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 start 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?