Or how to get motivated in the first place. You see, writing is hard. When a writer is writing mentally it is easy. We stick on music, or go for a walk, we imagine dramatic situations or simple conversations. We can see every detail and God is it brilliant!
Then we feel great. Master works complete we head to our writing stations and stall.
Why stall? We already know what is going to happen, we know exactly what we want, we just imagined it all! But we don’t know how to put it into words to make it as good as we just witnessed. This is a problem that slows every writer I know.
Here’s some ways to help yourself keep motivated when writing.
Daily Writing Goals
Set a goal for writing your book every day. Even if it’s just a sentence, that sentence brings your book one sentence closer to completion.
Think about your goals, seriously.
Think in small steps. Each step is getting you closer to your goal. And as you sit down to write that one sentence a day you may find yourself writing two, or three, or a page. When a writer starts writing they find it hard to stop… unless you disturb them. Disturb a writer at risk of being put into the book and dying a terrible death. You have been warned.
Not everything you have ever written or you won’t get anything done. But, re-reading your own work, specifically the manuscript you are working on, will help get the creative juices flowing.
Take for example a chapter I was working on last night for my new novel. I had to re-read my work to get thinking, I read the chapter and thought, this doesn’t sound finished. That chapter is now twice as long and a lot more fun to read, plus I wrote another chapter once I was finished with that, all from reading work previously written.
If you don’t have aything written yet for your current project read your snippets.
Every writer I know has a folder of snippets. Things they have written that never went into a book, some dark, some funny, some too good to ditch but doesn’t fit anywhere. Normally these are quite raw.. it’s easier to show you. Here’s a snippet of one of my snippet collections. notice the lack of storytelling and grammar.
Kaz enters the dojo, waves at the cam not knowing no-one is there. enters main lounge sees christian and his team. She stops in shock for half a moment then makes to run but finds Christian blocking her path. Fight ensues outlaws can’t help. Kaz is no match for christian he knocks her out she hits the floor.Kaz – Discarded Notes
“I didn’t expect to see her here.” He said grabbing her jacket to pull her up a little.
places his hand for a blow to her neck. (This blow would snap her neck and ultimately kill her) “she won’t interfere this time.”
If you don’t have a folder of snippets yet I highly recommend making one. These could be ideas you plan to use, things you thought about but never wrote. The raw writing makes it easy to put on paper and can help you get in the mood for writing that book.
It is easier to write when you are filling in the gaps s write specifically what should happen. For instance, take that raw example I used above. If I was to use that in a book now I would start by writing the main pieces ready to fill in the gaps. It would look something like this:
Smiling at the brick building before her Kaz dismounted the bike, placing the helmet on the seat. Despite living up the hill it never felt like coming home until she visited the dojo and tried Peggys latest cooking venture. Without bothering to knock she headed inside. ADD BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON ATMOSPHERE SOMETHING NOT BEING QUITE RIGHT BUT NOT OBVIOUSLY WRONG. Waving at Janet through the reception camera Kaz entered the Dojo itself and stopped. QUEUE EPIC QUICK BATTLE WITH A LOT OF SUDDEN SENTENCES. NEEDS TO BE OVER QUICKLY.
You get the idea? I’ve written the segment, but things I can’t think of right now or things that will slow my writing down has been turned into something to write later. When I come back to it I can spend time filling in the gaps one gap at a time.
Write Without A Care
If you have just visualised a scene write it without a care for grammar, structure, or sense. Write it how you saw it in all its raw goodness. We can fix it later.
Don’t let storytelling slow you down, make it raw, make it fun, make it make sense to you. Try to keep up with the scene in your mind and write a blow by blow account of what happened. When you return to the piece you may find details lost (like who said what) but that is easy to fix as you have the main bulk of the epicenes before you, on paper. Use that.
Use Speech to Text
Like writing without a care. If you find it easier to relate what you just said to your computer through word of mouth then do so. you will need to clean this up, speech to text is not amazingly accurate but it can help get the words on the page.
Turn off all distractions. Make it just you and the paper and get writing. Don’t stare blankly at it, if it helps use a writing game (more on those below) that will help you hit a word limit or reward you for writing, but write something.
There are a few programs that can help you do this:
- Stay focussed. This will turn off distracting websites for a set time. You will not be able to access things like Twitter or Facebook from that computer. (Google Chrome Extension)
- Focus Booster. Keeps you focussed on your task in short timed bursts.
- Focus Me. A strong app that prevents the use of time-wasting sites, times you and keeps you focussed. this one is serious and comes with a monthly price.
Using Writing Games
By this I mean you can use games that will blow you up if you don’t hit your word count in time, games that will reward you with points for hitting your target, or sites that just looks so fun and friendly they encourage you to write. We’ll start with that one first.
World Anvil is a fun site where you can make everything from character pages to interactive maps, Get your entire world at your fingertips. This may take a lot of setting up to make all of your characters within the site, all of your places, settings and events, but you will have everything you need in one place to really go tot town on writing that book.
Write or Die
This writing game screams at you with loud bells and a red screen if you stop typing for too long. The free version does anyways. It also has a stimulus mode and a kamikaze mode. I have not tried it but get the impression kamikaze mode will delete you work if you don’t hit the word count in the time limit. Do you need that kind of pressure to get your work done? If so Write or Die is for you.
4th The Words
I’ve talked about this one before in getting over writers block. It is a pretty piece of software that rewards you with it’s own story progression as you meet milestones in your writing.
It does cost, but at $4 per month it is worth it, it certainly increased my productivity a lot. I went from writing a two thousand words a day to five thousand words a day in a month! I still use it, especially for writing blogs, it keeps me motivated. In fact I am using it right now as I am writing this. I need to write another 100 words to destroy this Aracini and get the materials I need for a potion. Fun, right?
4th The Words has a free trial if you want to play. Improve your writing here. And hey, if you use my referral code we both get rewards (You can win and earn crystals which can be used to pay for your subscription) MDFGR54915
Kelly is an author and blogger who completed her first novel while still in high school.
She is currently a full time writer. Her works include the outlaws series (4 books), The Lady in the Loft collection (Anthologies), Gaming blogs and guides (hired work), travel writing and more.
While Kelly has been writing stories for many years she got her start at online blogging through a free online course. This is what led to her being a full time work from home writer. To this day she states “It’s the best move I ever made.”
To learn how to earn money from home yourself you can sign up here at no cost. (Premium options available.)