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How to keep on track!

In a froum about writing I just read: “I have a problem of writing so many books and end up not finishing them. How can I finish writing a book without any distractions?”

Oh, there is your demon, called ‘Creativity’! Embrace him (or her) – and take notes (not more) for potential projects. Now, here is the ‘but’ – don’t start them and keep working on the one you desire most. Ask yourself “What is your heart ‘burning’ for?” (Can one say it that way?). THEN make a plan with milestones – AND reward yourself after achieving one. Such a plan can be simple.

For example some twelve years ago I wrote a novel for the game FarCry 2 as contract work (in German, in case you are wondering what language that is on the image).

Now, what did I do? I broke down how long the novel had to be at least (according to the contract) and than mapped the events over it. Thus I gained control over the chapters and the length of each chapter (approximately). And when I achieved a milestone (here the end of act I) I celebrated it, e.g. going to dinner with my wife.

The original plan to keep track of the number of characters, 2007

When you finish your goal (here, the first draft of the novel), celebrate it again! Invite some friends or something! When I finished the first of the three Runes of Magic novels, we celebrated it (and I signed the bottle to remember the date).

The original bottle of sparkling wine we opened for the celebration of the finished Shareena-draft, 2009

So in essence: Make a plan – and stick to it!

Good Hunting!


PS: The advantage of contract work is, that you get paid – and that you have to pay a ennourmous fine if you do not deliver in time and budget. Somehow that motivates to get each Saturday up in the morning at 0600 to complete your novel. 😉

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