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How To Stay Motivated When Writing A Long Story!

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 09/28/23

You know when you're in the middle of a story and you really want to write but just can't? You have a vague concept or idea in your head, and you finally have time to write...yet you have no idea what to do next.

It can be such a buzzkill, and when you're not close to finishing a project that still has a lot of writing left, it's easy to feel deflated. Isn't writing supposed to be fun? What's the deal?

Yes, writing is supposed to be fun—at least, it is most of the time. No matter how much you love writing, though, you're bound to get stuck sometimes. It's just part of writing.

The good news is that you don't have to stay stuck in your head with no words on the page! So, if you're looking for some ways to stay motivated, keep reading!

Figure out if you're a plotter or a pantser, then work in a way that's best for you!

If you have no idea what plotters or pantsers are, let us give you the quick definitions: plotters are writers who tend to outline their writing, whereas pantsers are writers who go with the flow and don't do much planning when they write (i.e., writers who "fly by the seat of their pants").

Why is this important? Because we all have our own preferred ways of writing. You might be someone who adores making delightfully detailed outlines, or maybe you thrive without knowing where your story will go next. Once you know this, you can write in a way that benefits you. You might also find that you go back and forth between these two methods of writing, but knowing your preference will make the whole process a lot easier!

So if you're a writer who hates planning, plotting, and outlining, trying to force yourself to write a long story with a detailed plan is probably going to make you feel restricted. Alternatively, if you're a writer who can't stand to write without at least a loose outline, trying to do so will probably make you feel lost. Don't try to force yourself to be another writer; do what works for you!

Try some fun writing exercises.

Sometimes, you can get sick of writing about the same characters, settings, or experiences, and your brain just needs a break from what you've been doing. Giving yourself permission to try something new is sometimes exactly what you need to find your motivation again.

There are tons of cool writing exercises that you can do, so it's just a matter of figuring out what you prefer. You can search for word generators, writing prompts, themes, etc., or you can write in a totally different format than you usually do. For example, if you're a fiction writer, try writing a limerick or a few haikus and see what you come up with! If you're a nonfiction writer, try a flash fiction piece from a unique perspective. The possibilities are truly endless!

The point of these exercises is just to get you excited about writing again. So don't hesitate to write something silly or weird. You don't have to write something perfect, nor do you have to share what you write!

Don't forget to keep some perspective (it's a marathon, not a sprint)!

This is a classic piece of advice that applies to writing and other aspects of life, and there's a reason it's said so often. Writing a long book, short story, or even essay takes time, patience, and dedication. It's easy to get burned out.

If you're really struggling to keep writing, allow yourself to take a bit of a break from your story. Your existing work isn't going anywhere, and by living life, reading, or writing about other things, you'll be able to come back and look at your work with a fresh perspective.

That doesn't mean you should never return to your story, of course! It does mean you should be realistic when thinking about deadlines, how much writing you can do in a day or week, and your overall goals. You will get there—just take it one paragraph, one sentence, one word at a time.

Remember, writing is a process, and it's okay if you feel stuck, unenthused, or frustrated sometimes! You won't always feel this way, and taking steps to help your motivation can get you back on track!

What do you do when you're feeling unmotivated to write? Reach out and share your experiences!

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