This is a guest post by Naomi Leadbeater
This will be a short, quick post, but here’s hoping there’s useful information in it.
I’m constantly having conversations either in person or online about how to stay motivated to write. A novel is a huge undertaking, and while I can say I did get the first draft done in that week I had off, I’m still writing and rewriting bits and pieces of it.
There are obstacles to writing everywhere in life. Especially if you also have another full-time job and can’t devote all the time you really want to writing.
That said, the biggest obstacle is staying motivated and using time wisely—you know, instead of procrastinating. (Because this isn’t doing that AT ALL.)
Here, then, is a shortish list of how I keep and/or trick myself into being motivated enough to keep writing.
1. I start posts to write in WordPress and save them right after I’ve written the title and one sentence. This lets me go back to something later when I know I need to write but can’t think of what.
2. I put TV/music on in the background. I do this because it prevents me from staring out the living room window and creating imaginary worlds in the lattice entrance I can see. The computer monitor (or the music visualizer) acts as a buffer, and I usually get distracted enough to turn back to the other screen and write.
3. I read a pile of other people’s blogs. This is less dangerous than reading a real book or an e-book. Other writers can be both interesting and inspirational, whether it’s to write more novel or to write a blog post. It also means I’m less likely to fall asleep on the couch while curled up reading.
4. I garden and take breaks. The breaks are often to cook or clean somewhere in the house. This both keeps the house clean, and lets my brain regenerate. (That’s a rather odd word choice, but I mean it.) My old roommates, some of them at least, will know that the house has to be somewhat organized and clutter-free in order for me to be able to write at all. Though I can say I’ve learned to let it go if the glasses aren’t stacked by type in descending order of height—as long as the cupboard door is shut.
5. I allow myself to engage in other activities I enjoy, but with the bargain that I’ll write for the same given period of time afterwards. Along with that goes the implicit implication that I will devote most of my days off to writing. I don’t work well in the evenings of the days I work because, quite frankly, I’m tired then. Constant contact with the public does not help inspire me to write.
*note: It doesn’t inspire me to write good things. It can sometimes (often?) inspire me to be a very cynical, black comedic, sitcom-esqe writer. This is also a great genre to write in, but not the genre of my novel. The novel for now take precedence. The sitcom Planet X will have to wait. For now.
About this post’s author:
Naomi Leadbeater lives in the middle of the continent, on the snowy plains of Manitoba. She is a blogger, writer, artist and musician. She found Novel Publicity just over a year ago, and has made it her online habitat every since–now she works for NP as a marketing assistant. You can find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, andGoogle +, as well as a few other places if you dig deep enough into the interwebs. You can also email her firstname.lastname@example.org.