I’ve taken a break from my ‘the writing process’ for a few months now just because I wasn’t feeling it. After finishing nanowrimo I’ve had school, computer problems and just plain laziness. Now I need to get motivated and actually write something. I was aiming to write 50k in January but right now I’d be happy to write 30k… or even like 10k. So here I am with a motivation writing post so that I can get motivation for myself and get those words on the page. Here are my tips.
Get Excited About Your Novel
The more excited you are the more likely you are to write. If there is an aspect of the story that you really want to write then go write it NOW. That should hopefully help you get more excited to write the other parts of the novel. I find scrolling through my pinterest board helpful for this but it is also really easy to get lost this way. A music playlist is also helpful in this sort of situation but if like me you are one of those people who can’t write while listening to music this is also a really good way to procrastinate.
Make A Scene List
If you know what you actually need to write then it will probably be easier to write it. Personally this REALLY helps me. This gets very important when you’ve got three different versions of the novel which all go different ways and you’ve got to mash them together in a way that makes sense like what is happening to me right now. If I don’t know where I am going then the whole writing feels pointless.
Take A Break
Have you been writing all day and gotten to the point where every word is a struggle? Then now is the time to stop writing. Get up and go for a walk, take a shower, eat something. Although if (like me) you have gotten to the point where you have NOT written for weeks (who am I kidding it’s been months) then you really need to skip this advice and get writing.
Figure Out What’s Stopping You
If you haven’t been writing then why not? Are you too busy? Do you need to set aside specific time? Have you been distracted by other things? Maybe you’re avoiding writing because of a deeper meaning. Personally often this happens when I lose the train of where the story is going so this just means I need to sit down and think about what I am doing.
Set A Timer
If you force yourself to sit down and write then hopefully some of it will be slightly useful. This is great if you have the self control but the internet makes it so easy not to. I keep telling myself to do this but then finding excuses not to. But if you can get yourself to do it then you should hopefully get into the writing flow and be able to keep going even after the timer runs out.
Maybe Your Writing is Growing?
This may not always be the case but as your writing grows you tend to write less useless crap. My first drafts used to be full of words such as ‘very’ and other unnecessary words and phrases. One of my common habits was ‘I said with a …’ I’ve learnt that you can cut out all four of those words and just keep the important bit that comes later. If you’ve reached this point you need to figure out what other useful stuff to add in. Are your characters developed enough, is your setting described, is there more foreshadowing that you can add in?
So now that I’ve said all these stereotypical mindset things onto actual hacks as to how to squeeze more words out of your limited motivation:
You know that glass of water your character is getting? Have you described the colour, the texture, the tap the water is coming from? How about any memories that getting this glass of water reminds your character of? Don’t skimp on detail, even if you cut it all out later this will help you understand you character and setting further and should get you into the writing.
If you can get your characters to have some very long and detailed conversations then you’re on your way to a well padded word count. This is where it’s important that your characters have conflict and opinions and goals of their own as it will help you write a really interesting conversation. Try an interrogation or a scene where one character is hiding something. Whatever thoughts are running through your head about where the book should go choose a few characters and give them an option each and make them fight it out. This helps you and your word count.
All writers want that feeling where they can see where the scene is going and they just have to keep writing. I have only had this feeling a few times, and one of those was when I was writing a scene where one of my characters was escaping a city. There was a lot of climbing and fighting and running with flashes of description. I loved every second of it and the best part was that scene was completely unplanned. Find a way to add a fight or some form of action scene where something is actually happening because this will be easier to write about than a scene that is moving the plot forwards but isn’t actually super exciting. If you don’t want to write a fight scene some ideas are an espionage scene, a ticking clock, an unpredictable animal or a moral conflict.
When I am trying to squeeze just a few more words out of myself I go on long rambling descriptions of characters and the setting. I’ve written scenes where my character examines a series of paintings for no particular reason. I’ve written scenes where my character goes Christmas shopping and spends ages looking through gifts to get for her family and describing it all in a lot of detail. Although most of this is going to be cut, in my experience it is better to write something than nothing.
The Writing Process Series
Sorry that a lot of this seemed very sarcastic. I am hating myself for not writing right now but I’m still not actually writing. I am trying to get into the habit of writing for an hour every morning and other things are looking very tempting right now. Good luck with you writing.