How to get motivated?

notebookIt has been a month since I last edited. I had the excuse of busy at work and busy at home with crocheting my mom’s shawl, but the last week and a half I have had no excuse not to edit. It is just that every time I even think of picking up the big stack of paper I still have to trawl through I cringe. I feel very disheartened at the thought of how much rewriting my story still needs before I am happy to pass it on to the next reader (who will then undoubtedly suggest even more twists and changes). Part of this has to do with the cold outside and the desire to stay in bed with a book, which I have been doing a lot of lately. I have also neglected my journal writing and even my blog posts have not been as frequent as I would like.

When I was in the Netherlands two weeks ago, I stayed with my brother and sister-in-law for a night. My sister-in-law asked about my book and I explained I am a little stuck in the editing process. My brother piped up with: “But why do you want to edit and rewrite it? What is the point?” To be honest, for a split second, I agreed with him in my heart. What is the point indeed? I will never be a published writer. I hardly have the energy to read through a few pages of my book after a full day of work, let alone go through the grueling process of editing and rewriting to get it in shape to be sent to publishers. And then the process of writing a good pitch, the thought alone makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

But, I do know that I need to rewrite and edit my book to the best of my ability. I know that until I do that, I will not be able to be proud of it, as it will not be my best effort. I do not see the point in leaving the story as it is now. Sure, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. But that does not mean that it is finished. My book is not ready to be read by even my closest family members or friends. It needs polishing, it deserves polishing. And I promised it, myself and all the future readers that I will eventually get around to editing the whole thing.

Just maybe not yet this week. First I need to find my motivation again. Any suggestions?


6 thoughts on “How to get motivated?

  1. Just get started. Your own words will motivate you to make it better, to perfect it. I know, not really motivating. But it works. Just start, do one chapter and find yourself emerged in your book once more. Set a deadline, find a buddy, make it NanoWrimo 2.0. Just get started!

  2. I completely know where you’re coming from Christina! I have had weeks just like that, and then suddenly you come across a day and you just feel like working on it again. Now, you can wait for those days – hey, you’re doing it for you, right? Or you can do as the other guy (or girl, sorry) says and just get started. A bit like writing in the first place. They’re words. They won’t necessarily be good words, or the right words, but it’s a step in the right direction. And that feels better than feeling down on yourself because you haven’t done anything. I have almost finished my second draft. Feels like I’ve dragged myself through it. I’m hoping the third draft will be quicker. (Or preferably non-existent! Wouldn’t it be nice if everything just worked?!)

    • I know, and thanks for you kind words. I know I have to set myself a schedule and stick to it, that is the only way it is going to work. You and Schnudelumpfe are right, I just have to get started. I have been thinking about my novel again recently and am not feeling like it is 100% crap anymore. So tomorrow I am going to pick it up again!

  3. Hear, hear! (From a female Schnudellumpfe, btw 😉 – how could you have known, Kat?) If you need someone to motivate you, Christina; I’m here for you!

  4. I think it’s extraordinarily hard to parent AND have a day job AND write. So be kind to yourself!
    Also – yes, sometimes we just have to grit our teeth and push on, but once you have a full length draft, it can be good to set it aside – maybe even for months, while perhaps working on another writing project – then go back to it with a fresh eye and more energy for the next stage. Good luck!

    • Thanks for your kind words! I think I just need to make a schedule and stick to it, I am usually much better at staying organised if I am working to a deadline. I am going to try harder though!

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