How to Finish Your Manuscript and Become a Published Author

Share this Post

Table of Contents

Is your manuscript gathering digital dust in a forgotten folder? Have you hit a wall, unsure how to move forward? Or maybe you’re just plain overwhelmed by the task of finishing your book. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many writers struggle with completing their manuscripts, but the good news is, that it’s never too late to resurrect your project and bring your story to life.

Why Manuscripts Stall (And It’s Not Always Writer’s Block)

perfectionism at work leading to the author abandoning their manuscript

There are a million reasons people abandon their manuscripts before completion. 

  • Fear of Failure: The fear of your work not being good enough can be paralyzing. This is particularly common with perfectionists. Remember, perfection is an illusion. Your first draft doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be done.
  • Life Happens: Work, family, health issues – life’s curveballs can easily derail your writing plans. The key is to find ways to integrate writing into your life, even in small chunks.
  • Loss of Motivation: Sometimes, the initial excitement fades, and the project feels daunting. Reconnecting with your passion and setting achievable goals can help rediscover your motivation.
  • Writer’s Block: This can be a real struggle, but it’s often a symptom of a deeper issue. (My post on Writer’s Block can help you identify and address those underlying causes.

Practical Steps That Will Help You Finish Your Manuscript

perfectionism paradox

1. Rekindle Your Passion

Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s easy to lose steam along the way. Reconnecting with your initial excitement can reignite your motivation and make the process feel more enjoyable. Revisiting your inspiration and favourite parts in the book or talking about it can help you remember why you started writing in the first place. You can also immerse yourself in your writing genre by reading works from other authors.

2. Set Realistic Goals

A blank page can be daunting. Breaking down your project into smaller, manageable tasks makes it feel less overwhelming. Setting achievable goals gives you a sense of progress and momentum, which can help you push through those inevitable moments of doubt. Break down your project into small manageable chunks, create a writing schedule, focus on daily word counts or writing sessions, and celebrate milestones.

3. Seek Support

Writing can be a lonely affair. Having a supportive community can make all the difference. Joining a writing group or finding a writing buddy provides a space for feedback, encouragement, and accountability. If you need more personalized guidance, a writing coach or developmental editor (like me!) can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies for improvement.

4. Embrace Imperfection

Striving for perfection can lead to paralysis. By permitting yourself to write a “messy” first draft, you free yourself from the pressure to get it right the first time. This allows you to focus on getting your ideas down on paper and developing your story, knowing that you can always go back and refine it later.

The Final Push: Getting Your Book Across the Finish Line

Once you’ve completed your draft, the work isn’t over, but you’re closer than you think! The next steps include:

  • Revision and Editing: This is where you refine your story, strengthen your characters, and polish your prose.
  • Beta Readers: Get feedback from trusted readers to identify areas that need improvement.
  • Professional Editing: Consider hiring a professional editor to ensure your book is the best it can be.
  • Publishing: Whether you choose traditional publishing or self-publishing, take the final leap and share your story with the world!

Your Story Matters; Let’s Tell It Together

Your manuscript deserves to be finished. Your story deserves to be told. Don’t let fear, procrastination, or life’s challenges hold you back. Remember, every great book started as an unfinished manuscript. Yours could be next. If you’re ready to finish your manuscript but need a helping hand, let’s chat! As a ghostwriter and developmental editor, I can provide the guidance and support you need to bring your book to life.


Share this Post
Stay updated with us.

Join our newsletter to stay informed of latest updates and up coming events.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Explore More
Scroll to Top