December 8, 2022
Dreaming about becoming a writer is more common than you might think. Over 200 million Americans – around 80% of the population — have admitted to dreaming about writing a book but not nearly as many have actually acted on that aspiration. For aspiring authors who don’t want to lose sight of their own authorship dreams, understanding why some writers lose steam and put down their metaphorical writing pens can help them avoid the same disappointment.
And out of those hundreds of millions of people who say they want to author a book, only about 3% finish writing a book. That adds up to hundreds of thousands of new book titles being published yearly, and new authors make up a good portion of that. But how can you ensure that you will be one of the aspiring authors who actually cross the publishing finish line? Let’s look at what keeps many aspiring authors from finishing their books so you can finish yours.
If you want to keep your book writing dreams alive, one of the best motivators to stay the course is to learn what stumbling blocks stopped other aspiring writers. Many who have an excellent idea for a book but can’t seem to finalize their concept into a completed book share a few common reasons why they stopped short of writing their books.
If you don’t want to be in the 97% of authors who don’t finish their books, check out these five suggestions that will help you get on track, stay motivated, and complete your next book project so you can become a published author.
One key element to writing a book, especially for self-publishing authors, is accountability in your progress. Authors are more successful when they justify their efforts to others rather than themselves. An accountability partner can take many forms depending on a writer’s interests, time commitments, relationships with other writers, and writing style. Some of the types of accountability options are
Authors struggling to finish writing a book can often become hyper-focused on getting words on the page. But for some authors, putting quality over quantity can help them get closer to their goal of finishing their book.
While writing challenges intended to increase word counts can be a great motivator for writers who are stalled out, they can be short-term encouragement that fizzles when the challenge is over. Combining bursts of writing with intentional quality writing can build an author’s writing endurance in a way that is sustainable for many writers.
Sometimes authors can get caught up in fixing every little error, missing phrase, or plot hole before moving on. But adopting a philosophy that focuses on making progress rather than perfecting every word on the page can help writers meet their writing goals and finish writing a book. Stopping to fix grammar mistakes and swapping around sentence construction can slow your writing mojo and keep you from focusing on the big picture (finishing The Book).
We can be our own worst enemy, especially when confidence is involved. Every writer has questioned whether their work is good enough or if readers will like their book. But don’t let your own anxieties or fears about your book keep you from making progress toward your writing goal. Acknowledging your own insecurities can help you deal with them so they don’t develop into a mental roadblock you can’t bypass.
One popular strategy is to think of writing a book as a service you are providing to the reader rather than something you are writing for yourself. By mentally shifting the purpose, authors can sometimes channel that natural fear into a motivation to provide the book content that will help or benefit the reader.
Another strategy to help you finish writing a book is to act like being an author is your job. When you prioritize your book-writing activities, life won’t get in the way. There will always be something that comes up to derail your writing plans when it is something you do in your free time. But when your mindset shifts to make writing a priority, you are more likely to meet your writing goals in the short and long term.
Writing a book takes endurance, confidence, and time. And authors that make it across the finish line can present their books to their readers with a beautiful self-published book when they work with a printing company like Publishing Xpress. Pushing past the challenges that come with motivating yourself to finish your own book will be worth it when you hold that final published copy of your book in your hands.
You can find motivation in working with a community of writers, leaning on accountability partners, and intentionally pushing past self-doubt to finish writing your book, and you will be rewarded with a beautifully bound copy of your work to keep, gift, or sell as a reminder of all of your dedication and hard work – until it’s time to begin your next book.
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