How to Get from Halfway-Done to Finished First Draft

WNFINOVEMBER.png This post is part of the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (WNFIN), also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), which is sponsored by the Nonfiction Writers’ University — join today for just $1! To find out more or participate in the WNFIN challenge, click here.

finished manuscriptYou set out to write a book in a month, and the month is more than halfway over. Your manuscript is halfway done, but your starting to struggle. The end is in sight, but you’re tired and producing a finished first draft by the end of November seems like a pipe dream. Writing every day and meeting your word quota has been hard. You’re beginning to believe you can’t do it or maybe you just don’t have the stamina to cross the finish line.

Think again.

The only thing holding you back is your mindset. If you stop thinking you can’t do it and instead believe you can, you’ll find yourself speeding through your writing periods and finishing your manuscript with time to spare.

Visualize “The End”

Think of yourself as a marathon runner. Just about now, you’re halfway through the event. Your legs feel heavy, and your lungs seem about to burst. And your mind has developed a mantra that keeps time with your feet on the pavement: “I have to stop. I have to stop. I have to stop.” But marathon runners don’t stop at the half-way point. They generate a burst of energy and keep running as they tell themselves, “I’ve got this. I’ve got this. I’ve got this.”

You see, they’ve visualized themselves powering through the tough spots in the race. They’ve prepared themselves for the negative thoughts, and they have developed triggers and affirmations to help them turn their negativity to positivity.

You need to do the same. Visualize what it would be like to get through this rough patch in your November writing event. How would it feel to finish your manuscript in a month? What would you have to do to make that happen?

Now, do that! Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward—a positive mantra, additional writing periods, an accountability buddy, or a weekend away so you can write all day long.

Acknowledge Your Current Success

Consider this: You’ve made it to the halfway point. You’ve got half a manuscript written. That’s a big deal! And you did it in just 22 days! Pat yourself on the back! Get excited—and inspired—by your success.

Now, tell yourself that you can repeat that success. You can buckle down and keep writing until the end of November. You can finish your manuscript.

Each time your mind says, “No, you can’t,” reply, “Yes, I can. I’ve already proved I can do it…and I’ll continue proving it!”

Get Charged Up

The only thing between you and finishing your November writing event is you. That’s right. You.

More accurately, it’s your mind. It wants things to stay status quo. It wants comfort. Remaining comfortable won’t help you write a book in 30 days, though. Getting a little uncomfortable will serve you better.

If you let your mindset affect your ability to succeed, you end up feeling caged. Stuck. And you use excuses and find people to blame for your inability to complete what you started. You convince yourself no one understands how hard it is to write a book in 30 days. Therefore, they don’t get why you can’t complete the challenge (and your manuscript). And that keeps you more stuck.

A writing challenge like the Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge helps you grow, change, and become a writer. Challenge and growth mean change, but the combination of the three—challenge, growth, and change—make you feel energized and alive. They push you out of that stuck place and your comfort zone and toward the accomplishment of your goals. When you take a challenge and meet it, you feel charged, which gives you the ability to keep moving forward.

6 Ways to Charge Yourself Up

To help yourself get energized for the last leg of your marathon and help you charge across the finish line with a finished manuscript, try these six strategies.

1. Begin each writing period with a goal. For example, “I intend to write 1,000 words in 60 minutes,” or “I plan to complete chapter 2.” 2. Give yourself deadlines. The most successful writers use deadlines. Yes, you have a deadline to finish our manuscript by the end of November. But use mini-deadlines as well, such as to write 2,000 words by the end of the day or to complete chapter 10 by the end of the week. 3. Energize your writing. Before you sit down to write, create the energy to do so. You are like a power plant; you can generate energy. So, take 20 deep breaths, do some jumping jacks, or go for a brisk walk, and then start to write.
4. Sprint to the finish line. Set up a timer, and write for 15 or 30 minutes at a pop…as fast as you can. You’d be amazed at how much you can write in that amount of time. Don’t just do one sprint; do two or three per hour.
5. Be accountable. Get an accountability partner, someone who will call you out if you don’t write every day or meet your weekly word-count goals. If you don’t have an accountability partner, let social media help you out. Make your daily or weekly goals public (like on the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge Facebook page). 6. Visualize success daily. Spend at least five to 10 minutes visualizing yourself finishing your manuscript every day. Also, visualize all the times when you will feel like you can’t complete the challenge—and see yourself moving through those times and continuing to write. See yourself going from start to finish.

When you learn to manage your mindset, you  discover that you have control over the results you achieve. And when you determine your mindset, you have the ability to succeed at a 30-day writing challenge—or any other goal you set.

If you struggle to master your mindset, and you know it is impacting your writing results, click here. The next High-Performance Writer Group Coaching session. begins in January. Take advantage of the early early-bird special and save $100 if you register in November!

How will you manage your mindset so you achieve your writing goals? Tell me about it a comment below.

Take the Challenge!

To learn more about how to take the WNFIN Challenge and participate in NaNonFiWriMo, click here.

Photo copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

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