Maintaining motivation

I woke up in a bad mood today. I have no idea why. Well, actually I know exactly why but I covered that in yesterday’s post so we won’t dwell on it.

Like the good little author gal I am, I dutifully wrote my two chapters, once again bringing in a character I had no idea even existed until one of my other characters introduced me to him (thanks, Wraith) and sent them off to my critique partner.

Great. That was my work day over. Now what?

I do have a comedy erotica story to work on (yes, you did read that correctly; no, it will never be posted on this blog) but somehow the fact that my “official” writing commitments were done and dusted by 1.15pm, combined with the fact that I had nothing else to do at all, really got me down. So I decided to write a blog post about it.

Then I changed my mind. This is normal, don’t worry.

Instead, I decided to look at how much progress I have made over the last week, since my critique partner and I set up an official daily goal of how many chapters we were each going to write per day, etc, etc. So I did that. Here are the results of Operation Stop Feeling So Sorry For Yourself.

I have written eleven chapters in six days. That’s a total of 17,646 words in just under a week, an average of 2941 words a day. This is just on my novel, you understand. I’m not counting blog posts.

I even went and found one of those nifty online percentage calculators. It told me that I have written 29% of my novel (I’m aiming at a final word count of around 80000). It also told me that I wrote 22% of my novel over the last six days. That’s over a fifth of my novel in under a week.

Some of you may have noticed that my critique partner, Leona Bushman, and I set up our own writing challenge, the IdeM Writing Challenge. This challenge requires us to finish the first drafts of our respective novels by the Ides of March, that’s 15th March to those of us on a more modern calendar.

At my current rate of progress I will make the deadline with room to spare, finishing on 11th March. Which is great because the deadline for the comedy erotica story is also 15th March and that will give me some time to look it over and make sure it is completely polished and ready before sending it in.

In other good news, my mother and stepfather are picking up their new German Shepherd puppy on 15th March and 16th March is my birthday. 20th March is the birthday of one of my best friends, who lives quite near my mother and stepfather, so guess where I’ll be heading on the Ides of March. I’ll give you a clue – I won’t be mountain-climbing.

It is so easy, especially when life brings you down for whatever reason, to forget exactly what you have achieved. This isn’t limited to writing but to all things. This blog has received over 760 hits in thirteen days. That’s it’s first thirteen days. I don’t know why people are so interested in my ramblings – the evidence only tells me that they are. Which is awesome. Which means I have no reason to feel sorry for myself because I’m obviously doing a couple of things right.

So now I’m going to take a walk and buy myself some more biscuits and/or chocolate and/or anything else I fancy because you know what? I deserve it. So do you. Be kind to yourself. Like the lady said, you’re worth it.

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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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11 Responses to Maintaining motivation

  1. Mike says:

    I love chocolate. I write erotica too (mostly gay erotica as I’m gay) but I just wanted to touch on something since there seems to be a stigma associated with erotica in general. I personally think that erotica is as literary (or has as much literary value) as any other kind of writing. I don’t understand how it could be any less and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy reading works that have won a pulitzer prize. And I daresay it’s as difficult to write erotica well as it is to write any other kind of manuscript. Anyway…that’s my two cents on that.

    • Oh absolutely. That’s not why I won’t be posting it here. The reason is that I write YA fantasy and that is where I intend to go with my career. Writing erotica is something I enjoy doing, like writing the occasional horror story, but I don’t intend to publish novels in those genres. Posting erotica on a blog aimed at building my platform as a YA writer doesn’t seem like a good career move to me πŸ™‚

  2. Positive reinforcement is great. In one of the notebooks I keep, all I record is my progress toward my writing goals at the end of each day. It’s a standing record of accomplishment. It’s something with which, at the end of the night, I can get my head straight before the day’s work tomorrow. Sounds like you’re doing something similar.

    Congratulations on all the success and keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you very much. I think keeping a note on an ongoing basis is a very good idea – I only did it today because I was fed up with being fed up, you know? But it worked, it was really good. Even if you only write 1% of your novel every day, or even 0.5%, it still builds up.

  3. Trisha says:

    I agree with Mike that erotica is just as hard to write as any other kind of writing – in fact, I find it more difficult πŸ˜› I haven’t even written it just for my own entertainment, which seems odd as I love to read it. hehe

    Anyway…well done on getting those chapters written!

  4. I’m glad to see that you’ve decided not to feel sorry for yourself. (Great choice!) Good luck meeting your deadlines. I hope to hear more about your progress soon.

    ❀ Gina Blechman (fellow crusader)

    P.S. I'm part of your crusader erotica group. πŸ™‚

    • There’s an erotica group? Or did you just make that up? Either way, I’m TOTALLY in!!

      It’s funny that you mention not feeling sorry for myself, since I have felt most of today doing just that – more boredom than anything else, if I’m to be perfectly honest. I don’t have a TV and my stock of books has finally dwindled to nothing 😦 But I wrote my two chapters like a good girl – just editing them now before sending them to my CP πŸ™‚

      P.S. We need to discuss that erotica group πŸ™‚

  5. Susan Fields says:

    Good luck on your writing challenge – sounds like you’ve made an excellent start!

  6. This was a very lovely post. You are amazingly talented by accomplishing so much in so little time. Keep up the great work and I hope you make your deadline by the Ides. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! Although I have to say, just writing lots doesn’t necessarily mean I’m talented. Just means I can string a bunch of words together!

      I decided to set myself a huge goal for today and I totally made it, so we’re on course for the Ides πŸ˜€

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