Deadly Ever After

Motivation: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

Today’s Brew:  Creamy Chocolate Coconut from Mary Lous!  Julie knows just what I need.


I see it every day on Twitter, on other writers blogs.  “I wrote 5000 words today!”  “Two chapters done!” “#amwriting!”  Julie is flying through a new manuscript with enthusiasm and vigor.

It’s one in the afternoon.  I’m sitting in my pajamas, caught up on my Twitter reading.

Not gonna lie, feeling a little unaccomplished.

Until about a week or so ago, I worked on the sequel to Immortal Dilemma almost nonstop.  It consumed my every thought.  I’m about twenty thousand words into it.  I’m not on deadline yet, but as my day job is practically nonexistent right now, I feel that it’s important to get as much done as I can while I have the chance.  I’ve cleared out all of my other obligations.  Everything is done.  All I have to do is write.

I reached a point in the story where it is time to introduce an important new character.  I wanted to step back and think about her before I wrote her parts.  Although I’m pretty sure where I’m going with her, I haven’t written anything down about her yet.  Fail.  I believe she’s the one based on the character in Broken, the story I just posted. Another character needs a richer back story.  I have more about her written.  While I thought about all of this, I decided the ending to this book needed to change as well.  It doesn’t give me necessarily more work to do, but it significantly changes my list of things to work on.  I’m not a traditional outliner, but I do write with a plan.

This book has been harder on me than the first two (Immortal Dilemma also has a prequel).  I wrote the first two before I had an agent.  Now that I know someone will be seeing this, there’s an additional pressure to get it all right. There’s much more on the line.  I’m not the most patient person in the world.  Okay, I’m extremely impatient.  I revise while I write.  I’m not someone who writes for the sake of getting words down.  I want it all to be perfect.

Alright, I haven’t exactly done nothing.  I’ve started a series of Immortal Dilemma inspired short stories.  I’ve worked on the research part of my book.  Even though I’m on book three with these characters, it’s still important to keep a fresh perspective on things.  I know this is all work and steps in the right direction, but like I said, patience and me aren’t the best of friends.

But when I read about everyone else’s progress, I still feel like I’m coming up short.  Like I’m the only one who can’t be prolific on command.  Like I’m failing my characters and my story by not being able to interpret exactly what it is they want from me right now.

How do you all stay focused and motivated?  How do you get the words flowing again?


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9 thoughts on “Motivation: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

  1. Your words are always there, and this is a forest for the trees scenario. We are here to help each other, and that is exactly what we have done and will do. And every word you write will be as inspired as the next. Because that’s what you do.

  2. I find the best thing to do is just sit down and write. I mean, if you write something and you don’t like it, you can always delete it later, right? 🙂

  3. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award « Mari Wells

  4. Wonderful post Kristen.

    I nominated you both for the Versatile Blogger Award

  5. I don’t have one way of keeping the words flowing. Stories rarely flow for me. Dialogue flows and so does my outlines, everything else is plodded through.
    I use the Piano Guys to keep me focused.

    When I read other people’s progress, they are just slightly ahead of me. Those who are much farther, started much earlier than I did, so that does bother me either.

    Sounds like you are right on track to me, but what do I know; I’m a novice.

  6. I guess I just feel like since I’m technically not working right now I should be sitting down on a schedule and making the word babies, every day. I am doing something every day, but I feel like I can do more.

    I also have to remember not to compare myself to other people’s creative processes. It’s hard, because I think we all like to have measurable goals, but I just have to remember that I’m only accountable to myself. For now, anyway.


    • Please try not to be too hard on yourself. You cannot force creativity, it only takes its power away. This isn’t a contest for you and anyone else. Every minute is an accomplishment.

  7. dylanjmorgan on said:

    You’re trying too hard, Kristen. Don’t try too hard. The story will get told in its own time. I find that doing something that gives me the time to think (going for a walk, doing housework etc.) aids to a sudden idea dropping in my head. Often that’s enough to kick start the writing process again.

    • I can’t help it. I’m an impatient perfectionist. I am also an Aries, so I need to doing doing doing all the time. I’ve always been like this. Drives everyone around me nuts. I’ve worked past the bump, and I’m happy about that.


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