~ As I close in on final edits of my first novel, I realize something: There is almost no excuse not to write something daily. Do you need to write for three hours every day? No. Would that be nice? Yes. But really, if you're an aspiring author, it is very important to take at least some time to write every single day. Follow that practice all the way through to your release date. Take a little break (if you must), and then start writing the next thing, then the next, etc. Why? The reality is, you can always find excuses not to write. You have plans with your friends/your partner/your kids. You stayed up late last night and you’re tired. You have to work/go to the gym/etc. You want to watch LOST (Okay, yes, we’re re-watching this at the Fox house. Great show, but I digress…). For me, writing the story has been the best part, and I was highly motivated every day for it. I started getting up at 6am every morning, and staying up late. I did this all the way through until the book was finished and I sent it off for editing. We all know that staggering storylines and lack of plot direction can be a motivation killer (trust me, I stalled for nine years on one story). This can easily be remedied by doing your homework first and mapping out your entire plot (key points) ahead of time. (Side note: I use iThoughts on iPad for that. Highly recommend). Although initially very excited to get edits back, once I started getting into them (and there are a lot of edits), I subconsciously started having days here and there that I did not write. I was out of town on a trip and it required long drives, starting early in the morning. But truthfully, I could have found (at least some time) to write. Since then, I've made it a point to write every day. Whether that means locking myself in my room when I get home, putting on headphones and writing through my daughter's cheer pratice, or hiding out in a coffee shop for an hour, I make time every day.
What have I found from forcing myself to do this?: 1) Your passion for writing will take over as soon as you get into it. Whether it’s for twenty minutes or several hours, it doesn’t feel like work.2) You get better at writing by writing. The more time you take to do it; the less effort it takes.3) Motivation and demotivation tend to equally feed themselves. Meaning: By not writing for a day, I felt less like doing it. When I forced myself to do it, I wanted to do it more and more. Avoid the allure of demotivation by never standing still. Even if you only have twenty minutes to write today, use that time to do so. Make it a daily goal and measure yourself on that goal every night as you go to bed. If you’re like me, you’ll find that this makes you write more, and writing more means having more work under your belt. The path to success (however you measure success) is paved with your creations. So, get to creating!