7 Effective Tips to Help You Complete Your Manuscript

The process of writing and completing a manuscript is one of the biggest accomplishments of a writer’s life, whether you are working on a non-fiction book, a fiction novel, or a collection of short stories. While it is the most exciting thing in your life, this task can be equally daunting and painful. 

It is wise to devise some strategies to suit your personal needs and preferences to keep yourself motivated and focused until the last page of your book. Here are 7 most effective tips to help you through the process of writing: 

Clarity in goals

Like any other task in your life, you need to be aware of your goal while writing. Start by defining clear, achievable goals for your writing project. You can make a clear roadmap of your writing journey by making small sections or chapters to set as targets to achieve regularly. 

Set deadlines to achieve the goals. Having specific targets can keep you on track and give you a sense of accomplishment as you meet each milestone. You can use the SMART goal framework- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

The SMART framework ensures your goals are well-defined and propel you forward. For instance, a vague goal like “write more” can be turned into a specific one as “write 1000 words on character development by Friday”. This targeted approach provides you with clarity to measure your progress. 

Establish a routine

Consistency is key to making steady progress while starting your journey of manuscript writing. Establish a daily or weekly routine that fits your schedule. Whether it is one hour every morning or a few hours every weekend, stick to your routine to build momentum and make writing a habit. 

By regularly showing up to your writing desk, you train your brain to enter writing mode which makes the process smooth and productive. Having a routine also helps you beat procrastination which is the nemesis of writers. It saves you the struggle of deciding to dedicate what time of the day to your writing. 

When your brain is trained according to the routine you do not waste time putting it on the track and in the mode of writing. It is already prepared for the task and you can always utilize this time to be more creative with your work. 

Dedicate a space for writing

Among other distractions, having no workspace can be a hard one to deal with. It is important that you have a dedicated writing space. It can help you focus while minimizing distractions. Choose a quiet, comfortable area where you can concentrate solely on your manuscript free of worldly distractions. 

Keep your space organized and stocked with any material that is required for the manuscript. This way you would not lose the important material (such as notebooks, pens, reference books, etc.)  if you have a dedicated workspace. Keep the space clutter-free and organized to think straight. 

Having a dedicated workspace does not necessarily mean that you occupy a whole room, it could be any corner of the house or a spot in a library. The key is to carve out a physical area that signifies “writing time” to your brain. Do not forget to invest in a comfortable chair for long writing sessions. 

Get timely feedback

One of the most effective tips to propel your manuscript forward is to seek feedback early and often. It might be tempting to hold onto your work in a protective bubble until it feels perfect, but this can hinder your progress.

Early feedback allows you to identify areas for improvement before you invest significant time and energy down a path that may not resonate with readers. You can hire a book coach to share your drafts or have critique partners online to gain fresh perspectives and identify weaknesses. 

Set a manageable daily word limit

Setting a daily word count goal can make the task of writing less overwhelming. Aim for a manageable number of words that you can achieve every day. Even a goal of less than 500 words can bring you closer to your final goal than not having any word count goal. 

The key is to find a number for yourself that fits comfortably with your routine and leaves you feeling accomplished, and not discouraged. Writing a manuscript is just like building a structure, like laying bricks each day you add a manageable amount steadily building the structure of your manuscript. 

For longer writing sessions, the manageable word count becomes a checkpoint, a way to measure progress and stay motivated. Hitting your target provides a sense of accomplishment and fuels the drive to keep going. It also helps identify potential roadblocks. 

Get rid of the distractions

One of the biggest hurdles on the road to finishing your manuscript is the constant distractions. Identify and eliminate distractions that hinder your writing process. By creating a distraction-free zone, you can set yourself up for focused writing sessions and make significant progress on your manuscript.

Turn off notifications on your phone, use website blockers to avoid time-wasting sites, and let family members know your writing schedule so they can respect your time. If you find background noise distracting, consider noise-canceling headphones or exploring libraries or co-working spaces that offer a quieter environment. 

It is always good to keep your workspace clean because a clean workspace can also be a big help. A messy space leads to messy thoughts. Tidy up your desk, put away anything unrelated to your writing, and minimize clutter that might grab your attention. 

Prioritize your health 

The burning desire to finish your manuscript can be a double-edged sword. While passion is crucial, neglecting your physical and mental well-being can hinder progress. When you spend hours in front of the screen and struggle with battling writer’s block you end up being frustrated.

Your creativity is compromised and the quality of your work suffers. It is important to step away for a short walk, some light exercise or even a mindful meditation session can refresh your perspective. Returning to your manuscript with renewed energy allows you to tackle challenges with a clearer mind.

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