26 Jan 114. 4 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Give Up on Writing Your Book
Writing a book is just like any other goal that takes more than a few days to accomplish.
It’s really easy to slowly give up on it.
As the weeks go by you let more and more of your writing deadlines pass and before you know it, your goal of writing a book has died a quiet death.
But actually that doesn’t have to happen to you.
Use these 4 strategies to make sure you stay on track and keep writing to the end.
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there, and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your book coach Candace L Davis. I hope your week and your writing are both going really well.
We are about—oh, three weeks into 2023 as I record this—and the month to me seems to be flying by, but maybe that’s because we all have so much going on at the beginning of the year.
I recently read about a poll that found that the average person, or at least the average American, gives up on their New Year’s resolutions around February 1st.
That means it’s almost giving up time for a lot of people.
Now, you may be thinking this doesn’t apply to you because you don’t create resolutions, you set goals.
Well my friend, we know a resolution by any other name is just as easy to give up on, and I don’t want you to give up on your goal of writing a book this year.
You may already have started, you may be deep in it, or you may be just getting started for the first time.
Either way, I don’t want you to give up.
If you have no idea where to start, you can download my free guide. Jumpstart your book at candiceldavis.com/jumpstart that’s for those of you who are just getting started writing a non-fiction book.
Or perhaps if you jumped the gun a little bit and you started writing your non-fiction book before you laid any of the groundwork for it.
If so, go and grab the jumpstart. But in this episode, I want to talk to you about how you can start and keep going until you finish writing your book.
In my SPARK writing method the very last step—the K in SPARK—stands for keep writing to the end, and that’s where a lot of people fall off. So let’s look at how you can do that.
Number one, integrate writing into your life.
We are busy, y’all. Gone are the days, for most of us, when we just have these large swaths of unused time.
There is so much we could be doing. There are so many demands on our time. It could be hard to fit your book in if you don’t make time for it.
Now I’m all for creating very specific writing sessions. Do that.
But also integrate the fact that you are an author and you’re writing a book into your life.
What does that mean?
So what that means for me is you can write anytime, any place.
Whenever you get an opportunity, be working on your book.
So yes, that could mean research, but also, and more importantly to me, because this is how you make progress.
Be ready to write.
So back in the day when I was a homeschooling mom, I homeschooled my kids for like 10 years.
I would print out pages of whatever I was writing and I would take those pages with me.
I didn’t often take my laptop in the early years.
Laptops were still big and clunky back then, so I didn’t often take my laptop, but I would print out pages and take a notebook and wherever I was, I would work on that book that I was writing at the time.
I did sit in the stands in the gymnasium and watch my daughter’s basketball game with a laptop in my lap, because I had a deadline.
But for the most part, I would have pen and paper.
These days you can take your laptop, you can whip out your phone.
If you put your current document on Google Drive, you can access it via your phone and you can take printed pages with you and you can take a notebook and pen.
Where can you integrate it? If you have a day job, integrate it into your lunch hour.
I know you want a break, but part of that break can be escaping into making progress on your book.
You could integrate it into your break times.
You can go have lunch at a Starbucks instead of going out to lunch, sit down somewhere and work and write or sit in your car or find a quiet spot in the break room or sit in an unused stairwell.
I have written in all those places. I have written in all those places.
We do what we have to do. So don’t allow yourself to not have time to write your book.
I just finished talking to someone on the phone who was taking their kids to the dentist.
Great time to write! While your kid’s in the chair, whip out your writing.
So that’s the first step. Integrate writing into your life so that you don’t give up on writing your book this year.
Now, what’s the second thing you can do?
The second thing you can do is borrow somebody else’s belief in your book.
One of the biggest reasons people stop writing their book—they can say it’s because they don’t have time, they can say it’s because whatever—but one of the biggest reasons people stop writing their book is they don’t really believe in it.
In the meantime, borrow somebody else’s belief.
When I am taking on a big project in my business, I often borrow other people’s belief.
I start with my husband because he’s great. He believes in me, right?
So I will often borrow his belief in what I’m doing first.
I also have a great coach—Rachel Luna, you might know her as Girl Confident on Instagram.
She has a book coming out in a few weeks called Permission to Offend.
She will allow me to borrow her belief until I can develop my belief in myself.
So have people in your corner in your life from whom you can borrow belief, and if you don’t have those people, my friend, go out and find them. They exist.
Go out and get you a coach. Go out and join a group.
Look for other people who are writing books who really believe in the process and from whom you can borrow belief. They are out there.
You can also borrow belief by saturating yourself with positive input.
So whenever I’m trying to learn a new skill or take on something new, I really dive all the way in.
I bring in as much input to support that is possible. So what do I mean?
You’re listening to this podcast. That’s a great step, but there are lots of podcasts on books and writing. Listen to more of them.
Read books on writing. Look at documentaries. There’s a fantastic documentary on Tony Morrison. I’ve seen it twice and I suggest you see it as well. At least twice.
It’s available online somewhere, so saturate yourself.
That will allow you to continue to borrow belief in your book from other people.
So you wanna borrow belief in your ability, and you also wanna borrow belief in just the process of writing books.
The third way to make sure you don’t give up on writing your book this year is to regularly evaluate your process and your progress.
So every week sit—preferably with someone else, you can do it by yourself, but do it on paper.
If you’re doing it by yourself, do it on paper anyway so you can really see the progress that you’re making.
Did I hit my goal this week? So if my goal was to write 3000 words for my book this week, I either did it or I didn’t.
Did I get close to my goal this week? 2,500 words? It’s still valuable, right?
What did I do well? How did I support myself in making that goal?
Because you wanna know what works, right? So then in future weeks, you can do what works.
And where can I improve?
And if you didn’t hit the goal, list the reasons why and what you’re gonna do about those in the coming week.
Really keep track of your process, how you are going about writing your book, and your progress.
Evaluate those and it will help you stay on track.
And the fourth way you can make sure you do not give up on writing your book this year—that you’re not one of those people who throws in the towel by February and is making the same resolutions next year, maybe some other goals, but not your book writing goal—is to get in community with other people who are writing books.
Surround yourself somehow with other authors in progress.
When I was first starting to write books, I stayed in writer’s workshops.
I paid a lot of money for writers workshops, one for the mentors that were provided to me, right?
So they coached me in ways that at that time I couldn’t coach myself, and that was super valuable.
Their feedback was super valuable, but also valuable was that I was in community with people who were doing the same thing I was doing.
We encouraged each other, we supported each other, we celebrated each other’s accomplishments.
When somebody got a piece published, oh my gosh, we lost our minds.
Somebody got a book deal through the moon.
Some people might have felt a little jealous inside and that’s okay.
We still supported each other. Get in community with other authors.
We spend a lot of time laughing because they’ve all gotten to know each other well.
But we also come through and really support each other in getting to the next step in writing our books.
Every one of my clients in there knows that they can show up, and the people in that program are gonna have their back.
We’re not gonna give ’em a hard time. Nobody’s getting a spanking in there.
We’re not here to berate people, but we are here to hold you accountable, when you need it, to the things you said you were going to do and help you make sure you get those things done.
So you have a choice.
This truly can be the year you write your book. You can hang on to your goal.
You don’t have to give it up. You can continue to make progress and you can get there.
You have a choice.
Instead of giving up on your book, you can integrate writing into your life. You can borrow belief in your book, immersing yourself in that belief.
You can evaluate your process and your progress, and you can get into community with other authors in-the-making, other people who are doing exactly what you want to do.
I know you can do this and feel free to borrow my belief in you.
Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m your Book Coach Candice L Davis, and I’ll see you next time.