Cup of Dcaf: Momentum in Writing

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It’s no secret that writing a novel is a tough thing to do. There are a variety of difficulties that many people, including myself, encounter on that rocky and twisting road toward completing a manuscript, but one of the most common is the simple fact of motivating yourself to actually put those words on the page.

Sure, sometimes it’s easy: maybe you got an awesome idea for a fight scene while you were buying groceries, or a great conversation that will help with a troublesome character popped into your head in the shower. Inevitably, you want to rush back to your notebook or computer and get writing as quickly as possible. It is times like this that writing can be the most enjoyable.

But what about when you hit that dreaded wall, when you’re at a boring part of your book (more on this to come), or when you simply aren’t feeling it? What about when you  force yourself to open that Word doc and find yourself staring at the screen, fingers limp against the keys and your mind curiously blank?

I wanted to talk about this today, on New Year’s Eve, because one of the most common solutions I hear for this is to set daily goals or resolutions. I have done this myself, in the past.

There’s no doubt that this works for some people, but for many others, it’s a matter of the motivation, or lack thereof. It’s easy to set aside time to write, but actually getting the mind chugging and the fingers typing is a different story. It is for this reason that I usually try to stop writing before I run out of steam. If I close my laptop at the end of the evening having left my scene unfinished, or the conversation unspoken, or whatever it is, I itch to get back to it the next day and finish it. That way, I know that when I sit down, the creative stream is ready to start flowing again and take me through another day of writing.

Do you have any strategies that you use to overcome this problem? What advice have you heard for this?

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