Writing a novel is hard. There is a reason why most writers never finish their novels. You might start out with tons of motivation but in the middle of your novel it’s a slow crawl to the ending. It’s the one constant thing about writing that hasn’t changed for me and which I fear will never change.
Right now, I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of ‘The Bipartisan Affair’. My overabundance of motivation is gone and all that is left is that stubborn persistence to park my butt in front of my laptop and to hit my daily word count goals. With that in mind, I wanted to share the things that have kept me motivated during this long gruelling process of writing my first draft.
Some writers love working alone with no input from anybody but a few close friends. I quickly found out by writing ‘Playing Hero’ that I wasn’t one of them! I work best when writing is a collaborative process. I was pretty lucky that even before I typed the first word of my novel, I already had a group of fellow writers and readers who cheered me on every inch of this journey on Twitter and then later on my Discord server.
Getting encouragement, especially on those low days when everything is shit and you just want to skip a writing session, is crucial. The easiest way to find your group of cheerleaders is by joining the writing communities on Twitter, Discord, or on Facebook Groups.
Music is a HUGE part of my writing process. It helps me set the tone of every book, every chapter and every scene. Every book has a dedicated playlist and also a theme song. For me the theme song is the most important because it works as a trigger in my brain. The music and the lyrics of the song put my brain automatically in the right mode to write that particular project. For ‘The Bipartisan Affair’ the theme song is Uncharted by Sara Barielles.
I can’t recommend doing this enough, especially if you are like me and music is a huge part of your writing process and/or you are writing multiple books. This will also be helpful for you when you come back from a long writing break.
All of my writing friends love aesthetics – basically a collage of photos that represent a character or a story. They are super fun to do, especially if you are a visual person like me. I talked earlier about using playlists or songs as auditory triggers, but a good aesthetic can be used as visual triggers as well!
If you are not new to my blog, you know that I love to use faceclaims for my characters. For those who are not into role playing games, faceclaims are celebrities or models who you think best represent your character. It’s similar to casting an actor into a role you want them to play.
I find looking over my faceclaims works just as well as aesthetics collages, but I also recommend doing an Aesthetic board either in photoshop or by using Canva to get back into the perfect mood for writing.
No, I’m not talking about actually drawing your character! What I’m talking about is a Character Sketch. It can usually be a story, diary, or free writing done in a character’s voice. This is a great way to connect deeper with a character and to learn the inner workings of character’s voice.
For me, making sure each character has a unique voice is one of the hardest parts of writing. This will not only sharpen your writing, but it will get you back in the mood to finish your project.
No, this isn’t the time to pull out your half-finished Yuri on Ice fanfic. What I’m talking about is writing short stories, flash fic, and headcanons about your current story. If you have a Patreon or a mailing list these are things your fans will absolutely love! This will also revitalize your passion for your book and get the creative juices flowing. Were there scenes from the future you want to write but haven’t gotten to yet? Write them! Are there scenes from other character POVs? Write them! Embrace writing your own fanfic, because if you are not your own book’s biggest fan then something is wrong!
And those are my 5 tips for keeping yourself motivated while you are writing your book! Do you have a favorite tip or do you have something that keeps you motivated? Then please drop a comment below!