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How to make this the year you finish your book

Set your writing goal and smash it before July 

2020 was... well – let's just be polite and say that it’s nice to have it behind us. 2021 is a whole new year, filled with possibility. SUCH AS the possibility that you might just finish that book you’re writing. So, pull up your socks and get ready to knuckle down - let’s make this year your year.  

WEBINAR: Free webinar on writing goals – open to everyone 

12 January. Join the published and unpublished writers at team Jericho as we discuss our writing goals for the year and how to ensure we reach them. All are welcome to this one! 


This week at Jericho Writers:

WEBINARS: January is ‘finishing your book’ month (Exclusive to members) 

We’re starting January as we mean to go on, with webinars from Dr Sharon Zink, Linda Camacho, Patrice Lawrence and more, themed around motivation.  


BLOG: Writing goals: how to set them and how to achieve them 

This blog post will give you the tools you need to set a realistic target for your writing this year and ensure you reach it before the year is out. 


COMMUNITY: Declare your 2021 writing goal (Open to all) 

If you haven’t already, declare your writing goal alongside fellow members here and make a pact with the universe to reach it before July. We’ll follow this up with a webinar with the team on January 12th to discuss how we can ensure we reach them.   


How to finish a book (by someone who’s written 7)


Like many of you, I’m starting 2021 with the goal to finish writing the first draft of a book.  

My first book took me four years to write and another two to edit. I’m hoping this book will take three months to write, and nine to edit. Here's my guide to planning (not panicking):  

1: Put effort into planning. I used to be a no-planning-pantser, but now I’m a solid plotter. I’ve spent two months LIVING my book – drawing plot arcs; filling in character questionnaires; researching; playing with voice and writing it all out in synopsis form. It’ll all help when it comes to the next step. 

2: Give yourself a realistic target. I know I can usually write 800 words before I get bored. 1,000 is a push. I write my novels in one-week chunks. I set a target of 1,000 words a day, but really just give myself the goal of 7,000 words a week. Sometimes, I need a night off. As long as I make up for it over the weekend, we’re good.  

3: Write a ‘ditch draft’. Write, write, write and don’t look back. Write thinking you’ll end up deleting every single word. Just let those crappy words flow.  

4: Re-write that draft. Once I’ve finished my ditch draft, I open a new document and start again. I can copy the good bits over this way, but give myself clean space to re-structure scenes. Not all writers love this tip (because it’s double the work), but it’s saved me MONTHS of pain not seeing the woods for the trees.  

5: Give yourself a break. Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s okay. Just do what you need to do to keep going when you can. If the only thing stopping you from writing is yourself, then it’s time to give that self a stern talking to.  

So, what’s your goal for this year? How are you going to reach it? Declare it in the comments here and give yourself a commitment

Sarah x 

Plus, don’t miss: 


Agent one-to-one January sessions now open for booking! (10% member discount)  

Book a one-to-one call with the literary agent or book doctor of your choice and get that all-important feedback on your work. Warning – these will sell out fast. 

Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 

Agent Submission Pack review service (Discounts available for members)

Get professional feedback on your opening 10,000 words, your cover letter, and your synopsis from one of our expert editors. 

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  • I am a retired Finance Director so I have a spreadsheet pinned to my notice board timetabling the completion and tabulating my progress  of No2 in the "Sir George" series -"Good Afternoon" which I should complete by May. Watch this space!

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