I always say that I'm a manic writer. It's a disease. I need my word fix. But there are days I feel more motivated than others. It's important for me to stay excited about my current project, and the unfortunate thing about writing, there aren't a lot of external motivators while you're writing the book. The reward comes after, when it's done and you get reader feedback. But in the middle of the process? Sometimes, you have to treat yourself.
I don't set daily word count goals. That's a reward in and of itself. When I do, I feel undue pressure, and am then disappointed on a slow day. Some days are super productive, some less so, and productivity can be relative. I let it ebb and flow. Sometimes, completing a difficult scene, coming to an epiphany, working through a sticky conversation - those can be little victories. I think it's a good thing to acknowledge them, let them breathe a moment, and give yourself a little pat on the back.
- A new book to read. Reading helps me gear up for writing. It settles and refocuses my brain. Nothing like a brand new book with that good ink smell to celebrate a little writing win.
- A reading break. I read a chapter of whatever book I'm reading for fun. A beat of downtime between creative sessions.
- A new addictive song on iTunes.
- Ten minutes scrolling through my fave Tumblr blogs.
- Ten minutes taking Instagram garden photos.
- A piece of really good chocolate. (Dove!)
- Tiny glass of white wine (at the end of the day, mind you ;)
- Internet window shopping - I can't buy anything, but it can be fun to look and decompress for five minutes.
Maybe I've got ADD, but I work well when I take little microbreaks, and then have a little celebratory reading and wine time at the end of a long day of writing. For me, it's important to stay off social media when I'm writing. That's less of break and more of a brain drain, in my opinion. I can go look at a pair of boots, and dive back into writing. But scroll through Facebook...ugh. Then I just want a nap.
In the feedback slow-downs between books, you've got to keep fresh and keep going. Have a bite of chocolate and tell yourself "good job on that last paragraph."