You’ve had it. I’ve had it. We’ve all had it. That’s what writing is for beginners, after all – not finishing stories. And it’s okay, at first, to test out a thousand little plot bunnies.
But at some point, to become an author, you must finish a novel. Still, it’s not like it’s easy. So many things stand in our way – writer’s block, new story ideas, negative thoughts, plot holes, and a thousand other little problems.
In this post, I’m offering practical solutions to the illness that’s plagued us all for years: unfinisheditis.
For some reason, Google reveals no results for Unfinisheditis. But I can loosely define it as:
The inability to finish a story or novel.
It’s a terrible sickness that keeps coming back, keeps plaguing novelists of all ages and backgrounds, and never seems to quite be gone. But I have 5 practical steps for overcoming it. So let’s begin!
5 Practical Steps to Overcoming Unfinisheditis
1: Get to the root of the problem.
Every person who experiences this disease will experience it in a different way. And that means the reasoning behind it will be different, too.
Do you find yourself fizzling out and disliking your novel midway through? Perhaps you love too many of your plot bunnies to focus on one? Do you not really like the genre of book you’re writing? Or do you get bored with the endless work without any help?
Without knowing the reason why, overcoming unfinisheditis becomes pretty impossible. So sit down and write out your feelings about the project.
Why do you have unfinisheditis?
2: Ask yourself how you got to this place.
Now that you know the reason why, you can figure out the how. Did you pick a story idea that was too improbable? Or is it possible you pushed yourself too hard and burnt out?
However you got infected with the terrible disease that is unfinisheditis, find that out. Once you know, you’ll be equipped to move onto the next step!
3: Decide what you’re going to do.
Make a plan, a goal, and stick to it.
Perhaps you want to finish the novel within a week or two. Perhaps you want to finish it during NaNoWriMo before moving on to your next project. Or maybe you just want to write 500 words a day until it’s finished.
Don’t do anything too unreasonable, but pushing yourself is always a good idea unless your schedule is just too crazy to allow it.
But be sure that the goal is single-mindedly focused on finishing your book, whether that is just writing, moving on to another project you can finish, or even doing a little extra outlining to figure out your next step.
4: Get an accountability partner or ten & tell them.
Your goal will be easy to break – and you will never overcome unfinisheditis – unless you share it with people!
Though it’s good, of course, to tell a lot of people in general (e.g. your followers, friends, and family), also be sure to collect a few people around you who are determined to be your accountability partner.
I have a bunch of groups here and there who help me, but my main accountability partners tend to be from a Hangouts group (we call ourselves the “Chatter Box Girls”). We not only talk writing but also pray for each other and talk about our lives.
And honestly, you need friends who are willing to be stern with you! Of course encouragement is the main thing, but a gentle reprimand or some help getting to the roots of the issue when you don’t write is always amazing.
We all need accountability partners in our lives for so many things, and writing is no different.
5: Make yourself finish that story!
Whether this is the story you’ve been slaving away at for months or a new one, write that novel! It needs to be finished no matter the cost.
If you’re a writer, you have to write. Writer’s block does infect a lot of us, but often we just need to put hard work and effort into writing to make it happen.
Are you ready to start overcoming unfinisheditis?
Other Posts You Make Like
- 5 Myths About Writing Debunked
- How to Keep Your Blogging Inspiration Flowing
- Writing Will Get Easier
Before you go …
Bloggers, could you help me host a blog tour for Lisa Renee’s novel, More than a Second Chance?
All the info is in the link …
I would really appreciate the support, and I know Lisa would as well!
Have you ever had trouble overcoming unfinisheditis? How do you write when you don’t feel like it? Have you ever finished a novel (& how many and what about)?