I have loved writing since I was young. I remember writing little short stories when I was six and seven years old. Of course, all of the stories I wrote started with “Once upon a time,” and ended with “happily ever after.”

Photo by Mark Hunter

Photo by Mark Hunter

My love for writing never went away. As I grew older, my stories began to branch out away from “once upon a time” and would be longer than a paragraph. I remember writing a story in sixth or seventh grade that was between 15-20 pages long on the rough draft. I can’t remember the details about the story now (I don’t have any copies), but I know it was about a knight (I’ve always love the medieval times – both the time in history and the restaurant/show).

As I approached adulthood, I moved away from fiction writing and into mostly non-fiction. I loved to study out different topics and write about them. I started many different stories and book ideas. I would get outlines or overall story plots, but then I would let it fade into background.

Available on Kindle!

Available on Kindle!

In 2006-7, I began to study about Christian education. As I studied, I turned my focus more toward a Baptist emphasis (I am a Baptist by denomination). My studies led me to writing a book. I didn’t have much time, so I had to make time to do the studying and then to organize and write the content. I read dozens of books, looked through dozens more websites, and talked with several different pastors and school teachers/administrators.

I finally finished the rough draft in 2009. I had some family members and friends that were good at proof-reading go through the book. The editing process continued through the fall of 2011. That fall, I was able to have some students at my college help do some additional research and add some content. In February 2012, I was able to get the first 100 printed copies of my book. I didn’t know anything about marketing, so I still have six of those first 100 copies.

I have now taken steps to get the book in Kindle format and is now available on Amazon. It is priced at $7.99, but is offered free from today until Saturday, June 15, 2013. It is for a narrow audience, but you can get your copy here (it’s free anyway, right?). Also, I’d appreciate it you could help pass the word.

Anyway, we all have different tasks that we have struggles with finishing. Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s a project at work. Maybe it’s something at home. Whatever it is, here are six simple tips to help:

  1. Have a purpose – without a defined purpose, you won’t get very far.
  2. Make time for it – you have to be intentional about what you do and schedule time. Get down to scheduling 5 and 10 minutes times, not just big blocks of time (you probably don’t have big blocks like that).
  3. Have an accountability partner – have someone (or several people) to help keep you accountable. It’s much easier to stay on task if someone is checking up on you.
  4. Look for inspiration – sometimes you need to read or watch (productive) videos to help get some inspiration and ideas.
  5. Set a deadline – decide on when you need to have it done. Self-set deadline may need the help of a partner (#4). Depending on the project or task, you may need to make several deadlines to break the project up.
  6. Sometimes you need a break – if you begin feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Your productivity drops when you get too overwhelmed or stressed. (note: a break is a short, defined time period – not an indefinite stretch).

Questions: Do you have any tips of your own?