Thought I'd start a new progress journal since my last one didn't get me anywhere. A few months back, I buckled down and really tried to finish the novel that I have furthest along. It's something I started years ago and jump back into occasionally. I was going to finish it this time. I made myself a very complex motivational plan full of deadlines and rewards and punishments. It was crazy. It didn't work. Just trying to read through what I already wrote, some of it written years back, was depressing. It wasn't good. I wasn't interested. I moped for a while. Thought maybe I should stop writing altogether since I didn't seem to have the innate passion and motivation that other writers have. Then two weeks ago, a fresh story idea popped into my head. I was interested. I was motivated. I knew in order to keep the motivation going I needed to jump on it, ride it out. See how long it would last. This time I didn't make any complicated motivational plans. This time I gave myself two goals. 1. Have fun 2. Finish it And there's one rule. 1. Write at least a half hour EVERY day It's working! I'm obsessed with my story. I think about it all the time. I'm in love with my characters. My overall mood has improved tremendously. Being inquisitive, especially when it comes to my own psychology, I'm trying to figure out what it is that I'm doing now that I wasn't doing before with the last three novels I started and stopped. My guess is: 1. Have fun. I've stopped obsessing over writing strategies like I was before. I've stopped getting hung up on things like "show don't tell" and other well known writing techniques. Sometimes it's just easier to summarize with "She thought this" or "He realized" or other thought words instead of trying to show every little thing. Those well known techniques are helpful, sure, but they're slowing me down and messing with my creativity. Things are flowing now. 2. The half hour time commitment. It's short enough so as not to be intimidating if I'm not in the mood, but long enough so that I actually have time to "get into" my story. It's pushed me to start writing on days I didn't want to, and I've gone past my minimum time requirement every single day since I've started this story. Some days I write for hours before and after work spending almost every free minute with it. 3. I've titled it "Practice Novel." I have no intention of publishing it. It's too twisted. It's too dark. It's too me. I don't know why not showing it to anyone is so freeing, but it is. I always thought having an audience or future audience was a motivating factor for writers, including myself. It always seemed to excite me before to think that someone might read it. But now I see how it might have also held me back, to think that someone might read it. I'm a bit shy. Always have been. Knowing it's for my eyes only means my characters are unchained. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks anymore. It's just pure euphoric fun over here. So I'm still writing, and I feel absolutely giddy about it. As of today I'm at 15891 words. That's a pretty good start. I'm pantsing it, but I generally know where my next plot point is. I'm not exactly sure how it'll all tie together in the end. I have vague idea, but it might change. Things change a lot in this world I've created. This book reminds me of clay. I'm just molding it and changing it as I go. It's all very flexible. I fear if I stop molding it, even for a day, the clay might harden (like all my previous half finished novels) and I won't know how to wet it again or move it around anymore. Right now it's as flexible as ever. It'll take any shape I want. It's fantastic! Anyway, I was posting my word counts daily somewhere else, but I think I'll start posting them here. It's a poor way of gauging progress, but it's the only way I've got. And I do like seeing that number go up.