In this post, I’m following up on the first entry and giving you the last 10 steps in my 20-step process to writing a book you can be proud of.

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Writing a book is hard work – it’s easier to quit than finish. When you become overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the task, you might be tempted to give up. The key is to follow a proven, straightforward plan.

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The shared feature of all great writers is that they make a contribution, which makes it the most important thing on your "to do" list as a writer.

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Whether you're an old hand or a newbie who is serious about learning to write, the advice is the same: dig in and get that first book out of you.

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"You don't give up writing," says Warren Adler. "If you're a true artist, this is your artistry. Keep writing, keep reading, and stay curious. When in doubt, write on."

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Most authors probably wish they had a gauge of some kind to stick into the pages to tell them when their book is done. It’s not just new, inexperienced writers who have that wish. Most published authors I’ve posed the question to say the same thing: it’s hard to know when to put down the virtual pen.

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The emotional map of your book is different than the plot, though the two are tightly related. Being aware of this emotional current can bring clarity to your writing, and is a powerful way to progress your story.

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