Writing a book is one of the most rewarding things that I have every done, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. If it was, everyone would be writing them! In my personal experience, the two hardest parts about writing one are the beginning and the end. At the beginning, you have the whole book out in front of you and it’s overwhelming and daunting. At the end, you’ve already done so much work that you’re losing motivation. I’m at the tail end of TLM right now, and I keep going through phases of majorly struggling and incredible motivation. I experienced this when I wrote Aureole, too, and I’m sure it’ll happen again with Novel 3 (whenever that happens). So how do you power through the end of your book? Here are the tricks that I use, and I hope that they will help you, too.
First things first, how close to the end are you? Do you know exactly or are you estimating? For the planners like me, we can know exactly where we are in relation to the end of the book. For example, my novel TLM is broken into 5 sections, and the first 4 are around 10,000-20,000 each. Since I’m at the beginning of the last section and I know exactly what scenes I have left to write, I know that I’m at the home stretch. But if you’re a pantser (aka you write your book from the seat of your pants aka you don’t have everything planned out exactly), you might have a general idea that you’re at the end without knowing exactly how much you have left. It can be stressful if you know generally where you are but aren’t sure exactly how much is left. If you’re in that position, try to figure out approximately how much you have left, as that can help you wrap your mind around what you need to get done.
Once you’ve figured out where you are in relation to the end of your book, try switching up tactics and trying the other side. If you’re a planner, try free-writing a scene that might happen in the section that you have left. If you’re a pantser, try planning what you have left. This will help you look at your book in a different way and get your brain moving. It can also help you feel less overwhelmed with how much you have left.
There are several other strategies you can use, including asking yourself why you want to write this book. Remind yourself why you’re working so hard and why it’s important that you write this book. I strongly suggest that you write out a list of why you want to write it and then put it up somewhere near where you work. What is it about this story that calls you to it? Why does it matter that you write it? You’re so close – you just need that extra push to get to the end, and if you write why it matters to you and then regularly read those reasons, you might be able to find the motivation that you need.
Another way you can help yourself keep going is to set a tangible reward for finishing. What the reward is will depend on you, but it could be something like a book that you’ve had your eye on for a while, or a new beauty item, or something else entirely. The idea is to pick something that you want to reward yourself with when you’re done so you have an external form of motivation.
Something else that can help you get to the end is to get back in touch with your story in creative ways. Some of the ways that I have done this is by creating things like character aesthetics and novel or character playlists. Aesthetics are groups of pictures that demonstrate the aesthetic of a book or character. Here are the aesthetics for TLM characters. Making those helped me remember more about who they are rather than just a list of characteristics about them. Similarly, novel or character playlists can do the same thing. I wrote an entire post about why you should make these playlists, so I won’t restate all of that here.
How do you power through the tail end of writing a book?
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