You only fail if you stop

You fail only if you stop writing.
Ray Bradbury


I read recently that 95% of manuscripts are never finished. How sad that is if it’s true. All that passion and imagination wasted. So how can you improve your chances of not being part of the percentage – however big or small – that never makes it to THE END?

  1. Be disciplined. Write. Write every single day – come rain, shine, illness, a bad day at work – get into a routine and just write.
  2. Be realistic in the goals that you set for yourself. I’ve already discussed in an earlier post how important it is to set yourself a goal of words to write in a day and how much of an incentive that can be. But make sure it’s a reasonable goal given your own particular circumstances. Don’t set yourself up to fail.
  3. Be professional. If this is going to be your career then you need to be tenacious. Ideally, set hours, undisturbed by outside distractions. How long would you keep your existing day job if you constantly got distracted and wandered off without doing what you’re being paid to do?
  4. Be organised. Plan out what you are going to write about, where you’re going to start and roughly where you will finish. This will change along the way but without a route map it is too easy to get totally lost or stuck down a blind-alley. Think of it like a fly-drive holiday. You can meander all over the place en-route but you need to know where you are flying into and out of.
  5. Be invested in your story. Love your characters and relate to what is happening to them. Care about what they are going through so that you can convey it all to the reader and make them care too.
  6. Be honest with yourself. Do you have the discipline and determination to make it? There are plenty of ways you could write that aren’t about writing a book and maybe you should explore some of those? The book inside you will still be waiting when you come back to it and your approach may be more realistic.
  7. Be patient. Writing a book is not easy; distrust anybody who tries to sell you a snake-oil way of making it easy. Commit to the long-term and hard work.

At the end of the day there is absolutely no shame in having to put a manuscript to one side. It happens to every author. Just learn something from the experience and be ready to move on to a new project. Be proud of continuing your apprenticeship to the most rewarding profession in the world.



Tags: ,

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

No comments yet

Grab your FREE copy 

- How to overcome your fears, take the plunge and write your first book!

We respect your email privacy