“I Have Several Unfinished Projects” – Overwhelmed with Ideas?

Hello again creative people!

Welcome to start of the second half of 2017! It’s July, and it’s summer time! Schools are going on holidays, the sun is shining (it’s raining heavily in Lagos though) and there are plans for travel, fun times, swimming outdoors and barbecues! Whatever you and your children get up to during the summer holidays and beyond, I’m hoping that you’ll have an even better second half of 2017! (PS: If you’re in Lagos, and you are looking for something to do to engage your kids during the summer holidays, you should totally check out my Summer Creative Writing Workshops! Fun, value, benefits aplenty!)

So how did your second quarter of the year go? Did you tick off one or two items off your to-do list? Did you take a big, bold step forward? Did you experience personal growth? Did you grab an opportunity that presented itself? Did you achieve a target you had set for yourself? Did you read more or write more? Whatever you did to move forward, well done! Take some time out to process it and celebrate the fact that you are totally awesome. Sometimes, we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be.

However, what if you’re feeling like you need a little motivation? Perhaps to get started with working on a new idea or even to finish one you’re currently working on? If you’re like me, you may have several projects going on at any given point, whether they’re work-related or personal projects. Specifically, you may have more than one writing project you’re working on, but you haven’t been able to motivate yourself to finish them. Your laptop folders or your notebooks are full of half-finished or incomplete projects. All good ideas, which you started with enthusiasm but of no use to anyone at the moment because they’re not finished!

If you’re struggling with finishing your writing project, here are a few practical tips to help:

1) Don’t Keep Starting New Projects:  It’s extremely tempting to start working on a new idea when it first pops into your mind. But you must resist the urge to begin anything new when you’re already swamped with unfinished work. Instead, find a notebook, or create a document on your computer, to store ideas. Whenever you have a new idea, put it in this “idea bank” while you’re working on something else. When you’re ready, you can always come back to the ideas in that bank.

2) Assess Your Current Projects:  Go through all your current works-in-progress. Make a list of the ones you feel are most valuable; then separate them from the ones you may come back to later, and the ones that don’t have any merit. Be realistic with each project. Is there anything that’s just not worth completing? Are those characters so clichéd that they’re not worth holding on to? Is the plot of that novel so weak that it would not hold up an 80,000 word story? Rather than keeping old projects hanging around, clear the useless ones out, and free up some space in your head and your laptop for new and worthy ones.

3) Prioritise One Project:  Go through your list of good ideas, and pick one to work on. You have to make one project your priority. This doesn’t mean that you can’t work on anything else, but it does mean that your “priority project” is the one that’s going to take most of your time and energy. Whichever project you choose, commit to seeing it to the end, before choosing another one to prioritise.

4) Set Yourself a Deadline: Some of us need the motivation of a deadline to give us the push to complete something. If that’s you, set yourself a reasonable deadline for the completion of your story and stick to it. Also attach a reward to yourself if you meet it. Knowing that there’s a deadline, and there’s a lovely reward waiting for you will give you double motivation!

5) Get accountability: If you can’t always motivate yourself, you can pair up with another writer friend who can motivate you, or you can join a writing support group where your peers can keep you on your toes. You can work with a mentor or a coach who will keep you accountable to the goals you have set for yourself, and not let you slack or make excuses. Getting accountability is one thing that works for me, knowing that someone is going to check on my work, I know I have to produce it!

If you’re struggling with the motivation to finish your writing projects, then I hope these tips help! You should also sign up for my Two-Day Intensive Creative Writing Workshop, where I will be your coach and mentor for the time we’re together, and help you get unstuck. The workshop will be practical and hands-on, and we will help you come up with a project that you will actually want to start and finish! Say goodbye to procrastination, and hello to completed stories!

I’ll be running the workshop on the 8th and 9th of July, from 9.00am to 4.00pm on both days. The venue is in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Refreshments will be provided, and all participants will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the second day.

Spaces are limited, and nine spots have already been taken. We have a Whatsapp group for people who are serious about attending the workshop, and would like to interact with me and other participants. If you’re serious about attending the workshop, please click here to join the Whatsapp group.

If you have any questions, please reply to this email, or you can register for the workshop by clicking here. If you’ve registered but haven’t paid yet, please use this link to pay, and confirm your attendance. I look forward to meeting you and working with you during the workshop!

Here’s my writing quote for the week:

So, if you want to become a professional writer, don’t quit!

Here’s wishing you a great month of July, and a wonderful second half of 2017!

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