by Tamela Hancock Murray
This question is from a writer who follows my Facebook business page. I have permission to use her question as a blog post:
I like to write, but am racked with doubt so I quit. How do you motivate your writers to finish?
I would say to set a goal. Look at your schedule. How many words do you think you can write in a day? If you write 1000 words a day, you will have the first draft of a novel in three months. A thousand words adds up to four pages. That’s it! Most people can write four pages a day. But if you truly can’t, go for 500 words, or two pages, a day. Writing a novel in six months is still a respectable pace. Write something, even if you know you’ll have to edit and revise. In fact, I worry about any writer who doesn’t revise — oh wait. I don’t know any. The point is, get something on paper so you will have material to work with. Some writers tell me they enjoy editing more than the initial writing.
If you want to move even faster and write within a community, note that November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo has the goal of encouraging writers to complete a novel in a month. Here is a link to a site written at the end of last year’s event with a lot of tools to help you participate.
Another way to kick start yourself is to schedule traveling to a conference. Many are inexpensive, one-day events but knowing you will need ideas to present to editors and agents should be enough to motivate you to write. The conference-imposed deadline will keep you on track, too.
The bills in the daily mail can be a huge motivator. We just received notice that our daughter has been accepted to college. The letter said, in essence, “Congratulations! Don’t blow off your senior year. Send money.” Perhaps you have a similar motivator in your stack of mail. Why not get started today?
What are your writing goals?
Can you give us some tips and tricks on how you meet your writing goals?
What is the biggest obstacle for you in meeting your goals?