My goal to finish the first draft of my novel by the end of the summer is 5000 words a week, and while I managed to reach that goal last week, this week I've been finding it incredibly difficult. At first I thought it was just a lack of motivation; that my priorities weren't in order and I needed to give myself an extra push to get going. But as I thought about it more and discussed it with my therapist in this week's session, I realized that the motivation to write this novel is there. It's been there since the beginning and it's been the main thing that's helped me hold onto the idea for so long.
After talking about this inability to stick with my intended goal with my therapist, she pointed out the possibility that it might not be a lack of motivation at all. With some extensive discussion, it became clear to me that my problem was my lack of commitment. I hadn't been able to act on my goals because the commitment just wasn't there, despite how much I wanted to sit down and write. Up until then I had never even questioned my commitment because, of course, I wanted to finish this novel. I'd been thinking about it for years and took almost a month to work on an outline for it. But, despite having all the intention in the world, my commitment just didn't trust me enough to give it its all. The fear of failure began creeping up - What if it turns out to be garbage? What if I can't reach the 80,000 word goal? What if no agents want to represent it? What's the point of committing to it if it's not successful?
I've started to recognize that those questions will be there no matter how confident I am in my manuscript or how close I am to finishing it. I will always be unsure of myself, but I need to find a way to at least commit to what I want. If I can't commit to my own ideas, why would anyone else what to commit to them? So, for this week I am trying to prove to myself with small gestures here and that I am capable of doing this. Maybe it's reading a few more sources on creative writing or adjusting my outline so that I'm a bit more comfortable with it. It could be even as simple as completing everything on my to-do list, showing myself that I am able to act, and even more so when I'm committed.
Right now, I am about 6000 words into my manuscript and while I would love to hit 10,000 by the end of the week, I'll still be pleased with my progress if I don't. There's no point putting this immense amount of pressure on myself if I'm still trying to figure out what the best writing process is for me. Another goal I am hoping to achieve in the weeks to come is putting out a weekly writing vlog on my youtube channel. I found videos like these incredibly helpful and motivating when I was preparing my own novel outline, so I want to give some of that motivation and inspiration to others. Stay on the lookout for those!