This post was inspired by a Facebook group I’m on. Several of the people there thought it was helpful, so I’ve edited it and am now sharing a slightly more general version with you all.
Having a hard time finishing your book or managing to get it published (self-published or otherwise) because you have too many interests and don’t stay focused on one project for more than a week at a time? Yeah, I hear you. I have that problem. But it can be done. Here are some tips.
1. Keep at it. If you take 100 small steps toward the goal, those steps eventually add up to get you to the goal. Even if it takes you years (like Wisdom from Mom did for me), every step forward is a step closer to getting the book published.
2. Stay organized. Keep all of your notes and your manuscript in one place, either in a file folder, in OneNote, in Scrivener, or in whatever you like to use to organize your things. Then, when you inevitably put it down and come back to it later, it’s still easy to find everything.
3. Realize that you are good enough to have a book published. You have something unique to say that other people would benefit from. You may think it’s all just common sense, or that your story isn’t original, but it ISN’T all common sense and your story IS original. Because no one else could write your book. Only you. Only you have your perspective. You don’t need to be the biggest expert in something to have something unique to contribute.
4. Observe everything. By having so many different interests, you’re always exposed to new ideas and different ways of thinking about things. This can all be integrated into your book to make it more interesting, so notice things, observe them, and then write down thoughts and ideas (see #2). This is fodder for creation, and helps with the blank page.
5. Make the choice to publish the book. This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s important to make a conscious decision to complete something, to force yourself to put aside some of your other interests for a little while to focus on this one, to get it completed and out the door, out there in the world, shared with everyone else, where it belongs. Sometimes you just have to push through and get it done, even if that’s not where your mind or your heart are. It’s temporary, and then you’ll have a published book AND some more free time.
Read my launch post for Wisdom from Mom!