How do I finish writing my book

How do I finish writing my book?

I spent about a decade so obsessed with writing the next Great American Novel that I didn't finish anything.
I wrote and re-wrote the same first chapter of the same failed book.
I must have done it 50 times.
I did it so often, I got sick of it.
I eventually gave up fiction writing altogether and spent most of my free time overdrinking at $1 PBR nights, cigarette in hand while I had rambling, late-night, angst-ridden psuedo-philosophical discussions about the meaning of life and art with whoever (whomever?) was nearby.
My come-to-Jesus moment happened a decade (and many crow's feet) later.
I walked into our garage after work, and my wife stopped me by the door.
Her eyes looked feverish.
She handed me a gift bag.
Inside was a tiny white onesie.
She'd scrawled "I love daddy" on it in that nearly-illegible writing of hers.
We were having a baby.
After the shock of it wore off, I started thinking about my goals as a dad.
I only have a few:
1) Raise kids who contribute something positive to the world and can take care of themselves at 18.
2) Raise kids who, to paraphrase Wayne Dyer, have an inner flame that doesn't flicker no matter what comes before it — kids who don't feel inferior to people with more money, intelligence, power or authority.
3) Raise kids who know in their bones that if they have a dream and they work at it a little bit each day, they just might achieve it.
No.
3 nagged at me, though.
How was I going to teach my kids to go after their dreams when I'd buried mine? I wanted to publish a book, but I was so scared of failing, I never truly started.
Baby on the way, I decided I was going to write a book even if it was the worst book in the history of humankind.
I gave up any and all pretense that it would be the next Great American Novel.
Instead, I decided to write a book that I alone enjoyed.
At once, everything about the writing process was different.
The pressure evaporated.
That cowardly little voice in the back of my head telling me my writing was terrible was gone.
I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day.
Sometimes, I wrote 4,000.
Once, I wrote 8,000.
It was as if everything I'd bottled up for 32 years was suddenly set free.
Words poured out of me.
It was one of the greatest sensations of my life.
And I nearly forgot about it.
Then, the other night, I came across a passage in Evelyn Virshup's haunting book "Students who didn't absorb this technical information or who didn't 'draw well' were labelled 'untalented' or 'uncreative' and were encouraged to develop other resources and pursue other interests.
"I have been meeting many of these 'untalented' students in their later years; they tremble with fear at the sight of a blank piece of paper and crayons, and they have an acute sense of inadequacy.
Many of these people did indeed successfully pursue other interests and develop other resources and are leading 'normal' lives, but to me they talk of feeling incomplete, unfinished, of missing something important in their lives.
Others were not even this fortunate; they were unable to develop resources, and became failures in our society.
".
.
.
When there were no goals or product orientation from the artistic point of view, merely a place where whatever marks they made on the paper were O.
K.
; when the only demand made of them was that they write something about what they had drawn; when there was no expectation of realism, rationality or neatness; then they expressed themselves, possibly for the first time in their lives; and they did so with imagination, openness, and effectiveness; and also possibly for the first time in their lives, self-respect.
"
That limiting voice in our heads is the hurdle, the bar we must get over.
If you find yourself bottled up, let go of your expectations.
Say, "I'm going to write a real piece of dog shit here.
If it's terrible, who the hell cares? I'll print it, take it out back, soak it in gas and burn it.
"
Make it an offering to the muse.
One completed story.
One poem.
One novel rising to the sky in smoke.
We bury the lives we want long before we're dead.
But there's time yet to exhume our bodies, to dig ourselves from the shallow graves we've made.
Like this? Sign up for
What are some tips to finish writing your book?

Set aside a certain amount of time each day.
Find a place to write that is comfortable for you, bright, sunny, play some music, or light a few candles.
Create an environment that is relaxing, so that the energy just flows.
When spurts of inspiration come, jot them down, immediately (always have a little notepad handy, write on a napkin, if you must) I’m a coffee shop nerd, so I love to people watch and get inspired that way, you’ll always see me tucked in a corner with my white mocha and a notebook and tablet.
Try to focus on keeping the content consistent, This is hard for me, because my mind tends to go off on a few different topics at once.
This “Dr” ha.
.
needs to take her own medicine.
.
I am having a hard time completing my own, I’ll get a few chapters, but then go blank, have to put it aside for awhile, write for fun, then when my muse speaks, go back to it, sometimes, I let it sit for a few months, it’s a love/hate relationship.
I haven’t felt inspired for a long time, writers block is real, for sure, have to get into the frame of mind to not get frustrated and throw my manuscript against the wall… Lol! I haven’t decided what I want to do with it, it would make a good screenplay….
Sigh…

I will focus on the word “finish,” assuming that you’ve actually written a large amount but are having trouble bringing that phase of the project to a close.
I used to have this trouble because I could always think of some small touch I could add to the project to make it a bit better.
How did I beat that tendency? For me, I always have a number of projects going at once.
When I’m close to the end of one, I tell myself, “Unless you finish this one, you can’t work on this other one.
” That motivates me to close project #1 and get going on the next exciting project.
I’m not describing a project that is half finished but just not moving.
I have several of those, and I have learned to put them aside when they run out of gas.
I always have lots of other projects to work on because I love writing.
Some of those half-done projects will be finished later, when the inspiration returns.
But some will probably never be finished, which is okay because I have already published over 100 books and the world can live without that one more.
We were having a baby.
After the shock of it wore off, I started thinking about my goals as a dad.
I only have a few:
1) Raise kids who contribute something positive to the world and can take care of themselves at 18.
2) Raise kids who, to paraphrase Wayne Dyer, have an inner flame that doesn't flicker no matter what comes before it — kids who don't feel inferior to people with more money, intelligence, power or authority.
3) Raise kids who know in their bones that if they have a dream and they work at it a little bit each day, they just might achieve it.
No.
3 nagged at me, though.
How was I going to teach my kids to go after their dreams when I'd buried mine? I wanted to publish a book, but I was so scared of failing, I never truly started.
Baby on the way, I decided I was going to write a book even if it was the worst book in the history of humankind.
I gave up any and all pretense that it would be the next Great American Novel.
Instead, I decided to write a book that I alone enjoyed.
At once, everything about the writing process was different.
The pressure evaporated.
That cowardly little voice in the back of my head telling me my writing was terrible was gone.
I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day.
Sometimes, I wrote 4,000.
Once, I wrote 8,000.
It was as if everything I'd bottled up for 32 years was suddenly set free.
Words poured out of me.
It was one of the greatest sensations of my life.
And I nearly forgot about it.
Then, the other night, I came across a passage in Evelyn Virshup's haunting book
"Students who didn't absorb this technical information or who didn't 'draw well' were labelled 'untalented' or 'uncreative' and were encouraged to develop other resources and pursue other interests.
"I have been meeting many of these 'untalented' students in their later years; they tremble with fear at the sight of a blank piece of paper and crayons, and they have an acute sense of inadequacy.
Many of these people did indeed successfully pursue other interests and develop other resources and are leading 'normal' lives, but to me they talk of feeling incomplete, unfinished, of missing something important in their lives.
Others were not even this fortunate; they were unable to develop resources, and became failures in our society.
".
.
.
When there were no goals or product orientation from the artistic point of view, merely a place where whatever marks they made on the paper were O.
K.
; when the only demand made of them was that they write something about what they had drawn; when there was no expectation of realism, rationality or neatness; then they expressed themselves, possibly for the first time in their lives; and they did so with imagination, openness, and effectiveness; and also possibly for the first time in their lives, self-respect.
"
That limiting voice in our heads is the hurdle, the bar we must get over.
If you find yourself bottled up, let go of your expectations.
Say, "I'm going to write a real piece of dog shit here.
If it's terrible, who the hell cares? I'll print it, take it out back, soak it in gas and burn it.
"
Make it an offering to the muse.
One completed story.
One poem.
One novel rising to the sky in smoke.
We bury the lives we want long before we're dead.
But there's time yet to exhume our bodies, to dig ourselves from the shallow graves we've made.
Like this? Sign up for
What are some tips to finish writing your book?

Set aside a certain amount of time each day.
Find a place to write that is comfortable for you, bright, sunny, play some music, or light a few candles.
Create an environment that is relaxing, so that the energy just flows.
When spurts of inspiration come, jot them down, immediately (always have a little notepad handy, write on a napkin, if you must) I’m a coffee shop nerd, so I love to people watch and get inspired that way, you’ll always see me tucked in a corner with my white mocha and a notebook and tablet.
Try to focus on keeping the content consistent, This is hard for me, because my mind tends to go off on a few different topics at once.
This “Dr” ha.
.
needs to take her own medicine.
.
I am having a hard time completing my own, I’ll get a few chapters, but then go blank, have to put it aside for awhile, write for fun, then when my muse speaks, go back to it, sometimes, I let it sit for a few months, it’s a love/hate relationship.
I haven’t felt inspired for a long time, writers block is real, for sure, have to get into the frame of mind to not get frustrated and throw my manuscript against the wall… Lol! I haven’t decided what I want to do with it, it would make a good screenplay….
Sigh…

I will focus on the word “finish,” assuming that you’ve actually written a large amount but are having trouble bringing that phase of the project to a close.
I used to have this trouble because I could always think of some small touch I could add to the project to make it a bit better.
How did I beat that tendency? For me, I always have a number of projects going at once.
When I’m close to the end of one, I tell myself, “Unless you finish this one, you can’t work on this other one.
” That motivates me to close project #1 and get going on the next exciting project.
I’m not describing a project that is half finished but just not moving.
I have several of those, and I have learned to put them aside when they run out of gas.
I always have lots of other projects to work on because I love writing.
Some of those half-done projects will be finished later, when the inspiration returns.
But some will probably never be finished, which is okay because I have already published over 100 books and the world can live without that one more.
We were having a baby.
After the shock of it wore off, I started thinking about my goals as a dad.
I only have a few:
1) Raise kids who contribute something positive to the world and can take care of themselves at 18.
2) Raise kids who, to paraphrase Wayne Dyer, have an inner flame that doesn't flicker no matter what comes before it — kids who don't feel inferior to people with more money, intelligence, power or authority.
3) Raise kids who know in their bones that if they have a dream and they work at it a little bit each day, they just might achieve it.
No.
3 nagged at me, though.
How was I going to teach my kids to go after their dreams when I'd buried mine? I wanted to publish a book, but I was so scared of failing, I never truly started.
Baby on the way, I decided I was going to write a book even if it was the worst book in the history of humankind.
I gave up any and all pretense that it would be the next Great American Novel.
Instead, I decided to write a book that I alone enjoyed.
At once, everything about the writing process was different.
The pressure evaporated.
That cowardly little voice in the back of my head telling me my writing was terrible was gone.
I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day.
Sometimes, I wrote 4,000.
Once, I wrote 8,000.
It was as if everything I'd bottled up for 32 years was suddenly set free.
Words poured out of me.
It was one of the greatest sensations of my life.
And I nearly forgot about it.
Then, the other night, I came across a passage in Evelyn Virshup's haunting book
"Students who didn't absorb this technical information or who didn't 'draw well' were labelled 'untalented' or 'uncreative' and were encouraged to develop other resources and pursue other interests.
"I have been meeting many of these 'untalented' students in their later years; they tremble with fear at the sight of a blank piece of paper and crayons, and they have an acute sense of inadequacy.
Many of these people did indeed successfully pursue other interests and develop other resources and are leading 'normal' lives, but to me they talk of feeling incomplete, unfinished, of missing something important in their lives.
Others were not even this fortunate; they were unable to develop resources, and became failures in our society.
".
.
.
When there were no goals or product orientation from the artistic point of view, merely a place where whatever marks they made on the paper were O.
K.
; when the only demand made of them was that they write something about what they had drawn; when there was no expectation of realism, rationality or neatness; then they expressed themselves, possibly for the first time in their lives; and they did so with imagination, openness, and effectiveness; and also possibly for the first time in their lives, self-respect.
"
That limiting voice in our heads is the hurdle, the bar we must get over.
If you find yourself bottled up, let go of your expectations.
Say, "I'm going to write a real piece of dog shit here.
If it's terrible, who the hell cares? I'll print it, take it out back, soak it in gas and burn it.
"
Make it an offering to the muse.
One completed story.
One poem.
One novel rising to the sky in smoke.
We bury the lives we want long before we're dead.
But there's time yet to exhume our bodies, to dig ourselves from the shallow graves we've made.
Like this? Sign up for
What are some tips to finish writing your book?

Set aside a certain amount of time each day.
Find a place to write that is comfortable for you, bright, sunny, play some music, or light a few candles.
Create an environment that is relaxing, so that the energy just flows.
When spurts of inspiration come, jot them down, immediately (always have a little notepad handy, write on a napkin, if you must) I’m a coffee shop nerd, so I love to people watch and get inspired that way, you’ll always see me tucked in a corner with my white mocha and a notebook and tablet.
Try to focus on keeping the content consistent, This is hard for me, because my mind tends to go off on a few different topics at once.
This “Dr” ha.
.
needs to take her own medicine.
.
I am having a hard time completing my own, I’ll get a few chapters, but then go blank, have to put it aside for awhile, write for fun, then when my muse speaks, go back to it, sometimes, I let it sit for a few months, it’s a love/hate relationship.
I haven’t felt inspired for a long time, writers block is real, for sure, have to get into the frame of mind to not get frustrated and throw my manuscript against the wall… Lol! I haven’t decided what I want to do with it, it would make a good screenplay….
Sigh…

I will focus on the word “finish,” assuming that you’ve actually written a large amount but are having trouble bringing that phase of the project to a close.
I used to have this trouble because I could always think of some small touch I could add to the project to make it a bit better.
How did I beat that tendency? For me, I always have a number of projects going at once.
When I’m close to the end of one, I tell myself, “Unless you finish this one, you can’t work on this other one.
” That motivates me to close project #1 and get going on the next exciting project.
I’m not describing a project that is half finished but just not moving.
I have several of those, and I have learned to put them aside when they run out of gas.
I always have lots of other projects to work on because I love writing.
Some of those half-done projects will be finished later, when the inspiration returns.
But some will probably never be finished, which is okay because I have already published over 100 books and the world can live without that one more.
How would you finish this sentence I wish I had a dollar for every time I

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  • Do book publishers still make money
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