Writing a book for most of us is a very solitary task, in those pre-pandemic days you may have wandered off to your local coffee shop and spent a couple of hours diligently increasing the word count of your manuscript, admittedly you are now surrounded by people, but you are still working alone. And the thing about working alone is that motivation (after a while) can stagnate.
And this is the thing, many people start off a new project, goal, or task with the best of intentions only to get three months in and slowly lose the motivation to stick with it, how many gym memberships are used like crazy in Jan/Feb and then by June have been canceled? The same goes with diets, everyone has the best of intentions and then when any roadblock is faced, they quit, regaining any weight lost and going back to unhealthy habits.
How many unfinished manuscripts are stored in long forgotten folders on laptops and PCs? Every single one of them started with the best of intentions and now they lay waiting for their authors to return and complete them?
It always makes me wonder just how many great works of literature are missing from libraries because they were never finished, I am not saying that every single book that does not get completed was going to be a masterpiece, but there will be some that would have been, by not following through on that intention to write the book, the world is deprived of its impact and beauty.
So, if you are halfway through writing a book and are struggling with the motivation to finish it, what can you do to regain the impetus you may need?
Here are seven great ways that can give you that motivation.
One – Set a realistic daily writing goal
Writing daily may not be the first thing you would expect to read (after all, you are not motivated to write, so why should the first tip simply be to start writing again!!!???), most people lose motivation because they associate the task with something arduous, by breaking the act of writing into smaller chunks of just 100 – 300 words per day, your chances of getting back into the habit of writing increase dramatically.
So, yes, the first tip is to simply start writing again, but this time with more manageable daily goals, you should look forward to writing, if you only spend 30 mins per day doing it, that’s fine.
Two – Peace and Quiet
Being distracted has never been easier than before, we all have cell phones that constantly beg for our attention, our laptops will be eager to show notifications the second they arrive, your kids will need you for something every five minutes and don’t even try to work if the TV is on.
If you are breaking your routine to write into small manageable periods, you need to ensure that you make the most of this time, and a distraction free environment is vital to do this.
Wherever you choose to write, it should be free of distractions, turn off your notifications, switch off your cell phone and lock the door (as long as it’s safe to do so of course), getting into the flow of writing for just 30 mins will be so much more productive when done in an environment of peace and quite.
Three – Get Social
Connecting with other writers on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads (along with the many other forums/platforms) is a great way to increase your motivation, speaking with others who may be in the same place as you or who have published and are promoting their work can really help.
It can increase your motivation and enthusiasm for writing once more, getting involved with conversations within your genre and even just within writing in general sparks the inspiration to continue.
Get social, get motivated!
Four – Track your progress
Having a clear understanding of how much you’ve completed can really help in motivating you to finish the book, this really helps when you’re three or four months into the project. If you have set a daily goal of 300 words for example, you can work out that if you stick to writing five days a week, after four months you will have written 24,000 words (and this is by only writing 300 words per day and only five days per week).
The goal here is to finish your book, it is NOT a race and if it takes a couple of years, it takes a couple of years…….where’s the issue with that?
Five – Look after yourself
A healthy body and mind do wonders for motivation both in writing and life in general, exercising and eating right will help you to maintain the energy you will need to write your book to the best of your ability.
Always seek professional advice on where you are and what you should do to get/keep in shape.
Six – Be a professional
If you want your book to be taken seriously, and for you to be taken seriously as a writer who finishes what they say they will finish, now is the time to step up and act like the professional author you want to be.
Tell others that you have set a goal of writing a book and get them to hold you accountable, set the commitment of daily writing and keep to it, tell people that you will donate an amount of money to an organization that you disagree with if you do not achieve your goal.
Seven – Read
Read more of the greats within the genre that you are either writing in or that inspires you, read every day for at least 10-15 mins and reflect on the craft of the author. Learning from the best within the literary world helps you to both fine tune your skills and at the same time become inspired.
There is a great book within you, and the world will be a better place with it published for us all to read.
Don’t give up!
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