Life is a demanding thing, isn’t it? Thanks to my recent move to Ohio, I’ve found that my
writing is now weeks behind schedule, and whenever I do get some time I’m so exhausted that the lure of the bed is so powerful that I opt to catch some rest instead of trying to do some catch up. Add to that the ever present demanding day job, and sometimes the notion of writing regularly seems to be incredibly elusive.
Luckily I have a supportive wife, who has gone to great lengths to help me carve out some writing time. I still think that I can publish my novella, THE PRINCE OF GRAVES, by late October, early November, and my novel SHADOWS AND BONES, by February. Still, the call of sleep sometimes wins over the call to creativity, so I’ve tried – with some success – to keep in mind the things that inspire me. I decided it might be helpful to others struggling with keeping on track, writing wise, to categorize these areas of inspiration and to share them here.
1. Remember why you do what you’re doing. I’m not writing just to put words on paper. I love creating, and I love telling stories. I’ve never had occasion, as some writers have claimed, to hate or resent my characters or to despise my own writing. I love it, and I need to get my work out in front of others – otherwise, what’s the point? When the day is finally winding down, and I start vegging out on some game on my Xoom, I’ll suddenly remember that I could be creating, writing, and more and more I’m putting down the games and picking up the virtual pen.
2. Look to others who have done what you want to do. There are a great number of writers out there who have achieved what I’m striving for. More and more I’m following on Twitter, or on various blogs, writers who have published either independently or traditionally, and that just fires me up. The Twitter writers network is of particular value I find, and I’m currently collecting a sizable reading list of these authors’ works. Seeing tangible evidence of an author’s success, an author I’ve come to know through social media, has gone a long way to keeping me motivated.
3. Create goals. THE PRINCE OF GRAVES must be published in Oct – Nov of this year. Why? Because that’s the goal I’ve set and I’m being ruthless with enforcing it. Although I know this strategy doesn’t work for everyone, I’ve found that having such a timeline is a great way of keeping me on track. The best way to ensure this works, as Chris Barty of NaNoWriMo points out, is to communicate the goal to friends, family, and fans. This keeps the goal visible, and makes it harder for one to “forget” or to causally let the timeline slide.
I have more, but I should probably get back to working on my WIP. What do you do to keep motivated when time is short and other demands pull you away from writing?