Did you write today? If the answer is, “Yes,” then congratulations. That’s exactly what you must do. If you don’t write, you can’t finish the book and you can’t sell it.
If the answer is “No,” then why not?
Some of us don’t because of demands--family, jobs, illness. Perhaps, this being summer, we don’t because of vacations.
I can manufacture a grocery list of reasons why I don’t/can’t/won’t produce new words on any given day. I like to think those are explanations, not excuses. But, really, sometimes I’m just lazy. Or I’m finishing a new, good book. I try never to read in the genre in which I’m writing at the time. That means no medievals until I finish my WIP. Regencies, however…. (The latest I devoured was Leigh Michaels’ JUST ONE SEASON IN LONDON. Terrific. I recommend it highly.)
But the fact is, if I’m serious about selling--and I am--then I’d better find some way to dump the excuses and maintain motivation.
I’ve recently come back from a fallow period in which nothing I wrote worked. I wrote, rewrote, revised. Finally I managed to pull myself together and get back to the hard work of committing new words daily. That experience made me realize the importance of maintaining a schedule and sticking to it, no matter what. Because if I don’t, my story will never see black of print
In their tips, several of our Writers’ Wednesday guests have emphasized the importance of writing every day. No matter the number of words, something must be produced, even if it later goes in revision. As best-selling author Nora Roberts says, “You can edit junk. You can’t edit a blank page.” (All right--I changed a word--but you get the idea. :-))
Write whether or not you feel like it. Write whether or not you think it’s any good right then. Writers can’t wait for inspiration, guest authors have said, or we’ll never get a word down.
Often I find myself writing late at night, thinking, “This is absolutely incoherent. A waste of time.” Then the next day when I check it, I usually find it wasn’t so bad at all.
Set a goal of a certain number of words a day. Several online groups have 100 word-daily challenges. Make the goal realistic, then make the goal. Challenge a writer friend to do the same.
Just yesterday, my weekly critique group challenged each other--and ourselves--to a specific number every day and for the week, because we're determined to finish our books within the next few weeks. At first the totals were intimidating, but I have no doubt we’ll reach them.
And you know what? I can finally see the end to that interminable story I’ve been working on. Edits, here I come.
Do you write every day? Why or why not? What motivates you to keep the words coming?