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Keep writing

How to maintain your writing momentum

When you begin a writing project, it can be an exciting time. Your mind is full of ideas, words pour onto the page. You’re on fire.

If you’re working on a long project like a book or series, however, it can become challenging to keep going once the initial excitement fades. I’m sure there are many great manuscripts lying half-finished in drawers or computer folders. 

How do you make sure yours doesn’t end up that way? 

The enemies of completion are lack of time, procrastination, writer’s block, boredom and an inability to see the way all to the end.

Stop for a moment. Consider whether any of these things are an issue for you but don’t worry. Fear is never good for creativity. Instead, let us give you some ways forward.   

Six ways to keep writing

  1. Create space and time. Having a dedicated writing space can boost your motivation as your mind will come to associate that area with writing. It doesn’t have to be a room. It can be a cosy nook somewhere, even the end of your dining room table. Use some of these tips to set up a creative space and this great advice for finding time. 
  2. Visualise your dream. If you’re a writer, your imagination is your superpower. Use it to visualise, for example, holding your book in your hands. If you write shorter pieces, you could visualise yourself winning an award or prize. Focus on the outcome you desire and use that to push through any slumps or moments of doubt.
  3. Keep your eyes on the goal. Set goals that reflect your dream and use them to break down a big project into milestones – it will give you regular feelings of achievement. Make goals as specific as possible and set deadlines that are realistic but will stretch you. It can be easier to find motivation when you’re up against an imminent date! 
  4. Start small. You may feel overwhelmed if you sit down to write and see a big mountain ahead. It can cause you to procrastinate. Suddenly, organising your bookshelf seems very appealing! To prevent this, tell yourself you’ll write just 100 words and see how you feel. By the time you’re done, you should be in the flow and want to keep going. If not, tell yourself you’ll write just 100 more and keep repeating this over and over until you hit your target.
  5. Shovel sand. When writing your first draft, concentrate on getting the words on the page and worry about getting it right later. Think of your first draft like shovelling sand into a sandpit and the editing stage as your chance to craft your sandcastle. Don’t stop to check your work until that first draft is complete and don’t try to edit in your head. Doing so can cause writer’s block and will disrupt your flow. Keep that sand coming!
  6. Shake it up. If boredom’s your problem, or your imagination is becoming stagnant, writing prompts could be your answer. Try one of these image prompts and use it to create a piece of micro fiction or short poetry. Working on something different can recharge your creativity. You could also have a go at one of these creative ideas

Experiment with these tips and use them to tackle your completion enemies. Every day is a chance to win the battle against them and be the hero of your writer’s life. 

You can complete your writing project and make your dreams happen. 

Keep believing and keep going! 

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.’

William Arthur Ward
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About Shelley Wilson

Shelley Wilson is a British, genre-straddling author of sixteen books including motivational self-help books and young adult fantasy fiction. She has a crazy black cat called Luna and is obsessed with vampires, Tudor and Viking history as well as exploring castles

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