When I ventured into the world of writing, I did it purely for my own enjoyment. I would spend all night typing away and putting hundreds or thousands of words into the computer. My husband would ask me why I was wasting so much time writing stories that I wasn't going to let anyone else read. Back then, I had no idea there were people out there who would want to read them and I really didn't care. I had stories in my head that needed to be told.
Ah, things were so much simpler back then. I can't believe how much I used to get written in just a few days! I could easily get 10,000 words written over a weekend. Sometimes more. Now that I write "for real", the words don't always flow as easily. I figure that when something goes from being a hobby to a job, motivations shift. Last weekend, I managed 380.
So, it was time to come up with creative ways to motivate myself. I enlisted the help of my friend Carol Ross and proposed a little writing challenge. We agreed to each write a thousand words a day for the next week. This may not seem like a lot to some writers out there but considering I managed a whooping 380 over the holiday weekend, 1000 seems like a respectable target!
First day of the challenge, Carol kicked my butt. She wrote 1200 words to my 900. I was a little disappointed in not meeting my goal, but Carol reminded me that I wrote a lot more than I did over the weekend. It was a good start. (We all need friends who build you up like that, don't we? )
Today is Day Two and to repay for her encouragement, I plan to blow her out of the water.
Any little bit of motivation can't hurt. I'd love to hear how other writers stay motivated to hit those targets. Do you set a daily goal or just write and hope enough comes out of you by the end of the week? Reward yourself with anything special? What's the most you've written in a day? (Maybe that will motivate me - I'm a sucker for trying to beat someone's high score!)
I also hear that reading something else helps get the creative juices flowing again. So, if you need to take a reading break I do have a new book out ...