Motivation for Writing - Defining Clear End Goals
Close your eyes and imagine that it’s March 9th, 2021. Covid-19 is finally on a downswing. The sharp sting of winter air is just starting to dissipate, and you can feel spring on the horizon. Take a deep breath. The World is beginning to return to normal as you reflect on the past six months.
What have you accomplished?
Be specific. Have you finished a novel, or have you completed a 60,000-word novel with twenty-five chapters? Have you published the book, or have you submitted dozens of queries and finally heard back from the one that will make your dreams come true?
Motivation can be a fickle thing, especially if we aren’t sure what we are motivated towards. Without a detailed end-goal, it becomes easy to push writing off a day or two. However, one or two days can quickly turn into several without you ever noticing that they’ve slipped by. At least, you won’t notice until it’s March 9th, 2021, and you’re only two chapters into the novel you swore you’d finish.
So, how do you stay motivated to write daily and complete your goal on time? I’m glad you asked.
1. Have a specific, detailed end goal. Word count, number of chapters, number of queries, etc. are all critical details, even if they don’t turn out to be wholly accurate. The key here is to settle on the details so you can plan backward.
2. Work backward from your goal. The details of your goal will help you determine milestones. Working towards (not away from) a goal will keep you motivated over time. Set your milestones in regular increments, perhaps monthly, so that your deadlines never seem too far away.
3. Make a daily (or regular) schedule. Not everyone can write every day – that’s okay. Yes, many authors will tell you to write every day, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself if that’s simply not currently achievable. Instead, create a regular writing schedule and base it off your milestones. If you need to complete your first ten-thousand words in the first month, that means you need to write 2,500 words per week. Make a writing schedule using this knowledge.
4. Hold yourself accountable. Your writing time is just as important as every other task in your life. Hold yourself to your writing schedule as you would any other appointment and give your writing your undivided attention. Turn off your phone or hide it under your bed, log out of social media, sip some tea, and just write.
5. Make it a habit. The first three weeks are the hardest. After that, it gets much easier to stick to your writing schedule, especially if you are one of the lucky ones who get to write daily. Don’t stop writing until you’ve reached your milestone.
6. BONUS: Celebrate! It always helps to have a little treat ready for yourself at each milestone. This gives you a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’ to look forward to and keeps the motivation flowing! Make sure to plan something extra special for when you reach that end-goal!
Motivation is all about your commitment to your goals. Six months from now, you could be holding your novel in your hands. What’s stopping you? Get writing!
For the love of adventure,