12 Tips To Getting Your Manuscript Finished
Starting to write a book is easy, finishing it will be one of the
most challenging, and most rewarding experiences of your life.
Once the editing and formating starts, the real grind of book writing
starts to show itself, and all authors need to set clear goals and
schedules to get through this somewhat gruelling stage.
If you book is a novel, you have the option of using editing and
formatting services. However, if your book is business or technical
related, you need to take it to a higher level of completion before
seeking outside help. These specialist areas rely on your expert
knowledge to decide what text, if any, can be rewritten or deleted.
I love to write, but I find that final month of editing very taxing,
in spite of being a highly motivated and well disciplined person.
So here are my 12 top tips to help you through the last part of
- Research the masters of writing - read their blogs and websites
for hints on formating and publishing. Publishing sites also offer
- Set a writing schedule - this is a job - treat it like one
- Turn off your radio, television, Outlook, Skype and IM to avoid
any unplanned interuptions. I even take the phone off the hook
until I am comfortable with my progress, and screen my calls to
avoid unnecessary diversions.
- Use the layout, format, page count and word count of previously
successful books in your genre as a guide to your own book. Go
to the library and book store and study what stands out from the
- Set a total book word count, also using previous publications
as a guide. Construct a chapter framework to ensure that this
page count is allocated appropriately throughout the book.
- Set a daily word count of between 1000 - 1500 words a day. Don't
leave your desk for any other purpose than short breaks until
this has been achieved.
- Read your daily writings out loud at the end of each day. You
will find flaws in the flow or structure that may not so readily
present themselves in the written form.
- Join a writers group for support, information and inspiration.
Find a writing buddy that will help keep you to your schedule.
- Tell your family, friends, work colleagues and industry associates
you are writing the book. There is nothing like a public committment
to ensure you complete your task.
- Get their feedback - honest criticism helps you grow as a writer.
- Take time out alone to meditate and rest the mind. Pushing yourself
to burn out will not help you achieve your goals. Break your writing
into one hour blocks, with a 10 minute break between. Take a one
hour lunch break, and use 30 minutes of that to go for a walk.
The exercise and fresh air help reinvigorate both the mind and
body. Always take a notebook and pen with you. It is amazing what
great ideas or resolutions to problems I come up with as soon
as I step away from my desk.
- Never, ever give up. If you just have to take a break - do so,
but then get back to your schedule as soon as possible.
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