Biz Ladies: Part 3 — 10 Ways to Finally Finish Your Book

Illustration by David Saracino

Today marks the third and final installment of the “How to Publish Your Book” series from Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen. In Part 1 and Part 2, Danielle and Linda offered advice on starting the book-publishing process and finding that perfect writing partner/editor. Today, the ladies finish the series with the ultimate advice: how to finally finish your book! Thanks again, Danielle and Linda, for such a wonderful series! — Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump . . .

When you hold your printed book in your hands, or when you see it glowing in full color on screen for the first time, it’s an incredible feeling.

The smoothness of the cover, the page numbers, the accent font. Your name. On. The. Cover. It’s enchanting, mesmerizing, like any newborn.

And then it seeps in. This is your work. Your life’s work. Your big idea. Your bread ‘n butter. Thousands of words coherently strung together to somehow, some way, have an effect on someone, somewhere.

You did it!

Pop the champagne. Take a deep breath. Unfold your vision.

We know what it’s like to get to the finish line. We’ve done it many times.

Here are some of our fave get ‘er done strategies to help you get to the finish line, too. Have at it!

1. Enroll in a social-motivation community-writing experience, like National Novel Writing Month. Or link arms with a couple friends and do a personal NaNoWriMo-esque event of your own.

2. Give yourself a mini reward every 2,000 words. Like a Lady Gaga dance break. Or a “fancy” coffee drink. Like, with foam and caramel.

3. Schedule an epic reward after “The End,” like a day (week, fortnight) at the spa.

4. Tune up. Ask each of your friends to burn a finish-line mix CD for you. Cue “Eye of the Tiger.”

5. e-Decorate. Change your iPad, iPhone and laptop wallpaper to an inspirational mantra or secret message.

6. Turn on a mysterious email auto-responder and go into creative-hermit mode. Danielle’s ‘bot responder from summer 2011:

This message is being sent out by my Gmail auto-responder, but here’s my personal, but automated touch:

If I had, like, a “secretary” he’d say: “Danielle has to hand in her manuscript in August. She eats, writes and sleeps. Not necessarily in that order.” I’m in hiding until my book is done. Which better be soon, or my editor is going to kick my ass. If you don’t hear from me in a few weeks, feel free to circle back.

Sequestered, with Love . . .
Danielle xo

Automated message is now complete.

7. Crank some ambient-electro music with a strong 4-4 house beat, and go into writing-trance mode (write to the beat, write to the beat, oontz oontz oontz . . .)

8. Vow to hit a major philanthropic/social goal with your book sales ($5 from every copy to End Malaria Day!) so that if you don’t finish the book, people die. But go ahead, watch that old episode of Jersey Shore . . . again. Really. It’s fine.

9. Switch up your locale. Book a couple nights at a B&B or hotel (in your ‘hood), visit a coffee shop you’ve never waltzed into or go somewhere completely not conducive to writing (biker bar, strip club, grocery store, Amtrak train). A change of scenery can trigger momentous progress.

10. Announce a BOOK WRAP PARTY, and invite all your friends (and everyone you want to impress). Concrete date. On printed invites. You are SO finishing that book.

Whether you’re writing a memoir you only want your children to read, outlining a breakthrough formula or crafting a self-help book on living or working smarter, you’ve got wisdom to share with industries, nations and seekers everywhere.

The world needs what you’ve got to give.

Give it.

Yours in completion,
Danielle + Linda

  1. Paulina says:

    Thank you ladies. Love nr. 8! I’m closing down Mozilla now. It’s writing time.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this list, ladies! Since I began writing full-time (or rather, freelancing in order to write creatively as much as possible) I’ve discovered the power of my literary network again and again. You just can’t overlook how critical friends are in a such “solitary” life! (Also I love techno. And am from the Jersey Shore. So I feel you on all counts! )

  3. Love the humor and encouragement in this post! No excuses…just write! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sonja Morgan says:

    Thanks for the supportive ideas! I think I just might try some of these :)

  5. jenn staz says:

    #8 made me literally lol. Love it. and definitely a great thought to put some proceeds towards charity. do you recommend marketing the book in that way, or having it be a somewhat hidden bonus?

  6. cecilia says:

    hello girls, i writting you from lima in peru.
    so far but so close thanks to tech.
    muchas gracias for such a wonderful tips in these 3 interesting parts.
    let’s start!!!!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.