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Staying Motivated – Tricks to Keeping Those Fingers on the Keyboard
Let’s face it, it can be hard work to hammer out a novel, especially if you are yet to be published and there’s no deadline. I’ve only been writing seriously for about four years but I realised very quickly that I had to be disciplined for words to appear on a page. After all, there wasn’t an editor cracking the whip waiting for the manuscript.
I’ve found three things really helped pump out the words.
Competitions Create Deadlines
There were certainly times when I would be up at the crack of dawn writing and wondering if this would ever be worthwhile. I can distinctly remember doing so early one New Year’s Day, having had nothing to drink the night before, because I had a deadline looming for the Romance Writers of Australia 5DI program (the five-day intensive writing retreat).
So how do you keep motivated? I found writing competitions a great source of stimulus. If you follow the Romance Writers of Australia competition schedule it helps enormously. The High Five competition gets those first pages polished. The Selling Synopsis competition forces out that dreaded précis and you actually have to finish the book to enter the Emerald Award. If RWA had a ‘cover letter’ writing comp, you would have an entire submission package ready by the time RWA competition season finished.
I used RWA (Aust), RWA (USA) and Romance Writers of NZ competitions (especially the Clendon) to ensure I had solid deadlines through the year. I also made a New Years resolution in 2010 to enter every RWA competition with the maximum number entries allowed – that adds up to thousands of words (you have to be in it to win it!)
Daily Word Goals
If I don’t fix a daily word goal, I’m definitely less efficient. If I don’t have this written in stone before I sit down for the day, it’s amazing what can distract me. I loathe ironing more than almost anything, but it’s amazing how that overflowing basket can beckon when the words aren’t flowing. But if I have that goal in my head, I don’t sleep until I reach it.
Make More Time
My house is generally a mad house! Always lots going on. In the beginning, I wondered how I would ever find the time and space to write a novel. So, I created more time. I began getting up an hour and half earlier (and I’m am soooo not a morning person). Now I nail most of my word count before anything in the day ahead can distract me.
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Blurb - The Convenient Bride:
Jennifer's debut book released by Destiny Romance.
Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family's hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience and plans to use Sienna to secure his next business deal. But things don't go quite according to plan.
In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice to be with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of great luxury and opulence. As befits the fiancée of the famous Antonio Moretti, Sienna is given a new wardrobe of designer gowns and outfits and instructed exactly how to behave when out in public. But after thinking he can manipulate her at will, Antonio begins to realize he has seriously underestimated Sienna, her intelligence, her skills, her courage – and her beauty. Unexpectedly, Sienna gets too close and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio's perfectly planned life begins to unravel.