How to stay focused on writing one book

Sometimes inspiration strikes for an entirely different book than the one you’re working on. Unfortunately, this can create the problem of stopping one book and starting a new one so that your original work never gets finished.

The odds are that the new project you started won’t get completed either, though. You’ll come up with another great idea for a book and start working on that one.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay focused on writing one book:
• Limit new project ideas to note taking – If an idea comes to you for a new book, quickly jot it down and forget about it. Keep those notes in a separate folder or file. That means no research on the new book, no outlines of it, no writing character sketches, etc.
• Set a deadline – If you can write 2,000 words a day, you’ll need 35 days to write a 70,000 word novel. Being realistic – you may be ill, holidays occur, emergencies with the kids happen – give yourself a few extra days. So, that means in 50 days you will complete your novel. That means no other writing can interfere with your goal of 2,000 words a day for about two months.
• Dedicate time slots – If you need two hours to write those 2,000 words, then set aside two specific hours each day in which you only work on your book. Nothing else can be written during that time.
• Bet on yourself – One wild trick I’ve heard some writers successfully use is to give a hundred dollars cash to a close, trustworthy, relative or friend. When you complete the novel and show it your relative/friend, then you get the money back. You need not use money; perhaps you instead agree with your spouse that if you don’t complete the novel by a specific date, you will do the one chore you absolutely hate to do for the next two months.