So, you want to be a writer. And you know you have to write in order to accomplish that. But there are always so many other things distracting us. Life happens. That pile of laundry won't wash itself (oh, that it could!), dinner won't put itself on the stove, the kids can't pick themselves up from school (oh, that they could!). And then there's the internet - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, celebrity gossip, trip planning. You do have to be active on social media, right?
One of the most motivating things for me is a contract LOL! You have to get the writing done then. Even with a deadline hanging over your head, thought, it's easy to find a thousand and one other things to do rather than write.
Goal setting is an awesome way to get and stay motivated. That little carrot dangling in front of your face to make you sit down at the computer and get some words on the page. At the beginning of the year, I plan out my writing schedule, as far as I know it at that point. I set aside months to write and edit my work. During those times, that's my main focus. It's what I have to get done.
Reward yourself for meeting your goals. A new dress. A weekend away. A candy bar. Pizza and movie night. Whatever will make you stick with it.
It's not just the months and year that I set goals for. It's also every week and every day. Scrivener has a great built-in tool for watching your word count grow. As you can see from this screen shot, you can set goals for your entire manuscript, your day, and even your scene. The little line that starts red and turns to green is highly motivating. It really makes you want to sit down and get to the end.
If you don't use Scrivener, you can still watch your word count. I've used StoryToolz in the past, and it's great. You'll find lots of writer resources on that page. And I just found a new one called Pacemaker. With Pacemaker, you set the date you want to be done and your word count goal, and it will generate a daily goal for you. You can set it if you want a steady word count, a random one, one that starts off heavy and lightens as you go along, or one that does just the opposite.
And of course, there's the perennial, all-important accountability partner. To have to report your progress to someone is very, very motivating. Plus, then you can celebrate together when you've met your goal.
Do you goal plan? What motivates you to reach that goal?
Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances about women who challenge their fears even though they want to run from them. Author of Mind of Her Own, A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families.
|When caffeine can't wake me up,|
I need to build in time to be a healthy writer.
I find myself needing more caffeine, feeling more stressed, and struggling to get the word count I need to meet deadlines. If this sounds like you too, consider a few ways to build in time to be a healthy writer.
- Schedule rest and relaxation into your calendar. If it's not scheduled, then it's too easy to say yes to a request and fill in the blanks.
- Leave your smart phone on your desk and go for a walk.
- Invite a friend over to watch a movie, eat popcorn, and chat.
- Be sure to schedule exercise each day to build health while blowing off steam. (And yes, I watch my fav shows while on the elliptical.)
- Turn off phone ringers and close your eyes for 20 minutes in the middle of the afternoon. Set your timer and let your mind wander or fall asleep. Either way, awake or asleep, your mind is getting the break it needs to work out the challenges you've given it.
- Plan a retreat with other writers, but buy take-out so you aren't cooking and cleaning.
- Go to the movies—it gets you away from daily life.
- Visit the mountains or beaches or biking trails near you.
- Don't get into the habit of rescheduling your downtime. It's too easy to do that over and over again. Rescheduling is for emergencies only.
- Schedule and go to all your regular medical appointments. Know your health and keep it.
|A walk around the block helps productivity (and word count!)|