As writers, we often have millions of ideas floating around in our minds at any given time of the day. The struggle we all face is putting those thoughts to the page and maintaining progress until we reach that final sentence of the conclusion. Here are some tips to help you finish your next YA writing project and keep you off the procrastination train.
Come up with realistic, achievable goals.
Whether it’s 5,000 words or 1,000 words, even the smallest goal will take you one step closer to a finished product. As long as you have an idea of what your overall project goal is, whether that be a book, a novella, or a short story, then you can begin breaking this down into smaller, manageable goals. Challenge yourself, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start small, until you get into a rhythm of what you can handle.
Find what motivates you.
Sounds simple enough, right? In reality, finding motivation can seem impossible when all you can think about is the unwritten book you haven’t started yet. Make sure to plan rewards for every goal you complete, large or small. Whether it’s taking a day off or planning a shopping trip to the bookstore, rewarding yourself will not only keep you motivated to write but push you towards completing your next goal. Other great forms of inspiration can be in the form of music, writing podcasts, or reading inspiring work from your favorite YA authors.
Hold yourself accountable.
Give yourself concrete deadlines for specific goals, whether they’re long-term goals like completing a novel, or short-term goals like writing 3,000 words a week. Once you set these deadlines, take time to work them into your schedule. If you don’t make these goals a priority in your life it becomes much easier to make up excuses not to complete them.
Track your progress and be proud of it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s on a calendar or a journal, take note of what you accomplish, how many words you write, and reevaluate if you might need to change your goals. There’s no rule that says you can’t change your goals to meet your needs! Most importantly, don’t forget to recognize your hard work; always take pride in how far you’ve come even if the goal seems far away.
Imagine yourself achieving your writing goals, and think about how amazing it will feel to complete them. Regardless of if you believe in positive manifestation or not, thinking positive will help give you the mental push you need to keep moving forward. Go the extra mile by writing down a few positive affirmations to tell yourself before every writing session.
Coming up with writing goals—let alone holding yourself to them—can be more than a tough challenge. We hope these tips help you push through any struggles or negative thoughts you’ve had recently on your writing journey and help remind you of your potential. There’s an amazing story that’s waiting to come alive, you just have to write it!