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Writing When You Don't Believe

You must proceed if you have a story to tell.

Today I hit 100,000 words for the first time on a novel manuscript, and I have to say, it almost didn’t happen. This year has presented me with various reasons to leave the thing behind and focus on real life. This will happen as you try to write whatever you are writing. There will be a voice in your head that says it isn’t worth it, and that other things are more important and that you should just put it away for another time.

You must proceed if you have a story to tell, otherwise, you will always wonder what it would have looked like on the page. I know that this seems simplistic, but the advice of the stupid athlete or the overambitious teacher turns out to be true. The only way is forward, the words only show up if you do. When you are lacking motivation, I have found that creating a log (and staying consistent with it) is a good way to at least get yourself to write something down. I create a goal, set a due date, and then track my successes and failures as I go. It’s important to not skip documenting failure days. You will probably find that you make up the lost words on other days anyway. In the end, you can always extend your deadline.

If you’re reading this, consider it your sign to keep moving.

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