Want to Finish Writing Your Book? Slow Down

While 80 percent of Americans say they want to write a book, most never will. Are you one of the many who plan to write a book, or finish a book – someday. What’s holding you back? I just received an email from a friend berating herself for not finishing the manuscript she started over a year ago. My response? “Cut yourself a break. You are 30 years old and just started your third business a few months ago.”

I bet that is not the answer you expected to hear from me. After all, I am the author of a book titled, “Finish Your Book!” I am the person who gives workshops and seminars on how to find the time and the creative energy to write the book you’ve always planned to write.

So why was I telling my friend not to worry that she hasn’t finished her book yet?

Because sometimes we just can’t do it all.

In this age of instant everything we all expect more and more of ourselves. A few years ago we began creating “bucket lists” – lists of things we wanted to do before we die. But now that is not enough. We are creating “leap lists,” lists of things we want to do before some next big stage in life, such as getting married, turning 30, having a child, or whatever. Interestingly enough, the term “bucket list was coined for a movie. The term “leap list was coined for a car commercial.

We multi-task or way through life these days, trying to cram more and more into less and less time.

But writing a book – a good book – takes a different kind of time and a different kind of energy: creative energy.

You really can’t write a book in a weekend; not one that is worth reading, anyway.

So if you want to write a book, what should you do? The first thing I suggest o sit down and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do I really want to write a book?
  • Why do I want to write it?
  • When will I write it?
  • What am I willing to give up to find that time?

Most of us, like my friend, are already packing more into each day than we can really do. If you aren’t willing to rearrange your schedule and reassess your current commitments you’ll never get around to finishing your book.

But before you grab your calendar and start block scheduling in your writing time, let’s talk about something that is just as important as time: creative energy.

You just can’t write well if you are already packing so much into your schedule that you are constantly mentally or emotionally exhausted. The first step to writing a book may be not to block out time to write on your calendar, but time to relax. It’s summer. Schedule some time to take a walk, read a book, or just sit in the sun.

Once you have renewed your creative energy you may find it a lot easier to finish that book after all.


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