When I were a lass, Enid Blyton carried me away from my bedroom with tales of adventure and whimsy.
And also tales of schooldays that were so far removed from my own, I could barely imagine what it must be like. Mallory Towers and St Clares boarding schools, for one, a world where tuck boxes were a thing, and nobody seemed to mind that their parents had sent them away.
Then, after school, they’d all hope to go off to “finishing school”, whatever that was. Sometimes in Switzerland.
Years later, I discovered finishing school was where young women were taught to submit to patriarchal bollocks and shrink and be miserable. Erm, I mean, learn social graces and and “proper” way to behave in polite society.
Funny, I always thought it was where they taught you finish stuff. Like projects, or books, or homework.
I’d have loved it if someone had taught me how to finish the stuff I started.
And that it is okay to NOT finish everything. Not everything is meant to be finished.
But the stuff that is — how do we complete that?
How do we make sure that among all those unfinished manuscripts, the ones that matter get written?
I have a quick tip for you: remember that writing a book is like falling in love.
In the first flush of the Big Idea, it’s all heart-eyes ? and excitement. Endorphins rush through us, dopamine and serotonin make us drunk (there’s a reason Beyoncé sang about being drunk in love), and all we can see is how great this book is gonna be.
It can be disappointing when the love-drunk wears off and we start seeing reality.
No wonder that when we start hitting obstacles, it’s tempting to give up.
And, often, we do.
Now, I open my eyes early on.
I keep the excitement and the heart-eyes. I don’t squash my enthusiasm. But I DO paint reality into the background so it’s not a shock when the infatuation fades.
I make a list of all the things I think could possibly stall this book — and scribble down a few notes about how I’ll overcome them.
We talk a lot about starting, about overcoming the Blank Page of Doom.
And we forget that finishing is just as tough.
p.s. this is just one of the ways I work with my coaching clients to make sure they actually get their books done. I’ll be opening my Creative Book Coaching Programme for three new authors very soon. Watch this space!Or email me for more info.
Start Writing Your Book Today
If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.
Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she’s not doing that, she’s hanging from a trapeze by her feet.