Ultimate Motivators

August 1, 2009 at 12:23 PM | Posted in teen fiction, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice | 4 Comments

We all know how hard it can be to get on a writing roll. A lot of times, it’s even harder to keep those writing rolls going. It takes a lot of practice to be able to write 4-5k every single day. In fact, for most of us, I’d bet it’s nearly impossible. But, what isn’t impossible is writing at a steady rate every single day or week. Even if its only 250 words a day, making sure that you write something every day or every other day is a step in the right direction and will keep you closer to your ultimate goal: finishing! Here are a couple of things that I’ve learned will definitely help.

Word Count Goal: Set a daily or weekly word count goal. When you start meeting this, you’ll get in the habit of writing xx amount of words and before you know it you’ll be passing it.

Deadlines: Setting deadlines for yourself can be the ultimate motivator. Even if you don’t meet them they propel you forward from one story milestone to the next. Make them reasonable – if you know you won’t be able to write more than 500 words a day, don’t set a deadline of writing 4k in two days. If you write a chapter per day, set a deadline accordingly. Over stretching can burn you out.

Support: I’ve learned that having a solid support system of people that encourage you in your writing helps. Having people excited to read your writing more often than not will motivate you to move forward so that they can read more and you can feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Writing Group: Find other writers to share with, write with and critique with. More likely than not they know exactly what you’re going through and will be able to help you along.  Also, they can double as your support – writers will often be your biggest ‘ra-ra’ers and help you improve and move forward.

Breaks: Everybody needs a break – don’t push yourself so hard that you burn out. Every few days, take a day off to do something unrelated to writing. Read, go for a walk and clear your head. If you get to enmeshed in your story problems will start to spring up that you won’t be able to see objectively and before you know it you’ll be stuck. So give yourself time to breathe.

These are the things I use to keep myself motivated and keep going. What do you do?


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  1. Very true.

    My first book, I wrote 4000 words a day. Now, I cannot even imagine doing something like that. These days, I find 500-1000 to be a better fit for me. Anything more than that, and I find I have to push myself too far. Then I’l have nothing for the next day.

    Maybe it is best to leave some in the bank to begin the roll on the following day. And breaks are important,too. Without room for ideation, thoughts could never become Shiny New Ideas.

  2. Great post, so true.

    I’ve been trying to keep a goal of 1000 words/day and it’s been fantastic. I also set a loose goal for how much I wanted done on my WiP before I go back to school Aug 17th; I wanted to either reach 50k or finish the first draft and it looks like I might actually get both. It’s very exciting!

  3. I can’t set goals. XD Not at all. After four years of high school teachers telling me to set goals and create timelines for myself to get things done (I get things done just fine without it, thank you very much) setting goals brings all of my progress to a grinding halt. The closest I get to goal setting is thinking, “Oh, wow, it’s 3 AM, I should go to sleep…Once I finish this scene.” But what can I say? I’m weird.
    I do love breaks though. They stimulate the creative juices. :D

  4. setting goals definitely helps and even though you might strss yourself with deadlines, it’s going to be worth it.

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