Some people have an internal drive that seems to fuel them toward their goals at incredible speed. I am not one of those people. My motivation for revising my current novel manuscript has come in waves and often times I need to help create these waves. Two things that have helped boost my motivation to revise are 1) setting monthly goals and 2) staying inspired with podcasts, craft books, and lots of novels.
Setting Monthly Goals
In my previous column “Time to Focus on the Writer,” I explained the value of shifting deadlines when needed. But at some point, if you want to have a finished manuscript, you need to focus on productivity. A few months ago I bought myself a big desk calendar and sat down with a pack of markers. I had a deadline and needed to rewrite my whole B story. I mapped out the scenes, broke them down into weeks, and plotted them out on the calendar. Then I hung it in a spot I would see every day. Did I stick to this plan exactly? Absolutely not. But I did meet my target by the end of the month. I now do this visual organization task for my writing at the beginning of every month. It gives me a fresh start and achievable goals.
Staying Inspired with Podcasts, Craft Books, and Novels
Something fun that’s kept me motivated is “The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing” podcast. I highly recommend this podcast to any writer. Literary agents take time to break down query letters and there are interviews with writers at varying stages of their careers. I always want to write after listening and walk away with a tidbit to focus on while revising. In addition, I pick up craft books when I have a question. And, I’m never not reading a novel. Whether it’s getting lost in a captivating plot or slowly working through beautiful prose, I’m reading and learning craft and that makes me want to write.