There is no winning in writing. We’re only competing with the words we wrote the day before.
If you stay in the mindset of ‘I didn’t reach my word count’ ‘I write too slow’ ‘my characters aren’t developed enough’ ‘my story isn’t developed enough’ ‘I’ll never finish this book’ you’ll never release the story inside you.
That thought process is too….final. Remember, there are no fixed rules in how you write your book. And what I mean by that is…word counts, query letters, getting published…all of that is an ‘end game’ mentality. If you’re writing for the sole purpose of hitting a daily word count, you’ll stress yourself right out of a creative mindset.
In my experience, my best writing days were the ones where I didn’t put any pressure on myself to get it done. Sometimes I only completed one scene. Other times I wrote several chapters. I guess the most important thing for me while writing was the fact that I was doing it for myself, and nobody else. I wrote those books for me.
And that’s why I was so confident when I submitted them to publishers. That’s why my query letter and synopsis didn’t stress me out. They were purely an extension of what I’d already written. I mean, yeah, my background in marketing and promotions probably helped with selling my story but as a whole, none of that felt stressful to me. And that’s because my end game wasn’t fixed. I wasn’t living or dying by what publisher or agent liked my book. None of that played a huge role for me.
Creating a story because it’s something you’re passionate about will (most of the time) be easy. I’m not saying every scene will be perfect but it’ll be close.
Consider redirecting your focus if you’re feeling stuck. Are you too hell bent on writing 3000 words this week? Instead, tell yourself that you hope to write for the rest of your life. Try not to cloud your creativity with such concrete goals. Word counts don’t matter if the words aren’t coming. Query letters don’t matter if you don’t have a book to submit. Focusing too much on wanting to finish a story won’t get it written. It’ll disrupt your focus with thoughts of 'I can’t,' 'this won’t work,' 'why aren’t I able to finish this….'
Don’t get me wrong, having goals is great. Aspiring to be published is awesome. I’m just saying that in order to get there, in order to reach those goals, you first should recognize that your path is infinite.
What more? I talk about this topic on my podcast, The Whole Cake.