How many times have you started a manuscript only to leave it behind as other responsibilities and priorities take your time and its place? It happens to everyone, including me. I imagine it even happens to authors who have a deadline and who have already been paid an advance for the book. So why does it happen? And perhaps more importantly, what can you do about it.
Writing Romance Isn’t Your Priority
Let’s face it, writing your romance novel is important to you but it’s probably way down the line of your list of priorities. Caring for family, putting food on the table, and taking care of yourself all come first (not necessarily in that order).
You Write in Your Spare Time
Writing your romance is something that you probably do in your spare time and hell, if you’re like most people you have very little “spare time”. In my spare time I like to sleep. Sounds lame, I know but I feel like I’m always behind and sometimes sleep feels like the most important thing that I can do for myself.
You Don’t Have a “Why” (Or You Don’t Remember It)
What is your “why”? Your “Why” is the reason that you write. Find it. Write it down. Print it in big letters or tattoo it on the back of your hand. (Don’t really tattoo it, that sounds painful). The point is to put your why someplace where you’ll see it every day, many times a day, and you’ll be reminded why you’re writing and what your core motivation is for writing.
Set a Super Teeny Tiny Goal
I like to motivate folks to write 500 words a day. However, I realize that for many that is just too large of a writing goal. Writing 500 words can take some writers an hour or more. Choose a word count or time goal that you KNOW YOU CAN MEET. It might be 10 minutes a day or three sentences or 200 words. You decide. Just make sure that it’s something you know you can do and then do it.
Allow Your Goal to Grow Into A Habit
Over time, and this might be months, your tiny daily writing goal will become part of your life. When this happens it will likely allow you to grow with it. That means you may find that you can write more in the ten minutes you’ve set aside or that your daily 200 words readily becomes 400 or 500 or 1000 words. Don’t force it to grow, allow it to grow and if it doesn’t, if 200 words a day or five minutes a day, is all you can muster for months or years, then that’s fine. It’s progress toward your end goal and it helps you sustain your “why”.