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6 Actionable Ways to Make Progress on Your Manuscript

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Kate is a bookworm whose favorite authors include Danielle Steel, John Grisham, and Stephen King.

Finishing writing projects can be tough. Use these six tips to get closer to your goal.

Finishing writing projects can be tough. Use these six tips to get closer to your goal.

Are you a frustrated author who wants to complete at least one manuscript in your life? It can truly be a daunting task to complete a manuscript, especially if it is your first time. Often, your motivation will dwindle over time, making it impossible for you to complete your book within a reasonable deadline. In some cases, your time just won't allow you to complete your manuscript, and it ends up collecting dust on a shelf or a folder on your laptop.

So how can you make sure that you complete your manuscript within a reasonable deadline that you've set for yourself? How can you push through with writing your book without feeling frustrated, resorting to procrastination, or falling victim to writer's block? Here are some actionable tips that you can take advantage of when you want to complete a manuscript.

6 Ways to Get Your Manuscript Closer to Completion

  1. Practice writing to develop your process
  2. Buy a calendar
  3. Decide on a book to write and create its outline
  4. Work with a writing buddy
  5. Get in the mood to write
  6. Have a special writing space

1. Practice Writing to Develop Your Process

Every author has an ideal writing process. Some people prefer to have an outline of their work first before getting down into the gritty details. On the other hand, some authors will start writing the summary first before proceeding to Chapter 1. Of course, there are also those who write as they go, filling in the details in between chapters until they finish their manuscript.

Try to look for the writing process that comfortable and efficient for you. Once you've settled on a writing process, put it into practice. Start with drafts with lower word counts before you move on to writing your actual 30,000-word book (or whatever your primary goal is).

2. Buy a Calendar

You can opt to have a digital calendar or you can use a physical one. But, no matter what kind it is, you have to have a writing calendar.

A writing calendar will allow you to set up your writing schedule and stick to it. It should your writing goals for each day or week. It is important that you know how much work you can churn out on a regular basis when deciding on your writing goal. Try not to go overboard—after all, your schedule needs to be reasonable so that you can stick to it.

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3. Decide on a Book to Write and Create Its Outline

At some point (ideally at the beginning), you have to decide exactly what kind of story you will be writing. Is it a romance? An adventure tale? If you already have a story idea, that's great! If you don't have one, then you'll have to brainstorm to get your writing process going.

Now, once you have your story idea, the next thing to do is create an outline. No matter whether your writing process starts with an overall summary or with chapter one of the book, it will help guide you along the way to have a rough outline of how your manuscript will flow. Having an outline helps you stay on track with your plot and can help reduce writer's block.

4. Work With a Writing Buddy

This is one of the most underrated tip for many authors. While it is true that most authors prefer to work on their own, it is highly recommended to have a writing buddy.

Your writing buddy isn't someone who will interfere with your plot or will give criticism on what you write. Instead, they should act as an accountability partner. You and your writing buddy can hold each other accountable to finish your manuscripts by your respective deadlines.

5. Get in the Mood to Write

Writing often depends on one's mood. In certain cases, many authors can only write when they are feeling melancholic. Some authors can write a lot when they are feeling positive and happy, while there are those who really can't when they are feeling high-vibe. Understand your writing "triggers." Know what emotions trigger you to start writing—this will allow you to hone in on the best times for you to write.

6. Have a Special Writing Space

You have to feel comfortable when writing. Thus, be sure to create a writing space dedicated entirely to writing your manuscript. This writing space can be a simple desk, or it can be an entire room away from the noise. Don’t put anything in your writing space that is not related to writing. This way, you’ll have the vibe that your writing space is where you “get to work.”

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Kate Roux

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