Do you really really really really *deep breath* really really really really want to finish a book? A dissertation? A proposal? A blog post?
Then our simple advice to you (that will make it MUCH more likely that you finish your behemoth of a writing project) is…write with the end in mind.
Or in Yoda-speak, for pure emphasis, ‘With the end in mind, you must write.’
Before we get the T-shirts made, let’s discuss how you can go about following this sage advice. What’s below is in no particular order–they’re just practical tips and suggestions that can help you finish what you write.
- Finish your outline and flesh it out!
Do this and the hardest part of the journey to a finished draft will be over. Making an outline is essentially creating a roadmap to the end of your project.
It helps you understand the big picture of what you’re writing and solves the problem of starting something with no end in sight. This goes for books, posts, proposals and so on and so forth.
But it’s not enough to have 3 or 4 bullets saying ‘Intro’, ‘Body’, ‘Conclusion’. Flesh it out with concrete ideas, the points you want to make and even, if you can, a few examples and details. The more fleshed out it is, the better it will guide you to the finish line. Read an early post on our blog that goes into further detail about that power of outlining.
- Reflect on your intention.
Why do you want to work on and finish this project? Is it because you have a story you need to get out? Is it because you want to make a name for yourself as a professional blogger? Who are you trying to reach? Is this important for your job or career?
Reflecting on what you’re hoping ‘success’ will look like for your project will help you better take the steps to achieving it (or adjusting your goals). Write with intention!
- Work backwards.
Writing on a deadline? Then take that date and fill in the blanks.
If you have something you want done 3 months from now, what does that mean you need to have done in 2 months? 1 month? 2 weeks? 1 week? Mark things in your calendar and set aside time for your project. Sometimes just planning and scheduling time for your tasks and projects in the future is a great, easy way to still make progress on it.
- Break down your project into writing ‘milestones’.
Treat each one like a congratulatory chunk of work reached or started. You know that feeling when you finish something? Or that feeling of a fresh start when you begin something new? You’ll get more of those feelings by simply chunking out your project. You can make each milestone achievable and reachable (and therefore feel good more often when you do reach them) and each new milestone to be reached feel more like a fresh new start, which is inspiring and helps you stay motivated in spurts.
Looking for a longer read on ‘thinking with the end in mind’ when goal-setting? There are a ton of great resources and tips online. Here’s a great piece from the Rising Tide Society’s blog, another from the Fitbit blog and one from TheNextWeb’s blog.
Helpful? Let us know below!
Now get out there and finish writing that ___!
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