You write out of passion, your eagerness to connect with the audience, and above all, simply because you love books. These might keep you focused, but there is always the question of staying motivated right until you complete it.
Your book isn’t ready for publication until it has been read, corrected, and rewritten a couple of times. During this period, many of you might feel dejected and lose interest. Before all this, you must first finish up your draft.
We are talking about churning down anywhere between 50000 and 150000 words depending on the genre, reader base, and more. That’s where I would love to share a few thoughts. But right before that, it is only better to revisit Hemingway’s famous quote, “the only kind of writing is rewriting.”
You always think of the result while working towards any goal, and the joy of reading your finished book is enough motivation. The primary concern here is staying motivated right through the last page of your writing.
Given here are a few vital tips that would help any book writer to disbar any feelings of giving up writing and rest not until the book is finished.
I’ve mentioned only those that have worked out practically and helped me pen down at least a few hundred words a day without taking a break.
Here are my 10 Mantras To Stay Motivated To Write A Book.
1. Write Daily
Make writing every day a habit, just like brushing teeth or eating food.
Ask any well-known author, and you will get the same answer, “write every day.” For instance, Stephen King insists that fiction writers should pen down at least 1000 words daily, at least six days a week.
Writing every day is a tried and tested trick that works favorably for the writer.
Sometimes, you might not be in a mood to type a single word. Still, do write something. Such a habit sets your brain to trigger your creativity every single day.
Split your words target into smaller goals. For instance, you might aim to complete a chapter every day if you are looking to finish the book early. Once you have made up your mind to write every day, decide upon a specific time to sit down and write. Follow the timing diligently to reap better benefits.
By setting a definite date, you can’t skip writing daily as your readers would be awaiting the book’s release.
2. Set a Daily Goal
Publishing a well-written book might be your ultimate goal but never forget to focus on setting smaller, attainable goals. These are the keys to achieving your long-term end goal. Just like how individuals enjoy working towards developing a product that’s to be delivered to the client, enjoy fulfilling your small-term goals as well.
Some ways to set short-term goals include writing at least 500 words daily for a month, getting yourself prepared for the next day’s work by writing a small summary of the chapter for a couple of chapters, or sketching the personality for different characters involved in the plot.
Small or big, one paragraph or one chapter, 100 words or 1000 words, set a daily goal, and work hard towards fulfilling it. You can use writing software like Novlr that provides a beautiful interface to set your daily and monthly goals.
Never give excuses or complain about daily challenges that keep you from completing your daily goal. If you cannot keep up with your target numbers, make sure to lower the number until it becomes attainable.
3. Why Can’t Every Month be a NaNoWriMo?
The NaNoWriMo creative-writing project has ignited the fire to write in many and motivated tons of writers to unleash their creativity.
The task is quite daunting—to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th.
But what about the rest of the year?
While your family, friends, and colleagues might be quite supportive, it’s upon you to keep yourself motivated.
Trying the NaNoWriMo approach every time you start writing a book can help you attain your word count target and complete your book in record time.
I recommend that you adopt this writing style every time you start your first draft. This way, you skip the incessant editing that goes into each phrase/sentence that you write. The intensity of the pace doesn’t let you stop until you are done with the book even if it is filled with mistakes and is clumsy. Editing can be taken care of later.
4. Learning is a Process, Not a Result
You could have written ten dozen books, but never assume that you know everything. Only when you are open to learning new things, you become better in your art.
Writing books is no different. By learning different things and challenging yourself, you become motivated to incorporate these new skills into your writing process.
Attend workshops, interact with peer writers, and read lots of books on various topics to include anything you learn from them.
There are ample writing tools in the market. Try using these different writing tools that speed up your writing and make it concrete and thorough.
Be proud of making an admirable final draft that keeps you motivated to move on to your next writing venture.
“Spread my words, and I will spread yours” is never disappointing. Stay in good company surrounding yourself with people who are motivated, hard-working, successful, and positive.
The Internet is a great place to connect with writers from all over the world and learn a trick or two from them.
You can Tweet your favorite writer, share their latest ventures, and even request comments from fellow writers. Talking to other writers helps you to stay motivated and become better at what you do.
Use the social media platform to interact with authors and even find yourself a dedicated critic who is ready to help you improvise on your skills besides motivating you.
6. Sit in a Comfortable Environment
I have seen writers and film directors take off to a beautiful and quiet place (it could be a serene countryside or even the backyard garden) to work hard on their first draft.
In my experience, the lesser the distraction, the higher is the quality of your stories. Get away from loud and jarring noises, unclean rooms, improper lighting, and anything else that messes with your energy levels.
You must feel relaxed anywhere you sit and write. Find a dedicated workspace and a distraction-free writing app to start writing.
To others, writing might seem like a casual affair, but it is your bread and butter. Your work environment must encourage you to work more and stay motivated.
7. Stay Focused
A dream is a constant reminder to work hard and achieve success. Ask any successful author on what kept them sailing through their downfalls, rejections, and mishaps and pat comes the reply—it’s none other than focusing on their dream of publishing an excellent reading material.
Stay put together in hard times and be positive. Keep reminding yourself of the dream of finishing the book to increase your dose of motivation.
Here are some cues to help you with this:
- Surround your writing space with inspirational quotes not only about success but about the writing process as well
- Follow up on interviews with famous authors. Their ups and downs through their writing journey should cheer up your writing process.
- Keep track of your daily achievements, setbacks, and any new learning.
- Remind yourself every day the reason why you chose to write. Never write because others are saying it but write only because you enjoy doing it. When you understand ‘why’ you write and value your purpose, there couldn’t be a better motivation to keep you writing.
8. Claim Rewards
The human mind leans strongly on praises, applauds, and rewards to feel worthy of an accomplishment.
Don’t we crave for appraisals, a fat paycheck, or a bonus holiday trip as a reward for some well-deserving work?
Why can’t authors too take the same liberty for the work they do?
Rewards, to me, is a strong motivating factor to keep doing good work. When we know that we will be rewarded for our excellent work, we find it easier to create solutions. You may love writing, but you would inevitably face some tough days that include struggles, let downs, and more. Rather than focusing on the negative, just care about the positives.
It is better to reward yourself for simple tasks too—it could be for completing 100 words, a chapter, or even writing a sentence on days when you don’t feel like writing. Keep your rewards neat and straightforward. It is only an acknowledgment of your productivity and motivation for your hard work.
You could listen to some good music after completing a page, chat with your friend, buy yourself a new notebook, take a refreshing walk, or spend the evening going to a theatre play. Reward yourself with anything that makes you smile or feel good. Writing a book is a long-term process, and it is necessary to stay motivated and happy with small gestures.
9. Take a Break
Some writers cannot stop until they are done with putting all their ideas and thoughts on paper.
When you are filled with ideas and love to keep writing, don’t bother to stop. But taking a short break and distancing yourself from the workspace can clear your mind.
It could even help you look at the story from a new dimension and add a better perspective to your characters and plots.
Stuck at a specific page? I would recommend you to do something that you do daily—it could be gardening, cooking, or exercising. You get to distract yourself and solve the issues that got you stuck in the first place.
Take a break at regular intervals-it could be for 15 minutes or even an hour. Your productivity would be even more than before as you are motivated to compensate for the break time with increased efforts.
10. Don’t Edit as You Write
My first advice to any writer is to quit your urge to edit as you write.
Writing can never be perfected, and you have a scope to improvise on your copy at any time. Trying to switch between creativity and editing could be a spoiler to the writing flow and disrupt your imagination.
Sticking to a daily goal and working towards it helps you stay away from editing until you are done with the day’s work.
Progress is a great motivating factor, and I don’t want you to hamper your writing by getting stuck with editing even before finishing the book.
Grammar corrections, beautifying sentences, inserting punctuations, and perfecting the lines can wait for later.
“Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you’re done.” A pinch of desire and a pinch of action is the secret recipe to finish writing a book without quitting.
Break your big goal into smaller goals and reward yourself for fulfilling them to stay motivated while writing a book.
Each of us has a fire within us to write. Ignite the fire and take it forward by making use of the guides given here.
Not all of them might work for everyone. But every aspiring writer can benefit from at least a couple of tips mentioned here. I would love to hear back from you guys on which of them worked best for you.
Keep writing and keep spreading happiness to your readers.