Listen, here’s the thing: No one cares if you finish your book.
I know this sounds harsh, but it is the truth. While there may be people who will be overjoyed if you do finish and disappointed if you don’t, they are not invested in it the way you are.
The only person your lack of progress hurts is you. You will feel the frustration when you’re days away from finishing but can’t bring yourself to write that difficult scene. You will feel the anger when someone else gets a book deal or a spot on the bestseller list, especially when that person is someone you care about and someone you love because you’ve been through this together. You were on the same side and now they’ve crossed the bridge and you’re here, still here, on this side. And it’s not their fault, it’s yours, and you’re angry with yourself because you still haven’t finished and you can’t really complain about not being given a chance when you don’t have anything to show.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
You should be angry. You should be angry because you’re telling yourself lies. Just like I told myself lies. You tell yourself you don’t have time, you tell yourself you need to make more money, you tell yourself that you’re not capable enough, that it doesn’t matter anyway because even if you did finish it, it’s not like anyone is going to buy it. You tell yourself that you have two unpublished novels already and writing a third one isn’t going to bring you any closer to your goals.
It’s okay. I told myself lies, too. We all do. It’s when I got angry and stopped with the lies that the real work began.
There is no secret. I wish I could promise one that would magically get you to your goals, but unfortunately, there is only one way to get a book written. And that is to pull yourself together and get the book written.
That is where I can help.
Look, I’ll be straight here. You can struggle along if that’s what you want to do. You can battle with yourself, make excuses, cry and blame the industry, and still make no progress. You might even finish eventually, as I did. It could take three years or six or ten. Or you can do something about it now and reach your goals faster.
I’m telling you to do something about it. Because if you were going to finish this book by yourself, you would have done so already. So you can take five years like I did before I asked for help, or you can become part of a community that will keep you accountable, help you stay focused and on track, and be honest with you about your shortcomings.
We’re going to do that with my new program “Finish That Damn Book.”
This is a 12-week program, which includes daily motivational videos that will help you stay on track, a weekly audio/video training on overcoming roadblocks and increasing productivity, and a monthly marketing training that will help you start working on building your audience and learning how to make yourself attractive to an agent as you finish the book.
The short DAILY videos will serve up inspiration and keep you accountable. You’ll also have access to me and a community of other writers who’re looking to achieve the same goal as you of finishing a book (fiction or non-fiction, doesn’t matter). I’ve already started working on my second novel and a non-fiction book proposal, so I’ll be working alongside you as we go through the course.
Here's the breakdown:
Week #1: Why have you not finished your book yet?
Week #2: Creating systems for maximum productivity
Week #3: Challenging your belief system
Week #4: What does success mean to you?
Week #5: Creating conditions for success
Week #6: Pacing yourself and avoiding burnout
Week #7: Gamifying your writing with challenges and a core peer group
Week #8: What to do when you fall off the writing wagon
Week #9: The power of community and how to use it wisely
Week #10: Envy, comparison, and dealing with negative emotions
Week #11: How not to sabotage yourself at the finish line
Week #12: Making success a habit, not an event
MONTHLY MARKETING TRAININGS:
Month #1: Which publishing option is the best for your book?
Month #2: Signing and working with a literary agent
Month #3: Audience building-- before, during, and after the book launch
* Daily motivational videos
* Access to a community of other writers (through a private Facebook group)
* Occasional challenges and contests to make the process fun
* All your questions answered
I have written for publications in over 20 countries, including TIME, The New York Times, CNN, Parade.com, ABC News (Australia), PsychologyToday.com, The Christian Science Monitor, The International Herald Tribune, Global Post and The Independent (UK). I’m a contributing editor at Elle magazine’s Indian edition and have been published in women’s magazines around the world, including several foreign editions of Cosmopolian, Glamour, Vogue, Self, Marie Claire, and Ms. I have written for both The Writer and Writer’s Digest.
I self-published my first book in 2005 and since have published two more works of non-fiction. I have just completed my first novel, which is represented by a top New York agency. Most recently, I was featured in the book "The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories From the World's Best Writers."
I’ve also been a contributor to books Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas, Chicken Soup for the Pre-Teen Soul II, and Voices of Alcoholism.
I have worked lived and worked out of Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America and have won two awards for my work, including the 2010 “Development Journalist of the Year” award from the Developing Asia Journalism Awards forum.
I run the popular website The International Freelancer.