Here's the deal.
You want to write?
There's only one thing that you cannot, under any circumstances, ever forget.
You have to write to do that.
SHOCKER, I know, but there's going to be a lot of points where you want to stop. You'll get tired one night, the rest of the world is going to press down on you, family, friends, relationships, those all have to come first of course. But they can't impact your writing to a point where you just... stop.
Believe me. I've been there. It's a shitty point to realize you haven't written anything in two weeks and deadlines are breathing down the back of your neck because of something that is entirely your fault.
Regardless of emotions, you need to write to be a writer. Simple fact, and an easy one to acknowledge let's be real.
There are three things that I always remind myself, and push to continue to do.
Unlike other jobs, YOU are the boss in this venture. No one is going to stand over you at noon asking why you haven't gotten the new project completed yet. There is no one cracking the whip other than your own guilt, and some of us don't even get that.
How do you stay on track then?
There's a lot of different ways to reward yourself for hard work, and lemme tell you, you'll need those rewards. Accountability is arguably the most difficult part of any self owned business. You'll have moments where you want to give up, or just take one break that ends up being weeks long. So make sure you don't.
Personally, I like to set goals for myself. If I write 50,000 words in my next book then I can order that dress I like. Or I can finally buy that super expensive bottle of scotch that's been begging me to get it for weeks.
Material objects aren't going to work for everyone. Find what makes you tick. Maybe it's that you finally give yourself an afternoon off with your kids. Maybe you get a massage or your nails done.
Find what makes you tick and stick to it.
God I hate this word so much, but it's really the truth. You have to be consistent. So many great writers have said "Write every day". It doesn't matter how much you write, just write. Get words out. Sit down at your desk and let the words flow, you'll be surprised that you end up writing more than you expected.
This ties in with Accountability. You have to write to make money. You have to write to publish. So sit down, every single day, and write at least something.
Personally, I've found when I stop doing this, that' when my accountability disappears. I take one day off, then another, then my brain reminds me that I don't LIKE working this hard. It's so much easier to sit on my butt and play video games or watch the Good Place.
Brains want to be lazy. The whole science behind "What starts to move will continue to move?" That doesn't apply to the human mind.
We are lazy as a default. Our brains sometimes like working and being stimulated, but most of the time they really just want some kind of entertainment.
Dance monkey, dance. And all that jazz.
So anyways, make sure you write every day. Just.... do it. You need to, even when you don't want to.
Or really, especially when you don't want to.
I might be.... a little neurotic with my tracking. When I first starting writing I joined in on nanowrimo and I've never looked back sense. For some reason, having a little column that hits a line is so satisfying.
This is what my tracking looks like.
Yes that is absolutely insane, and you can see the point at the end of the month where I started going through some personal life things. I just.... petered out. that continued through the next month as well, and I didn't do anywhere near the wordcount goal that I like to.
So, what is my goal?
I write 2,000 words a day. That's roughly 4 pages, single spaced, in Word. This is seriously aggressive, and most people I would suggest shouldn't do this. It's a little more than what a lot of people could manage.
To put that in perspective, an average book is 60,000-80,000 words. I write 60,000+ words a month.
Tiny bit aggressive haha.
And that's that!
I know a lot of it seems overwhelming. Honestly, writing in general seemed super overwhelming to me too.
I really thought that there's something magical about writing. That you'll get it done no matter what because something will take over your body and you won't be able to think of anything BUT writing.
Sometimes it's that. But most of the time, you're tired, hungry, cold, the cats need feeding or the kids are talking your ear off. A lot of people struggle with guilt in taking the time they need away from their family, cause let's face it, most of us aren't full time when we start.
Writing is HARD.
It's going to eat up your life in ways you can't imagine, and that will take a toll on your mind and your body. Our livelihood is based on whether or not people like the product we create.
Reviewers are going to make things personal. They'll twist words so that its an attack on the author, their intelligence, sometimes even their sex (both male and female. Know how many guys get flack for writing romance?)
These are the things that will eat away at your productivity. It'll take time away from your writing and in doing so, slow down your career.
Why is this so important to note?
That you can persevere. You'll get through this and all the other things that come to pass.
Write first. Write often, and rejoice when the words come.