Any of you out there who are long distance runners know that, when it comes to running, it takes endurance. You run until you reach your goal and you don’t stop. I’m not a long distance runner, but I have run distances up to 3 miles. Yes, there were times I wanted to stop. What I did was play mind games with myself by saying I’ll stop at the next corner. Then I would keep going at the next corner and say ‘ok, the next telephone pole I’ll stop’. Again, I’d keep going. I would do this all the way to the end. Eventually, I wouldn’t need to play these little games with myself because my body would get used to it.
The same thing goes for writing a novel. There are times you want to stop before you reach your goal of whatever word count you promised yourself you would write that day. So, you play a mind game. Let’s say you fixed yourself a goal of writing 1000 words everyday starting Monday. Monday comes and you are 500 words into your writing and you want to stop. You tell yourself, ‘ok, I can write 100 more words and I’ll stop.’ You accomplish this, except now when you reach the 600 word mark, you can’t stop because you’re on a roll. You keep going. All at once you look at your word count number and you have 1200 words. YAY!!! You went over your goal. Does this happen every time? No. If you find you just can not think of anything past the 500 word mark, then stop and come back to it later that day. Who said you have to write 1000 words in one sitting? As long as you reach your goal by the end of that day.
There will be down time when you need time to think about your story and what should come next. I call this ‘Planning Time’. So…plan away. I consider my walks as part of my planning time because it gives me time to relax and think about my story. Much can come from one’s brain when they relax. Another thing that will help keep up your writing endurance is by talking about your story with someone else. My daughter helps me with that. Let me tell you…it helps in a BIG way.
Writing your novel doesn’t have to be a chore, so make it fun. Run those fingers across the keyboard or your pencil across the paper. Let your brain run in several different directions as it thinks of new ideas for your story. Endure. You can do it.