Kickstarting a new project can be exciting!

Who am I kidding? It’s a scary, brain-scrambling, daunting, dodge-worthy, and doubt-developing process. A kick in the rear is necessary (at least for me) to get the momentum needed to push through a new WIP (Work In Progress). The first few ideas start out as a jumbled mess, then they grow into beasts that have to be fed, walked (so the crap can be dumped), and tamed.

Each new book is different, and you have to find what works for you. In my experience, kickstarting a book takes wrangling your day-to-day life and finishing a book takes grasping your story. With that said, I’ve discovered some commonalities among the most effective booty-kickin’s I’ve resorted to.

busy-full-calendar1. Schedule, Plan, Scheme.

Sit down and schedule when you’re going to sit down and write for the next few weeks. Plan to make it happen every day, whether it’s 30 minutes or 3 hours. Scheme to avoid interruptions and excuses before they happen.

2. Character Development, Outlining, Plotting.

Take the time to spend your first few days on a new project on discovering who your characters are and where they’re going. Outline as much of your story as possible, and know that it’s okay to rework your outline later. Make your plot and subplots a priority, so they can weave together and entangle your readers.

20140310-0722143. Cut. IT. Out.

Whatever IT is, it’s gotta go! (And, there may be a few.) Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, incessant blogging, thumb-twiddling… If it’s keeping you from writing cut it out, or at the very least minimize the time you dedicate to it. For example, I give myself 30 minutes to work through email and social media at the beginning of a writing day. It’s imperative that I stay away from both until after I reach my word count.

4. Reward Yourself!

I know that finishing a novel is a reward in itself, but let’s get real. If I tell myself that I get to treat myself to a mani/pedi this weekend if I meet my word count… It. Is. On. I might even go as far as to promise myself a celebratory dinner at my favorite restaurant if I write 10k words in two weeks. A biggie is typing out ‘The End’, and I go all out with a reward for that. Once it involved a weekend away from the norm, and the first time I finished a novel I lived in TJ Maxx for the weekend and came out with lots of pretty things.

There are several other ways to strap down and get your write on, and I really do love the thrill of starting a new book. Discipline (better known as ignoring the real world for a period of time) can help spark creativity, and that can lead to meeting daily word count goals.

I’d love to know what you do to kickstart your new writing projects, so please share in the comments below.