Writing, organizing and keeping a rhythm generally is not a problem when we start a project. Everything is new. At the beginning our enthusiasm, the motivation, and the faith in our ability as writers are overwhelming.
But time changes all. It is noble to try to comply with the planned writing time with the best intention, but, what to do when the initial push decreases?
There are techniques to concentrate (setting deadlines, establishing goals, rewarding yourself), but all these mean that you want to keep writing.
At some point in this long term project that is your novel, especially when writing the first draft, you will begin to doubt yourself.
It is not good enough; it is similar to other stories; it does not lead to anything; it is boring; it has too many clichés; it does not have action; and the list can go on forever.
However, not only you do not need to worry, but you should also expect a phase like this. When you hit a bump, when you feel that there is no point in continuing, you need to acknowledge that this phase is part of the writing process.
It is not always easy to be aware that you are in this phase, but, when the painful desire to give everything up appears, take a deep breath and embrace it. Do not try to fight it, it is pointless. Allow yourself to doubt and move on to the next phase.
Of course, there is a chance that it is really a bad work, a huge waste of time. But there is no way of knowing until you have finished. Finish writing. It is very important to complete the projects we begin.
Once you have changed your goal of “creating a master piece” to “finishing this novel”, the task will become much lighter.
To be clear: this does not mean to lower your standards but to avoid the psychological trap of judging things half done, with the false urgency of escaping to reduce loss.
Keep writing until you complete your first draft. Once you have done it you will feel a great relief…for a couple of seconds. Then the following will begin: This does not have potential; nothing can be salvaged; I am wasting my time; I have no idea how to fix this; I better toss it all out and start again.
But you need to understand that this is also part of the process.
A long term project has many ups and downs, many cycles, and it is necessary to overcome them all in order to complete it. One way of doing it is to maintain, despite everything, the writing time that we have scheduled at the beginning. This will make you keep moving. It will provide consistency, rhythm and some security that you will keep advancing towards your goal.