I’m thrilled to have Mercedes M. Yardley, dishing out some great advice on how to finish that book on my blog today!
Five Tips for Getting the Book Done When You Don’t Wanna
By Mercedes M. Yardley
- Get yourself a deadline.
Or, preferably, have your agent or publisher get you a deadline. Because believe you me, you’ll take your deadline a whole lot more seriously if other people are holding you to it. Editors, artist, and layout will all be depending on you. Nobody likes that feeling of being the weakest link. Don’t let it be you. You’ll work faster, I promise.
- Minimize Distractions
This might mean turning off your phone. It definitely means turning off your TV. The phone was created for your convenience, and right now it might not really be that convenient. Turn it off, as well. Can you put a sign up on your door so people won’t drop by? The neighbor kids aren’t allowed at your house today. This isn’t an everyday thing, of course. You don’t want to shut your life inside of a box permanently. But when you’re on a tight deadline and your nose is to the grindstone, be ruthless. Ruthless. Rawr.
- Readjust Your Standards
The world tells us that we can do it all. We can balance careers, home, and family effortlessly. Have shiny white teeth. Run faster and smell better, jump higher and do it all with grace.
You know what? The world lies. When you’re really doing your best to hit a tough deadline, you’re simply going to have to let some things drop. Scale everything down a notch. The house doesn’t need to be as clean as usual. The kids won’t die if you do take-out or cereal for a few nights. The television that never goes on? Now’s a good time to delight the kiddos with a movie so you can work.
It isn’t forever. But it really is okay to let things fall for a little while. You and your love ones will make it through.
- Learn to say no.
It’s difficult. Friends are going to ask you to go to the movies. They’ll want to go hiking and come over to hang out. And that’s okay most of the time. But if you’re on a tight deadline and you really need to finish your book, then you’re going to have to say no more than you’d like.
But when you’re finished? Then say yes. Yes, yes, yes to everything. You’ll have plenty of time to play!
- Use Self-Restraint.
Literally. There are two free downloadable programs that will block you from using certain internet sites during your productive time. Self-Restraint is for your PC and Self Control is for the Mac. Use them to block your access to Facebook, to your email, and your favorite sites that you find yourself mindlessly scrolling instead of focusing on your writing. Use it for 15 minutes. An hour. A day. When the time is up, you can access these sites again.
And when your book is finished, things can go back to normal. I promise.
At least until the promotion section begins. Then, my friend, you’re simply on your own. Best wishes to you.
About Mercedes M. Yardley: I have two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although I try my very best. I like to write stories. I like to write poems. I like to write essays and sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they aren’t. I’m the author of Beautiful Sorrows, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, and Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which is the first book of what I’m calling The Bone Angel Trilogy. I specialize in the dark and beautiful