Last month I finished editing the novel that I’d been working on for the last three years. This month it was time to start a new project. In starting this new project, I was looking for a new approach to writing motivation. My main goals being:
- Write more often
- Get the story out quickly
- Be happier with my writing
After doing NaNoWriMo many times, I know I can write quickly, but the speed I’m looking for in this new project also requires a baseline level of quality. What does that mean? I want to write quickly, but not too quickly. I want the first draft of this novel to be done by the end of October.
In order to achieve this, I’ve designed three strategies to help motivate myself. These are:
- Lowering the hurdle
These next few months will be an experiment to see what I best respond to, and what makes me the happiest.
What do I like more than writing? Chocolate for sure! As can be seen in my tweet below, I’ve bought many mini blocks and have allocated half a block to completing a chapter. I decorated the blocks with some stickers for some extra encouragement. I’ve already found that having half a block waiting for me is very tempting, and motivation enough to get that next chapter done!
2. Word Counts
In the past, completing a chapter meant achieving a set word target, usually 3,000 words. After years of being trained into doing this for university assignments, I’ve found that applying the same rules to my fiction doesn’t work. It stresses me out and I feel like I have to add unnecessary content to my chapters. My new completion level is 1,500 words per chapter and meeting the main plot goal for that chapter. Eventually, I hope to have all my chapters be 2,000 to 3,000 words long, but, that can come in later drafts. Right now, I want to focus on getting the story out.
My last strategy is a tactic I know works because I’ve used it many times before. During this project, I will be keeping track of my progress using an indicator on this page of my website: https://emiliemorscheck.com.au/about/what-am-i-writing Everyone will be able to follow along and see how I’m going.
I’m hoping these three new strategies will help me reach my target of a first draft completed by the end of October.
How do you motivate yourself and keep yourself accountable? I’m always looking for new ideas!