Hi, Y’all. Welcome to Writing Wednesday. A new day for a new official segment of my blog, featuring weekly posts on writing tips and tricks to help all my fellow aspiring writers out there.
According to national polls, approximately 80% of Americans have an idea for a book and would like to write one. Of that 80% only about 10% of them actually try to write the book, and then of those people, studies have shown that less than 3% of them actually finish writing it.
So why is starting and more importantly finishing a book so difficult?
The main reason why is because partially through, the writer will just lose their motivation and become disinterested, thus abandoning their work and never finishing.
So today I’ll be talking about five ways you can remain motivated to finish that work in progress of yours.
I’m sure you’ve heard stories of authors renting a cabin in the middle of nowhere and writing their book straight through, free of outside distractions. While this may be a successful way of doing things for a select few people, most of us can’t do something like that.
But there are still many ways you can eliminate distractions around you.
Start by turning your phone to silent, or better yet, off completely. If you have to keep your phone on, delete your social media apps just while you’re writing as those can prove to be the most distracting.
Then maybe find a quiet place in your home where you can work alone. Preferably a space pretty clean and organized, with little to no wall art, so that there’s nothing to distract your eye from the computer screen in front of you.
When you’re given an assignment at work, you’re given a deadline. And if you don’t finish by the deadline, something may happen to your job security, so it motivates you to finish in a timely manner.
But with writing a book, there’s no third party to place those deadlines on you, so you have set your own deadlines.
Tell yourself you’ll finish a chapter by a certain day and stick to it.
If you’re having trouble keeping to your own deadlines, create self-imposed rewards and punishments for yourself, similar to how you could get a promotion or get fired from your job. Plan a spa day or a weekend vacation. If you don’t meet your deadline, tell yourself you can’t go until you complete your assignment.
Accountability works with your deadlines and keeps you from lagging behind.
You can do this two ways.
One, you can have someone else hold you accountable.
You can ask your best friend, significant other, or even your favorite barista at the coffee shop you work on your laptop at. Anyone who knows you and knows the dream that you are pursuing. You can familiarize them with your scheduling, but it’s not necessary. Sometimes all you need is someone to be tough with you and motivate you to get off the couch and get to work.
While this kind of accountability can be incredibly motivating, the best and most vital kind is self-accountability.
Are you living up to your own standards? Are you completing what you told yourself you would do? Are you working hard, like you know you need to?
You’re working towards something that you have an intense passion for, so stay motivated by keeping yourself accountable.
Are you currently writing some pages in between two big scenes, perhaps setting the scene before, or creating filler pages of dialogue?
Those slow times can be detrimental to your motivation, so how can you stay motivated to push through those slow times?
You have your outline all written… At least, you better. So look at your outline and get yourself pumped up about an exciting scene coming up, like a battle scene, a first kiss, a crazy revelation, or a near-death experience. This excitement for the scene will motivate you to get through those slower pages and get you to that scene you know will be so much fun to write.
Picture the outcome. Picture how you’ll feel when you finally finish. Feel the excitement of publishing and holding your book. Smell the newly printed pages filled with your work. See the never-ending smile on your face. Hear the imaginary applause in your head. And taste the sweet sweet victory of finishing your first book.
Now that you know how to stay motivated, it’s up to you keep up with it and put these thoughts into actions.
Thank you so much for joining me in Writing Wednesday. Comment down below or Tweet me your best way to stay motivated.
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