Archive for January, 2014

I don’t know how it is for other writers, but I tend to begin a story with a bang and then around the 20,000-word mark, I startjanuary ruth nordin The_Stagecoach_Bride_new_ebook_cover.329182234_std to slow down. Sometimes it’s because I’m not sure what to do next, but mostly it’s because I begin to lose interest in the story and want to move on to another flashy new idea (aka. another story). So when I thought about a blog post to write, I decided to write one on how a writer who might be struggling to finish their story can find the motivation to keep going.

These are some ideas I came up with…

1. Set up small goals along the way.
If your book is going to be 50,000 words long, maybe breaking it up into 10,000-word blocks will help motivate you to keep going. That way, you can think, “I only have 10,000 words to go” instead of “I have 40,000 more words.” If you don’t want to do word counts, you could do a set time when you’ll sit down without any distractions and write.

2. Reward yourself.
For each small goal you reach, treat yourself to something you enjoy. This can be a favorite TV show, a new book, a phone call to a friend, or anything that will motivate you to reach that goal. When you have something that you can look forward to, it helps you to keep going.

3. Just write
I know this is common sense, but it’s so easy to get distracted by emails, social media, friends, family, and other things that are going on in our lives. And on top of that, some writers tend not to think of writing as work. By seeing it as work, it becomes more of a priority in our lives, and when it’s a priority, we’ll want to take it seriously. Plus, we’ll want to be professional and make the best possible product (our book) that we can.

4. Set boundaries with people who don’t view your writing as work.
I know this can be hard if you live with people who don’t see writing as work, but if we don’t take measures to make sure we write, time will slip from us and we’ll never finish the book. When we’re working, others need to respect our space and leave us alone. If we keep letting them interrupt us, it gets harder to finish the book and it’s easy to lose interest in the story.

5. Enjoy finishing.
The best thing about finishing a book is that feeling of accomplishment when you see that it’s done. One of my favorite moments in life is when I put another book on my shelf and know that I’m the one who wrote it. Celebrate when you finish your book.

Does anyone have any tips they’d like to share?

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I have been a mrhonda hall pictember of a local writers group for over twenty years. In that time, I have witnessed countless writers accept the critique of their story with grace and professionalism. Others have faced it the same way most people accept death or indescribable loss.
I have aligned the five stages of grief with five television game shows.
When an author first hears the devastating news that their story is not the gem they thought it was, they deny it is true. The first time I received a rejection letter, Scarlett O’Hara became my mentor. With one hand holding a handkerchief to blubber in, I could easily have uttered the words, “Where shall I go, what shall I do?” I used to have a boss who said that business is logical not emotional. We need to think of our writing in those terms.
The Game of Life:
A few years ago, I entered a writing contest for a local conference. My writers group loved my piece. When I didn’t even place; I refused to go. The next year, I went and I learned a lot. Not to mention, it was a lot of fun. I missed a great opportunity to learn and grow.
Let’s Make A Deal:
We shop around looking for different agents or publishing houses. As writers, we should do that. But sometimes a rejection is for a reason.
Truth or Consequences:
Every writer has looked themselves in the eye and told the truth about their story. The consequence is you have work to do. You may know, at present you cannot take this story where it needs to go. Work on it. The very act will get you out of your writing depression.
Love Connection:
Maybe, despite the brilliance, wit, and utter charm your story holds, you need to fix something. The writers who soak up knowledge and use it to improve their craft are the writers who succeed. The sooner you make that love connection, the sooner your story will improve.
Added Advice on Critique Groups:
Arguing became such an issue in our group, that we made a rule against it. When an author spends valuable time arguing their point, other members don’t get a chance to read. Authors can agree or disagree, but don’t waste everyone’s valuable time.
Most importantly, the longer a writer remains in denial, the longer their story suffers. Better to revise and possibly get published, than languish at home with a drawer full of manuscripts.
To continue reading this piece or to find out more about our NWG member, Rhonda Hall, visit here: http://rhondamhall.wordpress.com

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