Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is over, I’m still working on my story. It has been a marathon, quoth someone who has never ran more than 5k. I’m sharing three ways I keep motivated.
To keep motivated I reward, rally, and face reality.
1. Reward – The Light at the End of the Tunnel
With one project last year my husband built incentive for me by offering to take me to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. When I asked myself, “Why am I even doing this?” It was one more reason to justify it.
Sometimes in writing a story things don’t come out quite the way you expected. When this happens, I try to rally my troops, i.e. the resources, be they characters, outlines, etc.
There is a passage in “A Circle of Quiet” where Madeliene L’Engle discusses character development. I can’t find my copy and can’t find the quote online, but she talks about how characters sometimes surprise the writer and don’t follow the outline.
Sometimes as I write a character and gain a better feel, they don’t behave like they should.
Other times I’ve found outlines to have tangents that don’t serve the end goal as well as they should. I save those ideas for later but let the story evolve.
3 – Face Reality – Know Your Limits
There’s only so much I can do in a day before I reach my limit. Once that limit is reached I stop gaining momentum in my work. It’s best to take a break or call it.
If I ignore the goal, I may run my internal well dry risking writer’s block or frustration.
How do you stay motivated?
Bonus: Here’s one of my favorite pieces of advice on writing.
For more advice from well-loved authors, click here.