Running out of motivation halfway through a novel, short story, or any writing project is extremely common! I’ve seen many ambitious young writers start a novel, stoked to write and motivated to draft the entire thing. Then, partway through, all of that drive seems to die away and get lost in the dull words and sentences.
If you sympathize with this struggle, finding yourself partway through a writing project and feeling absolutely no motivation to finish it, here are three tips that I’ve found useful when I’m not feeling very motivated to finish a draft! I hope this helps, friend!
Tip #1: Keep it Engaging
If you’re struggling to finish a novel, short story, or even a non-fiction article, take a step back for a moment. Look over what you’ve written briefly, and ask yourself one question: “Is what I’m currently writing still engaging, exciting, and page-turning?”
Now, I know that every scene in a novel isn’t going to be a fight scene or a dramatic dialogue sequence (trust me, I’ve written books that are 90% fighting, and it didn’t turn out too good!). However, those aren’t the only kinds of scenes that can keep a reader engaged.
The main problem would be if you have a sagging plot. Are you writing too many filler scenes that have nothing to do with the overarching tension of the story? If the tension dies, and the internal struggles of your protagonist seep away for even a few scenes, the story will immediately begin to deflate. Readers are engaged in stories that have constant high-stakes, questions they want answered, and riveting, emotional, internal tension.
If you notice that your story is getting off track of the main stakes and tension, or realize your character has had too much time to rest without continuing on their quest to find peace inside themselves, you may want to consider cutting out those filler scenes and getting back on course!
Even writing the most exciting scenes can still be tough, but a good sign that you’re writing something readers will be engaged in is writing something you are engaged in while you write! Even if this is not always the case, sometimes if you catch your mind drifting off on thoughts of what you ate for breakfast, chances are your readers may do the same thing when they get to that point in the story.
Tip #2: Write with Checkpoints
This is a great way to pace yourself and keep yourself feeling motivated to continue writing till the end! Maybe when you think about drafting all the way to the end of your novel, you feel discouraged, because it’s so far away.
If so, create checkpoints for you to celebrate at! You could come up with an agreement with yourself. For example, every time you finish a chapter, reward yourself with some time off to read a book, play a game, or eat a tasty treat!
Long roads can be daunting, but if there are multiple restaurants, parks, and benches on the road where you are able to rest and rejuvenate your energy, it can feel a lot easier!
You can pace out these checkpoints however far you want to keep yourself going. If you don’t need quite as many checkpoints as per chapter, you could simply set up checkpoints at your first plot point, your midpoint, your climax, and then when you write “The End”!
Tip #3: Share Your Draft (With Clear Intentions)
I know this is an incredible way for some writers to keep their motivation high while they draft. Personally, I enjoy writing without sharing any snippets with others until I’m all done. However, some people do really well when they share snippets with fellow writers or family and friends. The encouragement they get can keep them on course to finishing their draft.
However, you have to be careful when you do this!! Make sure that your intentions of sharing these snippets or chapters are very clear to the other person. You aren’t looking for edits right now, or people pointing out inconsistencies or mistakes you’ve made. You need to let them know that you’re still in the process of drafting and are not editing yet, and all you need right now is encouragement, highlights of some of the strong points of the story, and motivational words to keep going. The editing and critique can come later!! Critical feedback is important, but not while you’re drafting, because it can easily drag you down.
And there we have it! Three simple suggestions on how to remain motivated while you write your project! I really hope you find this helpful, and that you’ll apply these tips to keep drafting whatever you’re working on!
Have you found any useful tips of your own to help you stay motivated while you write? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat with you!!
Thanks for reading, have a beautiful day, and I’ll see you next time!
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