Stay motivated when writing a novelWhether you’re writing a novel in a month for National Novel Writing Month, or you’re simply trying to finish that gripping fantasy book you’ve been working on for ten years, it can be hard to stay motivated. As a novelist, I find that there are days when the words flow easily, and others when even writing the first sentence feels about as easy as climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops. While I love writing, and I can’t imagine not doing it for a living, I also know that there are days when I’d rather do almost anything other than face the pages I have to write. Every distraction, even laundry or the gym, looks like a more fun way to spend my afternoon. Here are some tips for getting and staying motivated while you write your novel.

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One of the biggest benefits of NaNoWriMo for me is the creative momentum it spawns, even beyond November. Each year I’m energized by the imaginative sparks (and sometimes flames) that result from immersing myself in writing. I also learn (and relearn) important things about time management, discipline, and the value of writing with others.

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Writing a novel is a little like getting back in shape. When you're towards the beginning of the process, it's sometimes easier to read ABOUT the work than to actually DO the work. See, here you are reading this! (Which I appreciate, by the way.) But let's face it, unless you're trying to solve some specific problem of character, plot, or tone, chances are good that you're going to learn more by actually writing than by reading ABOUT writing! When we're being honest with ourselves, we know if we're on the right track or not. So stop reading this; glue your butt to your chair; trust your intuition; play around on the page; try out different possibilities; and — as NIKE says — Just Do It! No distractions. No excuses.

Writing a novel: free resources for authors

Wait – you're still reading? OK. Well, writing IS hard work, after all — so...

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