Much as I enjoy the revision side of writing, it's hard work. I find it all too easy to let myself get distracted - usually by the Siren call of a good story idea.
However, I know that if I ever want to succeed in this business, I need to learn how to focus on the task at hand.
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-motivation lately. If you ask me, it’s probably the most important quality a writer can possess.
Of course, natural ability helps too, but I suspect there are thousands of naturally gifted writers who give up on writing without ever getting published, while other, less-skilled, but better motivated, folk stay the course, work hard to learn and improve their craft, and go on to achieve success.
I’ve got a lot of writing-type work to do this month. After getting myself in all manner of tangles during my last run through of Waking up Jack Thunder, I set it aside for a few weeks so that I could come at it again with a clear head.
Aside from the usual prune and polish work, and a few POV boo-boos that need fixing, I need to figure out what to do about an info-dump in the last chapter. If I’m to get this done by the end of August, I need to knuckle down and get on with it.
With that in mind, I turned down an offer of some copyediting work last week, and I’ve set myself some daily ‘must get this much done today before I can play with my LJ friends’ targets, to help me reach my goal of having a (near as dammit) finished version of WUJT by the end of August. So, if you don’t see me around it means I’ve been a lazy boy.
As a further incentive, failure to achieve a daily goal means no McDonalds coffee the following morning.
Eek! I thought long and hard about that one, but sometimes drastic measures get the best results.
On the positive motivation side, a reward for achieving each day’s goaI is time to work on some micro-fictions I’d like to write and/or revise. Hopefully this carrot and stick combination will help me hit my target.
How about you? What little carrots and/or sticks do you use to help yourself reach a tough writing goal?