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3 Reasons Writers Don't Finish their Manuscripts and How to Overcome Them

Posted by Arthur Gutch on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

Before you release a book for sale, you have to first complete your manuscript.

This can seem like the easy part of the process. After all, book marketing is often considered the hardest part of self-publishing. However, when you as writer get stuck while completing your manuscript, getting it to completion can seem impossible. To help you overcome this hurdle, read below for the common reasons writers fail to complete a manuscript and how to overcome them:

Finish Manuscript

Not enough commitment:
One reason writers sometimes fail to finish a manuscript is a failure to commit fully to the project. Lack of commitment can appear in the form of trying to do too many projects at once or not setting aside enough time each day to write. In addition, some writers move on to other manuscripts before completing the one they are on and thus never get finished with their original project.

To prevent this common roadblock, consider setting aside a certain time each day to work on just your manuscript and nothing else. In addition, do not allow yourself to move on to the next project before your manuscript is completed. This will ensure you are committed fully to completing your manuscript.

Perfectionism:
Writers sometimes rewrite their work before their whole first draft is complete. This is often times due to perfectionism. In other words, a writer will feel a piece of their manuscript is not 100 percent perfect and thus keep working on that one area of the piece and never move on.

To overcome this hurdle as a writer, know ahead of time that your work will not be perfect during your first draft. Understand that writing is a process and that you can go back later and perfect odd phrases or check for proper grammar. Your first draft should be just that, a first draft or jumping off point for your perfect story.

Writer’s block:
The final reason many writers neglect to complete a manuscript is writer’s block. This dreaded phenomenon is all too familiar to most writers. Writer’s block simply means a writer can no longer foresee the direction he or she plans to take in regards to their manuscript and hits a figurative road block in their project.

If you find yourself dealing with the dreaded writer’s block, consider adding a complication to your story. If for example you have things in your narrative neatly wrapped up, consider adding a complication to the story to open the storyline up once again.

Of course, you could be experiencing writer’s block not for lack of ideas but as a result of too many ideas. If too many ideas are distracting you from finishing your manuscript, consider writing down these storylines in a separate location and then remove them from your thought process. Of course, if you can work them into your plot and keep coherence in tact, that is also an option. However, focus is key, so writing down extra ideas to utilize in a later project can free you of the excess and help you focus on finishing your current project.

In the self-publishing world, you have to deal with book and author marketing as well as many other aspects of the craft. However, before you get to that point, you have to finish your manuscript. Follow the tips above to overcome the three most common reasons manuscripts remain unfinished.

 

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Tags: self publishing, writing tips, time to write, book writing tips

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