Indie Author Weekly

081: 3 tips for how to FINISH writing your book

October 13, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 82
Indie Author Weekly
081: 3 tips for how to FINISH writing your book
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Indie Author Weekly
081: 3 tips for how to FINISH writing your book
Oct 13, 2020 Episode 82
Sagan Morrow

Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romantic comedies, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Back in Episode 79, I shared a few tips and writing prompts for how to start writing your novel… so with that in mind, today I want to share 3 tips for how to finish your book. 

TUNE IN to this episode to get practical tips for how to finally finish your novel... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romantic comedies, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Back in Episode 79, I shared a few tips and writing prompts for how to start writing your novel… so with that in mind, today I want to share 3 tips for how to finish your book. 

TUNE IN to this episode to get practical tips for how to finally finish your novel... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romantic comedies, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Back in Episode 79, I shared a few tips and writing prompts for how to start writing your novel… so with that in mind, today I want to share 3 tips for how to finish your book.

Tip #1: Schedule it in. 

It’s not going to get done unless you have a plan for it! It’s so easy to constantly postpone our writing projects and push them back further and further. 

There are many different ways you can schedule it in, so here are a few ideas: 

  1. Set aside a time slot every day (e.g. 7pm - 8pm)
  2. Create week- or month-long chunks to complete various stages of the writing process
  3. Plan to complete a certain number of words each day
  4. Arrange a deadline and work backwards from there to create a timeline for yourself

...and so on. If you want to learn more about all of this and putting together awesome schedules for yourself so that you actually finish the projects you set out to do—such as writing and publishing a novel—then join my signature program, Productivity Powerhouse, at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse

Tip #2: Don’t work on multiple projects simultaneously.

I know how tempting this can be, but it’s just going to delay your current work in progress that much longer. You might end up having 10 different drafts that you’re working on and never publish any of them. Don’t do this! Focus on one project, and when it’s finished, then you can start working on the next. 

Now, this can be tough when you have some really great ideas for your next book. In that case, jot down those ideas when they come to mind, and then refocus on your existing book. I did this recently, while I was finishing Book 7 in my Polyamorous Passions series, Her Bad Idea. I was so close to wrapping it up, but I had some great ideas for a new book. So I wrote down a couple scenes that were in my head, bursting to get out, and I wrote down a few notes about the book concept. Then I set it aside until I was completely finished Book 7. 

In fact, it was the day after I published Her Bad Idea that I sat down and wrote the first 2,500 words of my upcoming romcom, Small Town Stilettos! I’ve been working on it almost every single day since then and I’m really looking forward to releasing it later this year. 

And even so? I’ve also had a few ideas for other books I want to write. But I am committed to completing Small Town Stilettos in its entirety before I switch focus to other projects. So, once again, I just have a running document with ideas and notes to dump into it for my future books, so that I can get them out of my head and they don’t distract me from finishing Small Town Stilettos

By the way, you can learn more about my upcoming book by searching Small Town Stilettos on GoodReads, and you can get the details on all my published works at SaganMorrow.com/books.

Tip #3: Create a list of action steps so you know which stage of writing, rewriting, and editing you should do, when.

This has been a lifesaver for me. I have a spreadsheet with two sheets on it: one sheet is for my word count progress and timeline, so I know how many words I need to write on which days, which helps me have a very realistic idea of when I’ll finish the first draft of a book… and the other sheet on that spreadsheet document is a full list of action steps with timelines, so I know when I need to conduct various stages of the writing and editing process. 

I like to start with my “deadline” for the date that I want to publish the book, and then I work backwards to slot each action step into my schedule from there. This is so helpful to do because I can see exactly where it fits into the rest of my business tasks, and every single day, I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. It takes the guesswork out of it so I can just sit down and complete that particular action step—which is how I was able to write and publish 6 novels in the space of a year and a half, while still doing everything else in my business and life!

Again, you can learn more about that concept by visiting SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse.

Bonus tip: Give yourself a pep talk! With my last novel, Her Bad Idea, I was about 80% finished it when I suddenly had serious self-doubt. I was worried that it wouldn’t be nearly as good as the prequel, and I even thought about tossing the whole thing out and starting from scratch. 

Well, I’m really glad that I kept working on it and published it, because so many readers have said that Her Bad Idea is the best book in the Polyamorous Passions series yet! And here I was, thinking about tossing it out. 

This is a really good reminder that if you are working on your book when you aren’t in a good headspace, you won’t be able to approach it with a rational mindset. So, take a step back and give yourself a little pep talk or motivational boost, or reconnect with a reader who encourages you and supports your work, and take action from that. 

Honestly? A major part of what helped me regain my confidence was when a few readers and friends mentioned to me that they couldn’t wait for my next book. They were excited about it, and they told me they were excited. That gave me the boost I needed to keep moving forward. So, connect with your cheerleaders!

To recap, 3 tips for how to finish your book include…

  1. Schedule it in
  2. Do NOT work on multiple projects simultaneously
  3. Create a list of action steps so you know which stage of writing, rewriting, and editing you should do, when

...plus the bonus tip, to give yourself a writing pep talk. 

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this: which of these tips is most helpful for you? Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my romantic comedies and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.