83. Finish Strong (Your Own Way)

So. Everyone’s pushing you to finish strong with your goals at the end of the year.

Not only with more typical goals like weight management or financial gains but also your book.

It can feel like a lot of pressure, and if you’re not careful, it can cave in on you.

In this episode, you’ll learn two ways to finish strong with your book, even if you haven’t started writing it yet.

No stress required.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

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Episode Transcript

Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.

How’s your writing going?

I hope your week and your writing are both going well.

Even though I took the Day of Thanks holiday off from work—almost completely, but not quite since I did work on my book a bit—I have some big goals to reach in the last few weeks of the year.

I have goals with my coaching clients over the next two weeks.

And in the last two weeks of the year, I’ll be creating content for a new program I plan to launch in 2022.

While I can easily make the argument that December 31st is just another day of the year, it’s important to me to finish out the year going after my goals.

So yes, I plan to finish strong. I also plan to relax by taking time off to spend with my family.

I’m releasing this episode the first week in December, and for the next four weeks, you’re going to see “finish strong” all over your news feed, in your inbox, and wherever you listen to experts.

Here’s the thing.

When it comes to writing your book, “finish strong” can be great advice, or it can be a trap.

If you decided to make 2021 the year you write your book and you’re almost there, doing the work to finish before the year ends might serve you well.

If it’s your priority, and you can make time to write 1000 words a day, or whatever your goal is, please go for it.

But don’t do it because the world is pressuring you to “finish strong.”

If writing a book was your goal for the year and you’ve barely written 10 pages or haven’t started at all, you don’t need to panic. And you don’t need to beat yourself up.

My advice to you is not to scramble to try to write your book in the next few weeks.

Instead, without judging any of it as good or bad, take an honest look at the reasons why you haven’t written your book yet.

Did you really not have time, or did you choose to make something else a priority this year?

Do you need to set more clear boundaries around your time?

Are you stuck because you haven’t really committed to your book idea?

Once you’ve done that analysis, use that information to do one of two things. Either make progress on the book you’ve already started writing or get prepared to write your book in 2022.

Let’s be honest.

Regardless of your spiritual or religious practices or lack thereof, this time of year gets busy for most of us.

If you’re running a business, you may have end of year sales.

If you’re exchanging gifts, you have shopping to do.

Your friends and family are likely to want to see your lovely face for holiday gatherings, and you may be hosting events of your own.

So the odds of you making time to write are probably slimmer over the next month than they are at any other time of year.

I want to offer you two different ways to finish strong anyway.

If you’ve already started writing your book, but you’re behind schedule, slow and steady really can win the race.

Block time on your schedule to write over the next few weeks, but pare it back to the bare minimum.

The purpose here isn’t to finish writing your book before the year ends.

The purpose of this writing time is to stay in the world of your book to some extent.

It’s so much easier to keep your momentum going, and it will be so much easier to pick up the pace in January, if you stay somewhat connected to your book.

You don’t have to write every day to do that.

Just schedule a couple of writing sessions each week for the next few weeks.

Use that time to read a little of what you’ve already written and then to write a few pages.

Take the pressure off and celebrate a 6-page week or a 3-page week or even a 1-page-but-still-in-it week.

But while you’re writing just a little now, get serious about the time you’ll schedule for writing in January.

Schedule that time realistically but generously.

Don’t overschedule time you won’t actually stick to.

Really do an honest assessment of when you can make time to write.

If it’s not every day, that’s fine. Just block the time that works for you whether that’s three hours on Saturday and Sunday or half an hour every other day.

If you haven’t even started on your book yet, now is the best time to simply prepare to write your book in 2022.

Here’s how you can do that.

Pick a book idea and commit to it.

No more waffling between the book you want to write and the book your coach/friend/partner thinks you should write.

Decide and commit.

Then, invest a couple of hours over a couple of days in crafting your writing plan, in other words, draft an outline.

It will change when you sit down to look at it again in January, but that’s okay. It’s not written in stone.

Your outline will just be there to give you a starting point when you’re ready to start writing. It will allow you to ramp up and get momentum on your book much faster.

And finally, schedule your writing time on your January calendar.

Schedule it honestly and with a commitment you can feel good about honoring.

Lay the foundation to make next year the year you actually write your phenomenal book.

Obviously, these are just two ways you can finish strong by setting yourself up to write your book in 2022.

My point is that you don’t have to grind out the next few weeks. You can if you want to, but it’s not required to succeed with your book.

Setting yourself up to achieve your goal and write your book early next year is a fantastic way to finish strong.

That’s all for this episode, my friends.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m Your Author Coach, Candice L Davis. And I’ll see you next time.

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