to do is get a first draft written, and you can edit the draft later.

If you still constantly catch yourself correcting your work and editing every so often, it will help you to set a deadline for yourself each time you write. Make a goal of achieving something in a period of time. For example, make it your objective to finish a thousand words per day. This way, your mind is focused on achieving that goal and it will keep you from making every sentence perfect.

Once you’re done with the goal you have set for each writing session, and you still have time, you can make edits and revisions if you’re really itching to.

How to Finish Writing A Book: Extra Tips

Stay positive.

Keep a sense of perspective and remember to look forward to the result of your work. When things don’t go as planned, don’t be discouraged. Instead, reflect on the positives and try to think of a solution to overcome any problems that occur.

Find a support network.

If you are feeling stuck, there’s no need to panic! You can always get some helpful advice from someone. If you’re not sure who to talk to, then you could ask a close friend or family member. They could be a good sounding board and they may be able to give you some pointers. You can discuss the plot or characters, your ideas, or any problems you are facing.

You could also ask a writing colleague or mentor to give you some suggestions. If you are working alone, there are plenty of online communities, writing groups, and book clubs where you could ask other people to give you feedback.

Reward yourself.

Whether it’s a new jacket or a cup of coffee, we recommend that you give yourself a reward for every task you accomplish. It’s tempting to stop when you reach a milestone or an arbitrary point. But you are more likely to keep going when you have a tangible reward to look forward to.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting for inspiration.

If you wait for inspiration to come along, you might have to be constantly waiting because inspiration won’t always be there. Instead, get on with it and keep going until you reach your goal. Don’t give up just because you are not writing as well as you would like to. Set yourself a specific deadline for finishing your work. Decide exactly what you will write and do not deviate.

Identify your weak points.

The key to writing your book is to know your weak points. These will be the things that you find most difficult. For example, you might find that you cannot concentrate, that you have procrastination tendencies, that you feel anxious, or that you get easily upset. Write down your weak points. You might want to talk about them with a teacher, a counselor, or a close friend or read self-help books on how you can overcome them.

Fast Lane to Get Your Book Finished

If you really can’t find the time and energy to finish writing your book or if you really can’t shake off your fears, perfectionism, or procrastination tendencies, there’s still a way to get your book finished and published. In fact, you can even become a bestselling author.

How? By working with Leaders Press. Leaders Press is a one-stop-shop publishing press to make your dream of becoming an author easier than you could ever imagine. They have already published over 200 books and made them bestsellers on USA Today and Wall Street Journal. If you want to learn more, schedule a free discovery call here.

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