There you are…smack dab in the middle of a long project. The electric that was in the air during the thrilling newness of it has the spark of, well, a sock with static cling attached to a pant leg. And the finish line seems a million miles (or weeks, or words) away. Here is where you have a choice to make: do I have the heart to stick this out for the long haul, or do I move on?
This feeling is normal in many jobs but especially so in our field. Whether you are a writer, an editor, or a publisher, you are constantly challenged to stay motivated. Many of our projects take months, often up to a year or more, to complete. Couple that with the fact most of us do this work as a second job or a hobby and it can be hard to not only find time but also stay interested and motivated.
If you decide to stick with the project, here are a few things you can do to keep going.
- Set smaller goals to meet on the way to project completion. Write them down with a firm deadline date. Then, once you’ve reached the goal, do something to celebrate.
- Get other people involved. This field tends to get a bit solitary. Get interaction (and accountability!) through writing groups or other types of peer review.
- Take a break. If you need to step away from a project, take some time to research, do some planning, or begin your marketing. That way, you’re still moving forward.
What other methods do you use to keep motivated over the long haul? Leave a comment!