Hurdles for Publishing Your Book: How to Finish the Writing

You start writing a book, but down to the last chapters, it can feel like you’ll never finish. How will you know when it’s done? Our authors and publishing team have some practical advice on how to finish writing your book.

You start writing a book...

... but down to the last chapters, it can feel like you'll never finish. How will you know when it's done? Our authors and publishing team have some brilliant advice on how to finish writing your book. There are no secrets or short-cuts, but here are some common pitfalls which you can avoid:

You get distracted from your writing plan

The book is 90% finished, so you let your guard down, even after taking care up until now to schedule your writing time. Writers are creative people, so it’s no surprise, you can easily get distracted by new ideas popping up before finishing your first work. Newly discovered information might affect how you want to end your book. But you must avoid writing two books in one - because this gives you an opportunity to expand your portfolio later. Jot down your ideas for a second book and any research you want to follow up. Then turn your mind back to the task in hand. Your writing plan will help you focus on the problem you set out to solve and it should be detailed enough to indicate the conclusion you are aiming for..

You stop writing because you think it's complete rubbish

It’s natural for writers to get tired of writing, especially if you’ve not been taking care of yourself. Before finishing, you read the words over and over, getting to a point where you can’t trust your own perspective. Here you need to employ some basic positive mental attitude techniques. Try writing all your negative thoughts down on an index card, flip it over and write the polar-opposite thought on the reverse, for example, "Everyone will love my book." Turn the positive list into your daily mantra, repeating it two or ten times daily, until you feel the writer’s block lift. Why not ask a professional to look at the work you've already done. This should give you the fresh perspective and new energy you need. SilverWood has an offer to read and give constructive feedback on the first three chapters for £55. Read more here.

You can't articulate the ending well enough

Sometimes your writing reaches a dead end; you can’t make it flow properly to the conclusion you wanted. Your plan shows roughly what should be there in the closing chapters, but no matter how hard you try, the words are twisting into waxing platitudes or complex nonsense. Taking a complete break to go for a walk or a few days in another location will help. And here you must think about your audience. How do you want them to feel when they read the last part of your book? Can you picture them in your mind? And could you even sketch them to get your focus back to finish the book for their benefit?

You can't stop tweaking the words for fear of it being criticised

Your manuscript is finished, but instead of handing it over to the editor and proofreader, you tinker with sentences and chop up paragraphs. Authors who’ve already been published are more familiar with how editors and proofreaders can improve their work. But fear of the unknown causes first-time authors to hesitate, question their skills and their 'right to be successful’ - so-called imposter syndrome is real when you’re writing a book. Techniques to overcome it include surrounding yourself with a great team, referring back to your research and sticking to your goals. There’s a lot of advice out there for entrepreneurs and most of it similarly applies to authors, like Alison Edgar’s blog.

You fall out of love with the subject

When you’re struggling to finish writing, you can reach a point where you feel like you simply don’t care anymore. The simple explanation is you’ve lost sight of what you wanted to achieve and why. And if you have reached this point, it’s almost impossible to push yourself through it to finish. You may have to shelve your writing until you reconnect with the reasons why this book matters. Our tip for re-motivating yourself is to check out your competition, especially for non-fiction books. Who’s written a similar book on the subject? What was left unanswered by their book? How will the readers benefit from your studies and what results can you offer?

Often, authors find their frustration with what’s out there will spur them on to finish the manuscript. And this is also great timing to talk to experts in self-publishing, like us. Even though you’re only going to pick one, call a few people to discuss your book and let their enthusiasm re-ignite yours. We are always happy to talk about books! If you'd like to have a chat with one of the SilverWood team, then drop us a line.

Alternatively, if you're ready to show your manuscript to someone and would like some feedback, try one of the links below...

Level 1 Manuscript Feedback

Level 1 Manuscript Feedback

An editorial critique of your manuscript up to 30,000 words


£277.00 plus £55.40 VAT

Reader's Report

Reader's Report

Our cost-effective quick-start overview of your first 50 pages


£94.00 plus £18.80 VAT

“If you’re thinking of self-publishing, I hope you don't go at it alone. With a team like SilverWood behind you, you have the support you need to publish the best work you believe in.”

J A Higgins