June 4, 2012

Color Wars

(Son of the Shield Status Report)

I am what is considered a self-motivated person. For some reason, a lot of people take that term to mean that I never struggle with a lack of motivation, it's just always there automatically. While that would be immensely handy, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Being self-motivated means just that: I can motivate myself, and it's usually more effective than motivation from an outside source. But it doesn't happen automatically. It still takes effort on my part - sometimes a lot of effort.
I'm also a very visually-oriented person, and I've found that being able to view my own progress is essential to keeping myself motivated. When I was still in school, I kept progress charts and crossed off each block of work I had completed. Being able to see and track my progress that way made a huge difference in my motivation level.
This past week as I was working on Son of the Shield, I found myself wishing for some way to do that same thing. Since I'm editing and rewriting, tracking word count is impossible. Since I'm not going through the book in order, tracking page numbers won't work. Since half the chapter breaks haven't been placed yet, checking off a chapter at a time can't be done.
So, I've finally settled on a game of color wars to keep me cracking (and to keep myself from going over the same favorite section again and again trying to make it 'just a little better'). Once a section is completed, it gets put into blue font. The sections still needing work are in black. And, I'm happy to say, Team Blue seems to be in the lead! It's difficult to be certain because the sections are very mixed up and it's hard to tell percentage proportions without wasting ridiculous amounts of time. But, if progress continues well, it should be very easy to tell very soon. So stay tuned for the next update on the progress of the great Son of the Shield Color War!

Where do you get your motivation? Do you find it easy to stay motivated, or is it a struggle?


  1. Similarly, I have unwritten sections in bold. I was going to say I don't have too much trouble with motivation, until I realized I haven't finished a book for two years. Hmm.

  2. I do the same with bold and unbold. I write in italics or red if it's a comment of mine for editing or adding. Accountability motivates me, too, but with a bigger project I need little milestones like bolding and unbolding things.

  3. That's a wonderful idea, Mary :D I'll have to remember that for when I am editing (though I'm very linear, so I probably won't need it as much as you do).

    A lot of times I find it rather difficult to motivate myself. Things (even small things) seem really problematic and huge until I just sit down and do them. Then I find out it's usually simple/small/easily managed :)

    Oh, are you going to let people test-read your manuscript before you send it to a publisher or agent?

    1. I have a couple of friends who are reading the manuscript now as I get chapters finished, mostly to point out my typos and plot problems. Aside from them I have a fleet of people trying to beat down my door and get it... most of them friends who are tired of listening to me talk about it. : ) So I don't know yet. We'll have to wait and see.


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