Call it time management or motivation, but there is a lot that goes into sticking to your self imposed writing deadlines – creativity can be a fickle creature.
I’ve had some writers tell me I’m absolutely insane to have a number of works in progress going at any given moment. Maybe it’s not how they operate, but it works for me.
The sole reason I keep projects running congruently is because I can’t control in which direction my inspiration flows on any given day. Who am I to argue with the mostly irrational inner workings of my mind? I have a daily word count and an overall plan to complete projects on due dates – but the logistics are free flowing and intuitive. Many attempts have been made at singular manuscripts consecutively, and it’s not that I get writers block, but the ideas get a bit stale, and my attention wanes. So having multiple books in development works.
And yes, sometimes my workstation looks like I’ve dropped a grenade on it, coffee mug rings on stacks of paper, bowls with remnants of cereal or icecream; and others it’s pristine and organised – exactly like me!
I keep track of my writing progress with tick box lists and charts – it gives me great satisfaction to mark off my progress at the end of each chapter. It happens daily or weekly, either way I get a regular boost encouraging me to keep writing. Pictures and bright colours adorn the wall over my desk, so at any given point in time I can switch to something seamlessly, or get a snapshot of where I’m at.
It may sound a bit hectic. But it’s how I write.
The way I have my workspace set up means I can immerse myself in each project – plus I have more than one workspace (and sometimes like to write on the move) to keep it fresh and interesting. Creativity does not happen in a vacuum, so you cannot expect the ideas to keep coming if you are locked in a dark room starting at a blank screen or piece of paper. Venture out of your comfort zone.
Mind you, I don’t write willy-nilly, I’m passionate about my novels, and pepper my enthusiasm with intervals of reading and discussing my W.I.P’s with friends. It is great stimulus. I also create my own book covers to help envision a finished product.
It’s a delicate balance between structured and free-flow writing, applying just enough pressure to get the job done without stressing yourself out.
My books have outlines and plots, but the characters choose their own direction in the storyline. Every day is exciting to find out what they are going to do with what I throw at them. Keeping the surprises in my writing is what makes it interesting.
How do you feed your inspiration, keep the motivation?
Do you like to write form start to finish following an outline or let the words flow through you when your at the keyboard? I’d love to hear how you write. Comment below and tell me all about your process or latest project.
And as always, happy writing! 🙂
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