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Monday

Staying Motivated

This weekend, I've been rereading my manuscript to be sure everything is nicely polished before I send it off to my agent. And let me tell you, I always underestimate the amount of time it takes to do final polishing! I don't know why. Does this happen to you too?

I know many of you are in the same boat, getting ready to send things off to agents and publishers you may have queried or met at the ACFW conference. So I thought I'd share with you a few things I've found that help keep me motivated.



  • Eat Dove chocolate ice cream minis. Seriously, these things are a-mazing. I was planning to institute a one-mini-per-fifty-pages rule, but I ran out. Boo.
  • Break the work into chunks. Last night, I read something like one hundred pages. That was a lot. By the time I finished, I was shaky feeling because it was 11 o'clock and I hadn't eaten, and I was also being overly critical of my book. I've found I stay much more sane and keep a healthier perspective if I work in chunks, say, fifty pages at a time (i.e. the Dove chocolates... boo again that they're gone!)
  • Remember the heart of your story. It can be easy to slip into a must-delete-everything mentality when you take an overly-critical perspective. Instead, let your story breathe. There's a reason you wrote it and stuck with it so long. Remind yourself what that is while you're rereading.
  • Read on another medium. I have found that for whatever reason, my Kindle is magical. It really helps me pretend my book is already published and catch the errors (and opportunities for strengthening) that I would catch if I were reading someone else's book. (You know you correct errors in other people's writing--don't pretend you don't! ;) ) If you don't have a Kindle but do have an iPhone, you can get the Kindle app and still send the manuscript to yourself to read. I think Julie usually does this. Correct me if I'm wrong, girl. 
  • Surround yourself with positive heart-things. Quotes that inspire you, books you love, and even photos or artwork can help spark that courage that will take you from a good writer to a great one. The power of a strong voice often can be found when a writer discovers his or her own strength. So, as the saying goes, when your heart calls, listen.


Do you have any tips to share? How do you get through last-minute polishing work on your story?




*Photo from http://www.dietsinreview.com/slideshows/best-low-calorie-ice-cream-treats-for-summer/dove-chocolate-miniatures/

9 comments:

  1. Awesome post! Something that really helps me...telling somebody else what my goal is...like my awesome CP. Knowing someone else is holding me accountable seriously helps me get motivated to actually do the work. :)

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    1. That is a great idea, Melissa! Isn't it so easy to set goals in our minds and then get a little too flexible with ourselves? :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I definitely struggle with the "must-delete-everything mentality." I've found that using the text-to-speech function on Scrivener helps me a lot.

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    1. Oh, Julie, I hadn't thought of that! Great suggestion! Do you like Scrivener? I'm thinking about trying it for my next book. I used the voice feature on Word once for contest edits, and every time I read those first couple chapters, I "heard" the words in that voice!

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  3. I like your page breakdown...I agree that my brain gets fuzzy if I try to cram in too much.

    And I've GOTTA try those Dove chocolate thing-ies. They look delish!

    I'm sure your book is fab-u-lous. Can't wait to see it on the shelves someday.

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    1. Aw, Linds! You are so sweet. You DEFINITELY need some ice cream minis! Frozen food aisle!

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  4. I think you hit all the best tips. Breaking my story up into chunks is the biggest help for me. After several chapters, I get burnt out of I don't get up and take a little break doing something else.

    And chocolate, oh yes! I love regular Dove chocolates but haven't tried these. Yum!

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    1. If you like regular Dove chocolate, you would adore these, Cindy! Dark chocolate coated ice creams! Yum! And I agree.... If I do too much at once, I start feeling burnt out. Thanks for stopping by today!

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  5. Oh yes, Chocolate is a must! :) And I love reading my m/s's on the Kindle too. It's way easier to drag around than my laptop, and I agree...I view everything so differently in a new format. Good luck finishing your m/s!

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