Anyone who’s written a Novel knows how hard it is to finish it! You spend long hours staring at your computer screen (hoping you’re not going to get double vision) until your eyeballs burn something wicked reading the one thousand and something words you managed to conjure up, all in pursue of completion. It does literally feel like forever to finish a Novel, ‘believe me I’ve been there’, but even if it’s a slow process you still have to walk-through the foliage to get to greener pastures.
Many of us start with good intentions and fizzle out suddenly, whenever I start to feel this way about writing; I remind myself that the story will be furious with me if I don’t finish it. I know that sounds weird, but it’s a good way to perceive your stories as a “living entity” that wants to exist.
It’s like conception. The making-love process is when you think up the idea of the story and get all excited and fantasize about it. You make love to it by dreaming up your characters and the array of events that befall them. You become pregnant when the idea of the story stays with you for over nine months. How many of you did I lose since I wrote think of your stories as a living entity? It’s a metaphor people, *giggles, roll with it.
The story at that point wants to give birth to itself and the only way to do so is to write it down and get it out of you. The story wants to be born! There are still so many of my stories that are living inside of me wanting to be born but I just don’t have the time and energy to write them all. The ones you love the best should be born first, its brothers and sisters can wait! Are you still with me? My point is to take your story idea seriously and allow yourself to give birth to it, the world wants and needs new stories!
This fundamental perception of Novel writing is what keeps me motivated when I feel like no one will enjoy or read my stories when they are done. In the end it doesn’t matter, you created it, you put it forth into this world, and it has a right to exists. This makes the long and hard process of writing, editing and submitting less painful, because it has purpose. Just like every human being on earth has a purpose and a destiny, so do your stories, who knows how they can touch or motivate others when read. It’s happen before. How many Novels, Short Stories, Poems or Articles have your read that moved you emotionally, helped you through tough times, brought a smile to your face, laughter to your voice, thoughts to your brain? Countless millions of writings from individuals have, and most never knew their craft would change the world.
The book How to become a famous writer before you’re dead: Your words in print and your name in lights by Gore is a perfect example of how a no-name became a house-hold-name through sheer hard work and dedication, despite being a single mom and starting from rock bottom. Her story is really inspiring because she writes how she thinks; there is no BS in between. She tells her story of how she started with a dream of becoming a writer and through trial and error got her writings published. The book also touches bases with other author’s and how they started out, through chapter interviews. Gore also talks about the publishing world in a way that commoners (such as me) understand the politics and legalities of the industry. Essentially it’s a business and being an author, you are a commodity to agents and publishers. Overall, Gore beautifully describes tips and advice on how to be a better writer and realizing your dreams. I have read this book at least twenty times, if not more, and I constantly refer back to it when I need a pick-me-up and or want to practice my writing (as she provides writing assessments) for readers to do as homework. I highly recommend this book to any person who writes in any avenue, just great informative stuff about the biz and Gore’s dry wit keeps you smiling all the way through.
The book The Writer’s Mentor: A guide to putting passion on paper is one of the best put together books I’ve ever read on writing. It is paperback but the imagery on the front cover is (just pretty) paired with lots of quotes inside, which is a joy to fest your eyes on. Rountree is a writer of many types of published books and a teacher. You can tell she has created a masterpiece of a collection with this volume. She uses quotes, reference to other authors and essays to fill in the pages of her inspiring points and knowledge of writing and how to be a better writer. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge she had and how much back up she uses to describe her chapter topics. I learned a lot from reading this book, and I have read it a couple of times (in the past), but recently I plan to read it again from cover to cover because she truly is motivating. If you tend to get down (like me) read this book, it will perk you right up. Great writing secrets enclosed in this book as well as stories from other authors such as Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. It truly is a mentor type of book for a writer, and if you are a solitary writer who doesn’t have much of a support group, this book can be your coach. Plus like Gore’s book this book too offers writing exercises for writers to practice. I recommend this book for any aspiring writer.
If you want to be a writer because you have some romantic notion of living a romanticized author’s life like Hemingway or Virginia Woolf, you better reexamine your priorities and perceptions (remember both Hemingway and Woolf committed suicide) and far too often are the best writers the most tortured of souls. Anyone in the publishing business will tell you how cut throat the industry is and that writers of the majority do not make money (hence the term staving artist) or not a lot of money at first. and fame is far from being a good writer, there are many factors involved with authors that are famous and rich. Not everyone on the New York Time’s Best Seller List deserve to be there, or become instant stars because Ophera’s book club deemed it so. It’s not a fair world, for any writer. Writing is hard and tedious and it takes discipline to achieve the bare fruits of your labor. Keep that in mind.
Let’s Stay Motivated ~ Shall we 😉
Here are some of my motivating tricks that help keep me writing:
Join a Writing Forum – This helps you network with other writers, keeps you reading, keeps you posting, keeps you commenting on other people’s work, keeps you motivated because you are not the only little fish in a big pound, see there are other Nemos’ in the sea. It also helps with building a thicker skin when it comes to constructive criticism.
TRY THIS ONE: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/
Join a Writer’s Group – Odds are if you are on a writing forum you will meet other writers similar to you and thus you can form a writing group. Joining a writing group helps you practice your writing. I incidentally, was invited to join a writer’s group. They do weekly prompts as writing exercises. This has helped me focus my skills on writing shorts plus receiving and giving constructive criticism.
Read Books – Read stories similar to the story you are writing. This will help with developing your writing skills and get those creative juices flowing. Create a reading list and check off the books you’ve read and make it into a game and see how many you can read in a week, month, year!
GREAT BOOK IDEAS HERE: http://www.goodreads.com/
Set a Goal – Set a goal to write every day. You can even set parameters to how many words you should write daily to finish that Novel in one year’s time! For example: I want to write a 20 to 25 chapter novel. I am writing a young adult novel. The average word count for this genre is 80K, so my goal is to be between 80 to 85K in length (better to aim lower for publishers). I want to finish it in 12 months. I started in May 2013. There are 52 weeks in a year. That means I need to write a minimum of 1,500 words a week to reach a word count of about 80K.
THE MATH: 1,500 words X 52 weeks = 78,000 words
This gives me an idea of how many words I need to write (a week) to reach the goal of finishing my Novel within a year’s time. You too should break down a word count to set goals to finish your story.
In short: 80,000 – 89,999: Ideal 90,000 – 99,999: Good 70,000 – 79,999: Okay 100,000 – 109,999: Massive Below 70,000: Too short
Make a Vision Collage – A vision board can be a good source of motivation by adding pictures, quotes and lists, to a board creating a collage of images that you want to achieve or that inspire you, this will defiantly affirm what you want to accomplish them.
Blog About It – By blogging you set the stage to prove to yourself and others that you want to accomplish the goal of starting and finishing a Novel. It helps because you may run across another Blogger who has done the same thing and the two of you can find common ground. It also helps to keep track and one day you can look back at your progress that you documented online.
Make someone proud – I mention this because it has motivated me, many times when I felt like giving up my partner has helped me get back to writing. We talk things through. This motivates me to make him proud of me, so I do the work and aim to finish it, for me first and for him second. You too will have someone in your life in which you want to make proud, your mother or father, sibling or BFF. Whatever the case maybe, that is why books have dedication pages and acknowledgements.
Keep something around you as a memento – An object or picture that reminds you of your goal is a positive affirmation that helps manifest your desires. It will tell your conscious and unconscious mind to fulfill that wish. For me it’s a quote: “The body achieves what the mind believes” ~ Author unknown (Buddhist Philosophy). I apply this quote to many aspects of my life, I honestly believe that how my mind thinks will influence the outcomes of this, so I have to believe in myself to make anything happen.
Do something fun about your goal – If you have the same goal as me (writing a Novel) turn it into a gala event! Create a character list and write out their profiles and choose pictures online that match how they look. Create a soundtrack for your Novel. I got this idea after I read 50 Shades of Gray – Trilogy as author E. L. James incorporated classics into her book, it was just a matter of time before the industry came out with a 50 Shades soundtrack which features songs by Bruce Spingsteen and Alain Lombard, Mady Mesple Danielle Milliet & Orchestre du Theatre National de L’Opera-Comique and many more, check it out below:
So each time I hear a song that I feel matches my Novel I’ve saved them in a playlist and as I write, I’m choosing a song to fit each chapter, at the end I’ll have a soundtrack. It’s just creative fun at this point, but music does help!
Keep a Notepad with you at all times – Keep an inspiration notebook with you at all times. This will help with brainstorming ideas and or when inspiration strikes you like lightening, you will be able to write it down instantly without forgetting it later.
Align yourself with positive people – Surround yourself with motivated, productive people and be inspired by what they are doing.
Fantasize – Is my best motivator! Imagine what it will be like; feel like, in a month or year from now, when you’ve achieved your goals. This allows the Universe to help you manifest your dreams.
Last but not least….
Take Care of Yourself – Eat well (some junk food permitted), but to feel great you have to eat great foods like fruits & veggies. Take time to relax, mediate or do yoga to clear your mind, body and soul. Sleep is very important make sure you get 8 hours of sleep and on the weekends take naps whenever possible. A cat nap is one of my favorite things to do!
If you are like me, you live and breathe writing; always on the hunt for the next great book, reading countless Blogs and Articles, journal writing and your mind is a cesspool of story ideas just waiting to be born! I continuously try to improve my craft by reading and writing, honing my Grammar and English skills and living each day in awe of other great authors and poets. Literature is an art and most of us have a great appreciation for it. You have to appreciate yourself too because you too can compose a work of art that others will read in awe, you just have to build momentum to stay with it and finish it, take responsible to put your craft out there for all to see, it may be scary, but it’s worth it.
Thank you for dropping by my Blog Dear Reader, please remember to comment and like.
✰ S.L.G ✰
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SLG.Books/