Writing your book will take forever if you let it – no word of a lie.
How long have you been writing your book now?
Are you sick of the sight of it yet?
Don’t worry. This happens to most of us. Including me.
Back in 2018, I’d added an extra branch to my business – book mentoring. So there I was helping business owners to write business books, watching their books come to life, encouraging them to set realistic writing goals and establish a daily writing habit, and my own book wasn’t even written, never mind published. The problem didn’t lie in the ‘how to write a book’ or ‘what to write about’; I’d created my book outline, scoped out the chapters and added the extra sections without any real problems. The first draft was finished in just a few weeks. But the thing is, I put the book (purposefully) to one side to leave it to brew, you know, stew a while in case any more ideas crept through before I took the next big leap and published it. However, the weeks turned into months, the months turned into half a year, and the previous urgency to write my book diminished. Book brewing to the extreme, right? My clients’ books took priority. And my book was shelved – despite the fact that all it needed was a thorough proofread, a little tidy up and then I could publish it on Amazon KDP.
I was working with a business coach at that time, and began to get tired of feeling like a failure…
‘Are you still writing your book, Michelle?
Erm yes. Still writing. I know. I mean, here I am mentoring people through the
book writing process and I haven’t published my own yet. It’s crazy, isn’t it?’
And a niggly voice in my head kept bugging me all the time too.
‘Why invest all that time and energy into writing your book just to leave it gathering dust?’
And for once, that nagging inner voice was right. So at the beginning of December 2018, after having wasted all that energy on introspection instead of action and feeling like an imposter, I’d had enough. I sat down, finished the book and published it on Amazon.
And here it is – my best-selling book on Amazon – 90+ Content Ideas for Social Media, Blogs & Online Marketing.
With hindsight, I can see what was stopping me. Perhaps you’ll recognise some of the signs too.
What’s stopping you from writing your book (and getting it finished)?
Ah, yes, good old overwhelm. The dream destroyer. Imagine you wake up one Saturday morning, the sun’s streaming through the window and you have a burst of energy. You’re in a decluttering mood. So you decide to sort out the kids’ bedrooms and get rid of their too-small clothes and all the tat and toys that no longer interest them. Armed with your black bags, you empty the wardrobe contents onto the bed. Then you sit on the floor with your head in your hands because you realise the enormity of the task. You’re going to be trapped in that little room all day. It’s one of those jobs you wish you’d never started, right?
The same happens when you write down all your book ideas. One minute you’re full of gusto and excitement and ideas are flying from your head to your mind map, and the next you’re so overwhelmed by how many there are and the practicalities of pulling them together to create a book that you give up. You’re not the only one, by the way. Overwhelm has a lot to answer for.
How can some people find the time to write even though they work full-time and have a young family to take care of? The answer is, they make their writing a priority. You can’t magic up extra hours in the day, but you can organise your schedule better, you can prioritise half an hour’s writing into your day (without crying off) and make sure (without the excuses) that your book gets finished. If you want something badly enough you will find the time to write it. Want a few ideas to help you find the time to write? Check out my book (the third one I wrote … see, you get into a groove once you get your first book out of your system):
Finding Time to Write: How to Write More in Less Time, Embrace Your Creativity and Grab Every Opportunity to Write (Books for Brand New Authors Book 1)
Writing your book is so exciting but if you have too many ideas buzzing around, you won’t know where to start. Or if you start writing your book, lose interest in the subject when you hit the first hurdle, and then start writing a different one, you will never reach the finish line. This sometimes happens to me too. I love starting a new book, scoping out the chapters, deciding on its purpose and researching what’s already been written on the topic. But then (like decluttering the bedroom) if I get overwhelmed by what lies ahead, my default position is always to start something new so I can feel that first date flurry of excitement rush again. Instead of doing the grown-up, serious writer bit and actually finishing what I started before moving onto something new.
Perhaps it’s because our busy creative minds can’t stop conjuring up new magical ideas – that’s the way they’re wired. And while that’s fantastic if you’re a writer, it’s also a curse. A hard drive full of half-finished projects isn’t good for your confidence, won’t get you published, and you’ll never be able to share your all-important message with the world. Who knows where your author adventure could take you if you just get past this first hurdle and finish writing your book?!
Has that helped you put things in perspective? I hope so.
It’s all too easy to revert to default and assume the real reasons you haven’t finished writing your book are because you’re:
- not good enough to become an author
- not cut out to be a successful writer
- not smart enough to finish writing your book
- not the type of person who becomes an author (what’s all that about, anyway?)
But that’s simply not true. So don’t believe the mind monkeys. (Find out more about the mind monkeys here – they tell lots of fibs!) Sort out the practicalities and you’ll soon finish writing a book you can be proud of. And I can’t put into words how that feels.
Want to learn some of my secret tips to overcome these pesky obstacles and finish writing your book? Check out my other blog: 6 ridiculously simple steps to writing your non-fiction book.
Want to join the next intake of my 30 days to write your biz book programme? Add your name to the VIP list here!
What steps will you put in place today to ensure you finish your book?
Share them with me in the comments.
Until next time,
Keep writing. I’m rooting for you.