okay, i’ve thought about this in relation to the novels i’ve succeeded in writing and those massive fic series i’ve completed in the past, and here’s what i’ve got for you:
- set goals. when novel writing, i aim for 8k words a week. if i were doing it full time, i’d aim for higher. with this sort of goal, you know that if you don’t hit it, you need to make up for it next week, and you know vaguely when you should be ideally finishing it. with goals to hit, you might feel more inclined to try and reach them.
- don’t share your work until you’re done. this works well for me and others i know – if you share too early, you get instant gratification, and then all that validation you could be getting later on has already been given and you lose your drive. keep your work to yourself until it’s at least one draft in.
- know where you’re going. for me, i need a plan. some people are balls-to-the-wall with their writing, and that’s chill. personally, i like having things outlined scene by scene (or in fan fic’s case, fic by fic.) if i know where i’m going to be in two months time, rather than staring into a void, i’m more likely to try and get there.
- i asked @adult-sasuke for their thoughts too, and they came up with this point too: “outline outline outline but don’t be afraid to stray from your outline” – which is true! know where you’re going, but don’t be afraid to take another path if its better!
- work at your pace. personally, i need to do everything NOW NOW NOW. i wrote a 140k fan fic series in two months because i was so focused and borderline-obsessed with it. this is what i’m like with novels i care about, too. so my pace is much faster. you might want to spend more time on it, so just know your limits, create goals that are achievable within those limits, and keep going.
- just keep going. there will be not-so-creative days, and there will be days you write your 8k in one sitting. but by the time you’ve woken up the next morning, you’re on a new day, time to start again, time to keep trying.
- and, of course, rules are made to be broken. i feel like i need to add this, because sometimes sharing your work before it’s done helps you out. sometimes, showing it to a mentor or a friend who can give you honest-to-god feedback and criticism is going to be what gets you to the finish line. so try new things, find out what’s best for you, and keep writing.
- BONUS: nike, just do it.