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?