The big if in writing is if I can get it done. Every time I finish writing and editing a book it is a great feeling of satisfaction, of finishing. It is the times between the books that is the problem for the writer and one that makes the job one of the most challenging of any careers.
I’m not in the mood to talk about motivation, passion, drive or determination, because any one of those can lead to the dark side. I mean can lead to the dead end of any emotion. What I would rather talk about is strategies for avoiding dead space in the writing life.
Guilt trips work. They force me to actually do the writing when I don’t want to do it. Sure their accumulative effect can be damaging, like methamphetamine, but for the short term they can speed you into getting the work at hand done.
Having a plan. Yes this would be the ideal really. You know what you want to do and you do towards it. This can be a list of book titles to write, an outline ready to be fleshed out, a manuscript ready for that first redrafting, a banner over your door that says “I will be a self supported writer in 5 years” or some other physically real thing to focus on. Get to it then if you do. I can change your life.
Locking yourself in a room all night and writing till the dawn beats you over the eyelids with a new day. What you might find in the words you’ve written could spark a real awakening in you that moves you forward towards the completion of a new book.
Buy a new computer or keyboard. New toys make you more likely to write more. They should be used and so you use them more. This is a band-aid fix and not a good way to keep writing. New becomes old, old becomes worn, out dates becomes yard sale fodder. On the other hand I bought my Alphasmart Neo typing pad in 2007 and have written on it ever since. The new toy became the only toy I have really written on since that time-opening up a huge amount of productivity for me. Hey, I’ve written 3 books on it so far!
Keep writing, that is the key. Don’t stop for the world-unless it is for love, that would be an exception. Keep writing and the work will come together. Believe me, stopping is the worst sort of devil. Stalling a bur in the saddle. Slowing down a light cough. Writer’s block a building block for the future to climb over. Never give up. If you don’t stop, you will succeed. I’m trying too, let’s keep it up together.