On First Drafts, Creativity and Motivation

I appreciate that 98% probably don’t care about this topic so if you don’t want to hear about my writing, I won’t be offended if you skip today’s post and come back next week. There’s a good un coming your way on Monday.

But if you are one of the few that remembered that I started writing a novel for NaNoWriMo in 2017, then you might want to stick around.

Yep, after six months and 86,932 words, I have finished a draft of that story. It has a long way to go before it’s even close to being allowed outside of my sight but I finished a first draft! Woo!

If you kept up with my NaNo posts or followed #TNGwrites on Twitter, you’ll know that I really struggled to get this done at times so this does feel like a victory. It might have taken me half of a year but now I have a whole heap of words to prove I have some ability to commit to a project.

Since finishing the first draft however, I have been struggling with the question of what happens next. Obviously, I know there is going to be a lot of editing and rewriting before this project is whipped into shape but I don’t quite have the motivation to do it yet. Part of it is that I am still too invested in it to be even remotely objective. Part of it is that I really can’t be bothered. Part of it is asking why I should keep going with it.

I know this will pass but it did get me thinking about motivation, particularly when it comes to creative projects. When you do these things for fun, it can be hard to keep at it. I don’t make money from blogging or writing, but I do enjoy them so I keep going. When they get tough, and not so fun, it can be hard to keep turning up and getting them done. After all, the only person that insists on the deadlines is me and there’s no real reason why I can’t move them if I feel like it. It can be really hard to be the strict boss when you are not being held accountable to the results. Your motivation has to come from something other than what you get out at the end.

When other deadlines (that have actual repercussions if they are missed) come up, it’s easy to let your own slip away. But that doesn’t do you any favours in the long run. So where do you find the push to keep going when it gets tough?

There’s no easy answer to that, and it differs from person to person. I could tell you what I do to keep pushing through but it might not work for you. It might not work for anyone but me. That’s ok. As long as it keeps me on track, I’ll keep going at it. I think your motivation has to come from the joy of creating itself, and the pride you take in making something even if nobody else sees it or cares.

This is basically a long winded way of saying keep going, if you’re struggling through a side project. I will be. After all, I have nearly 87 thousand words to edit.

Send coffee.

(That helps too)

Kelly x

P.S If you want to know the little tricks I use to keep myself motivated and productive, let me know! I’m sure I can do a full post on it.

2 thoughts on “On First Drafts, Creativity and Motivation


    Any finished manuscript is a victory and you absolutely should be proud. You’ve created a world and people and given them their own tale. That is something you should be SO SO proud of. Just take the rest one step at a time and for now, focus on draft two… then an alpha reader… then beta readers. :) There’s such a great community out there for aspiring authors – both in the blogging world, Twitter… there’s even a subscription book box (Scribbler) devoted to helping writers hone their craft.

    Good luck to you! Like you said, just keep pushing forward, and believe in yourself.

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