Three Little Writing Tips for Completing a Book

I love helping writers envision new projects and, most importantly, complete them. Here are 3 little tips.

  1. Create the skeleton of your manuscript with all the chapter headings. Keep this document always open on your computer. When you have an idea, find a quote you want to use, or imagine a piece of dialogue, insert the writing into that chapter that you can organize later in the process. As you gather ideas, you don’t have to go in any order; just fill up your document with seeds of possible paragraphs. Even if you have an idea while you’re folding laundry or washing dishes, run to the computer and get the thought down.
  2. Set a deadline and then determine how many words you need to write per day in order to complete your manuscript. You can use various apps or websites like WordKeeperAlpha (my favorite!) to help you with your daily goals.
  3. Make every day a writing day because you’ve decided that you are a writer. In his advice to a young writer, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke advises this: “Ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple ‘I must’, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”
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