“I’m done with writing!”
You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at the monitor and the words just aren’t flowing out. You’re thinking of walking away from writing and never coming back, no matter how much you love doing it. If you think you’re the only one having doubts and second thoughts about writing a book, think again. Even bestselling authors have contemplated throwing in the towel on their writing dreams at one point or another.
The most difficult part of writing a book is the actual writing process itself. Creating awesome concepts and making plans is easy; actually sitting down and putting your ideas on paper is the true challenge. And, in truth, anyone with a means to transport words into thoughts can start writing a book. However, only true authors can actually complete the process in its entirety, and that’s no easy task.
How to Keep Writing a Book When You Want to Quit
When you start writing a book you should expect to be bombarded with endless temptations to simply give up and leave the writing to the better-qualified “literary elite”. This expectation is not designed to put you in the mindset for failure. Instead, it’s to make you proactive in combating the temptation to quit on your road to success. So if you’re contemplating writing a book, or if you’ve already started but are seriously thinking about calling it quits, consider applying these tips of armor to help you stay rooted in your commitment:
Lay Out a Plan
If you don’t have a writing plan then the first thing you need to do is make one. Having a detailed writing plan will force you to stay on track until you meet your publishing goal. Define what you need to do each day and simply work towards achieving it. How many chapters will your book have? How many words will you write per day? What days/times during the week will you set aside for writing? Which area of your house can provide you the peace, quiet and tranquility you need to focus on your writing? The answers to these questions (and many more) should be included in your plan. And it’s never too late to lay out a plan even if you only have a few chapters left to write.
Try a New Path
If the initial plan you’ve mapped out has failed to keep you committed, then ditch it and get a new one. Let’s face it, nothing in life stays constant so your plan must remain flexible to the changes in your lifestyle. If your daughter now has ballet practice on the days/times you’d set aside for writing then change your writing schedule. It may sound like a no-brainier but you’d be surprised how many people will use this as an excuse to quit. The key is to craft a plan that’s structured enough to keep you focused, yet flexible enough for juggling and balancing all of your other daily commitments.
Here is the secret to successfully writing a book – you don’t need to feel like writing in order to actually write. If you only write when you feel like it, then you might as well forget about your goal of becoming a published author. What you need is discipline. It’s like going to the gym. The fact that exercising is so hard should not stop you from pushing your body to achieve your workout goals.
Writing is the same. You have to forget about how you feel and instead focus on the end result. Be disciplined enough to sit down and write when you are supposed to, even when everything in you is screaming to veg out in front of “Empire”. It doesn’t matter if you have to sit at your computer for an hour doing nothing. Stick to your plan…..the words will eventually come.
Take a Break
You absolutely must make leisure time a part of your writing plan. If you don’t take out the time to enjoy the fun things in life you’ll quickly face burnout. Take a day here and there to do something relaxing. Engage in activities other than writing that clear your mind of daily chaos. Consider sightseeing, shopping or playing sports. Allow yourself time to recharge. When you tackle writing a book with a relaxed mind, body and spirit, you’re chances of following through are much greater.
If you are thinking about quitting, take some time to re-explore your motivations. Why are you writing a book in the first place? What do you want to achieve? Are you seeking personal fulfillment or are you simply hoping to become famous? Perhaps the additional money from book sales will allow you to live better or spend more quality time with family. Revisit whatever set you out on your book-writing journey and start visualizing yourself at that destination. Sometimes reigniting the passion for your motivation is all the steam you need to persevere to the end.
Join a Support Group
Every writer needs a support system. If you are struggling with your writing commitment, find a place where you can gather with other writers, aspiring or professional, and share your struggles. People that share your dreams and who can relate to your challenges are perfectly positioned to encourage you to keep writing.
Yes, writing a book can take you through all sorts of emotional twists and turns. When you wrestle with thoughts of giving up (and you will), try resurrecting your initial motivators or finding a peaceful activity that will help you regroup. But don’t you quit!