Writing is amazing. It’s my favourite addiction. If I ever get stranded on a deserted island, I’d only need a pen and paper. I’m pretty sure I was born a writer. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a perfectionist. I can assure you that it is highly annoying, but at the same time ensures that I always strive to do my best. That is about the only plus I can think of, and a major con is that during a first draft I want the story to be perfect straight away. It can make finishing a novel a challenge, even more than it already is. So, how do I keep myself motivated when the current of self-doubt is trying to sweep me along?
If you’re going to push yourself, at least make sure you can reach the finish line. There’s no point setting goals that are too high. My goals are usually related to chapters, not word count. I try to finish one chapter a day but am more than okay with writing half, which is about two pages. I don’t really reward myself when I reach my goals. Usually, the reward is finishing the writing. I’m so relieved when that happens and also excited because my story starts to take shape. Writing is like painting a picture without knowing what it is. By the time you’re finished, you’re taken aback by how amazingly everything fits together. Even if you have to make some changes later on.
It always helps me stay inspired when reading something in my genre. Especially when writing my novel, not just before or after. If I’m reading a bad book, then I’m inspired to do better. If I’m reading a good book, then I’m inspired to write something similar. It always gets my hands itching to touch the keyboard. My characters also become very eager to get started, which makes following them around easier.
It should say ‘loyal friends’, but seeing as how all my headings start with an ‘r’, I couldn’t resist. If you have good friends that know you’re a writer hermit who needs the occasional kick in the pants, then by all means, USE THEM. I’ve never done this except with my latest novel, where I let my friend read the novel as I’m writing it. She knows it’s the first draft and lets me know if she likes where it’s going. She also really likes it, so it helps me to know that. I feel like I should send her an update every week and so I’m writing like a maniac. Even if you don’t want your friends to read it as you write, you can still send pics of the word count and prove to them you are writing. Perhaps they can reward you for a certain milestone, whatever works for you.
It’s important to remember that in order for something to be perfect, you have to have something, to begin with. The first draft is your blueprint. You can write it as near-perfect as you can, as long as you write it. Worry about the story later, but for now, only worry about the word count.
If you have any other tips, please share! Have a virtual cookie and a nice day.