When a Big Project Is Finished?
I get this question a bunch, usually from someone who has just finished one of the big challenges, like a story per week or a novel every two months.
Very real and very tough question.
The essence is that when the motivation to do something in writing stops, how to replace it with an as-effective or better motivation?
The answer is, of course, “It depends…”
“And it is different for every person…”
But here is how I would look at it.
First, look at the motivation that has been keeping you going through everything. Sit down and list why it kept you going, the key points that got you to the computer, over all the life rolls, and finishing projects.
Write it all down, maybe take a few days to do it.
Was it a set deadline every week? Or Month?
Was it the repercussions of missing that kept you going?
Was it the feeling and the work you were going to have when you finished?
Was it a carrot at the end?
Did it give you an excuse to get to your writing that other family members bought into and helped you?
Did it make your writing valid in some fashion?
Did the challenge get you going, but the momentum kept you going more than the challenge?
There are more, but you get the idea. Write them all down that apply to you. Then once you have that done, and you have thought about it for a day, then look at the list of what motivated you, what really, deeply motivated you, and ask the simple question…
“How can I set that up again?”
Try to get the same feeling.
To be honest, I seldom can, but in trying, I tend to find something new and different that gets me going. And that is the key.
You need to get going again. At least at the pace you want to be at.
We professional writers just write. It is what we do. But I would not write as much as I like to write if I didn’t have something, some sort of challenge or deadline or goal that I wanted to hit at the moment. The challenges, the goals, the deadlines are shields against the real world distractions.
So if you just finished a big challenge or project of one sort or another, make the list of reasons it worked for you (keep it for the next time as well) and then study it and try to set something up again that will drive you forward with a new challenge, a new project.
All writers spend our time between our ears, and sometimes it takes a structure from the outside to motivate the creative and business part. The challenges we do give you that structure. But when you finish the structure, find another structure as soon as you can. Otherwise months go by and you wonder how you could have ever written as much as you did.
One last bit of advice that I always give because it is the secret of writing. Have fun. If it is not fun, don’t do it. Find another way.