How To Finish Writing A Book

This post is for people who have great story ideas, but can’t seem to finish a book. I’ve definitely been there – my teens and early 20’s were consistently filled with moments of me being inspired, but not yet having the tools to finish a story. I’m going to share what has helped me finish over 20 books (16 of them are published!)

#1 Realize That Practice Is Always Beneficial To Writing

If you’ve tried starting a story only to abandon it, that’s nothing to be ashamed about. I consider this to be practice. I did this a lot before finally finishing my first novel. All writing is practice for the bigger project that’s coming. Even if you finish a whole book and decide not to publish it, that is good practice, too. Not all writing needs to be published or even shared – what matters is that you enjoy doing it.

#2 Try An Outline

Sometimes all you need is an outline to guide you on what to write for each chapter. I found this very helpful for writing my first story – I ended up straying a little from the outline, but at least it helped me get started! I also noticed that the inspiration and productivity just flowed after that initial outlining experience. You may or may not continue to use outlines in your writing after that first book.

#3 Don’t Worry About Daily/Weekly Goals

While writing goals help some people, it can feel daunting to others. Especially if you’ve had trouble moving your story beyond the first few chapters, you don’t want to bog yourself down with high targets every day. Stress is usually the enemy of creativity. Write when you have time and let the story flow how it’s meant to for that session.

#4 Make Time To Write

This one seems obvious, but it’s often forgotten about. Of course we’re all busy to some degree, but there’s almost always at least one hour in the day someone can carve out for a hobby if they really want to do it. In all honesty, writing is the thing I’ve always done on my free time (Besides walks, workouts, dates, and the occasional TV show). The time others spend watching TV every night or hanging out with friends is the time you’ll be spending writing – if that’s what you really want to do. If you can’t bring yourself to cut down on social time, you could try writing at a café with a friend while they work/study with you.

#5 Find A Routine That Works Best For You

This one is huge. What worked for me as an author may not work for you. I found a rhythm that worked best for me. Find your groove. Experiment with writing at different times of the day and try writing in different areas to see what works best for you.

#6 Write What You Love

If you get caught up in writing to please people or writing to get rich, the anxiety and pressure will stifle your motivation. Write a story you really want to read yourself. Writing should be fun at the end of the day. If you enjoy the story you’re writing, you’ll look forward to working on it the next day.

#7 Listen To Inspiring Music

With a few exceptions, most writers write best when they’ve listened to some motivating music before writing. Some people can write while listening to music (I’ve found this super helpful). Fill your eyes and ears with stuff that puts you in the mood to write.

#8 Incorporate Exercise In Your Day

Getting a great workout or a long walk into your day will help clear your mind, relieve stress, and burn off some energy. This is beneficial to being a productive writer as well. I always felt good knowing I was balancing being active with writing – I want to be able to keep up with my characters in case I was ever sucked into their world. 😉 But seriously, movement is so good for your mental and physical health. It’ll enhance your creativity – I promise.


I hope you found this post helpful today! Thank you so much for reading. ❤

(Photo by Pixabay:



  1. These tips are great.

    Especially exercise, whenever I hit a writing wall whether at work (I’m a radio journalist and shout “I can’t write” 6 times a week minimum) or my personal work, walking away, even for just 5 minutes always helps

  2. Hey Sara, this is a really great read from the perspective of someone who is not on the journey of writing novels but instead, learning about this thing writing that I truly enjoy. I read so many “tips” on writing that feel stressful to incorporate. I write when I feel it but I have seen that just sitting with my journal with nothing to say at the outset always reveals something pretty interesting. I want to be more consistent and love that you emphasize the value in that but to be gentle and kind with yourself until you get there. Thank you so much for this. I found great value in this.

  3. So true! It took me five tries to finish my book, which spanned over five years. I say finished..but it’s a very rough first draft. But done is done and all of the writing was worth it.

  4. Music – absolutely, depending on what we listen to, the music can bring us somewhere else, expand our mind and imagination. I find that weekend trips somewhere different can also generate ideas. For me, being by the ocean and hearing the waves, smelling fresh air – wonderful!

  5. Love this post! I never have any trouble getting started with a book; working through the middle is always the toughest part for me, and these are some great tips. Would you mind if I reblogged this?

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