How Can Other People Help You Finish Your Book?Apr 22, 2021
Writing a book can be a lonely endeavor. You’ll likely spend hundreds of hours by yourself putting your ideas into words. At times, you might lose momentum and become discouraged. Getting support from others can be the difference between stalling out and finishing strong on your journey to become a published author.
One of your most important resources can be other writers. Your support team can be an important component in the success of every book you’ll write. A good team consists of people who can help you focus on writing when you become distracted, provide pep talks when you’re feeling discouraged, and help you identify your next steps when you lack direction.
It’s easy to lose focus while you’re writing. Life has a way of creeping in and pulling your attention away from your book. The days come and go. Time somehow gets lost. Making yourself accountable to someone else can be a powerful way to overcome distractions.
Think back to when you were in school. If you were like me, you’d avoid working on assignments until right before they were due. Then your focus and productivity would ramp up just in time for you to complete each assignment. This probably happened because you were accountable to your teacher for completing assignments.
You can use a similar approach when you’re writing a book. Rather than a teacher, find an accountability partner. Choose someone who can ensure you complete your writing assignments on time.
When I wrote my first book, my accountability partner was a close friend. He and I spoke on the phone each week. At the end of each call, I would tell him what my writing goals would be for the upcoming week. On our next call, the first thing he would ask was, “Did you meet your goals?”
Just knowing I had to answer to someone kept me focused on writing. Rather than admit defeat on a writing goal, I found myself motivated to write as much as needed to meet those goals each week. Yes, I would often wait until the day before I spoke with him, then frantically write enough pages to meet my weekly goal. That was perfectly fine with me since much of my best writing happened during these last-minute cram sessions.
If you need extra incentive, put some consequences in place if you don’t complete your writing assignments in time. Consider offering to pay your accountability partner $10 every time you don’t meet your goals. That might be all the incentive you need to stay focused until you finish writing your book.
The best accountability partners are people you speak with often. I’ve found that weekly check-ins work best. Each meeting doesn’t have to last long. It can be as quick as the time it takes you to report your results from the previous week, state your goals for the upcoming week, and agree on the consequences if you don’t meet your goals.
Sometimes we all need a pep talk. Writing is hard work, and it can easily become discouraging. Maybe we feel like it isn’t worth the effort or our writing isn’t good enough. We might believe we’ll never finish the overwhelming task of completing a book.
That’s when pep talkers can help. You know these people. They always have encouraging words for you. When all hope seems lost, they can lift your spirits.
If you don’t have a pep talker in your life, it’s time to find one. What’s my recommendation for finding a pep talker? You might not believe it. The best pep talkers I’ve ever found have been strangers I’ve met on social media.
Yes, social media can be a dark and demoralizing place. It can also be filled with blue skies and sunshine if you know where to look. Try this. Go to Facebook, and search for “writers group.” You’ll see dozens of groups to choose from. Find one with a description that looks good, and join that group.
Chances are you’ll meet some excellent pep talkers using this approach. Many people in these writers groups have gone through the struggles you might be facing. They know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. That’s why they can be so effective at providing hope.
If you submit a post about struggles you’re having, it’s likely that you’ll receive a pep-talk comment within hours. I’ve seen experienced writers pile on comments with encouragement and support.
I recommend you join a few writers groups on the social media platform you like best, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or somewhere else, there are groups out there that can help.
If you’re writing your first book, you’ll learn that the journey is filled with obstacles, detours, and dead ends. It’s easy to get lost along the way.
Having tour guides can be invaluable. They can show you shortcuts to help you write, refine, and publish your book. My favorite ways to get guidance while writing is through writing classes and workshops.
You can find dozens of useful courses online and in your local community. Obviously, my favorite choice is the Self Publishing Fast Lane course. It’s a comprehensive offering that will guide you from identifying the topic of your book all the way through self-publishing it on Amazon and other popular bookseller sites.
If you know someone who has written books, they might also be an effective guide. Most authors are very proud of their accomplishments, and they’re happy to give advice to people who have not yet published a book.
I’ve also found helpful tour guides in writers groups. Whether you’re in a group on social media or in your local community, chances are some of the members can help direct you through the writing process.
Whether you’re looking for help overcoming writer’s block, finding an editor, formatting your book, or completing any of the other steps in the publishing process, fellow writers can help. They can keep you on track, provide encouragement, and answer questions you might have.
If you prefer to meet in person, see if a local library, community center, or college has a writers group. Or you might find writers in your neighborhood or church.
One more source of support can be writers associations. Groups like the Alliance of Independent Authors provide advice and host events to help aspiring authors.
Obviously, you’ll want to find a group with members who share your interests. If you want to self-publish your book, choose a group with members who have self-published. If you write in a particular genre, see if you can find a group that specializes in that genre.
Over the years, I’ve been a member of several writers groups where I’ve made valuable connections. The feedback some members have provided has been so helpful that I’ve invited those individuals to become my accountability partners, pep talkers, and tour guides.
Think of forming alliances with other writers as dating. Writers groups give you an opportunity to meet people without making any commitments. You can watch, listen, and ask questions. Then when you find someone who interests you, ask for their number … or their email address.
I recommend you don’t rush into alliances with everyone you meet. Hang back, see who appeals to you, and connect with those people one at a time. With this approach, you’ll likely find a few wonderful people who can make the difference when you’re struggling with your writing and need encouragement. Plus, you might provide the support those people need to accomplish their writing goals as well.
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