1. Reminding yourself that facing a challenge does not mean you’re a bad writer.
2. Reaching out to other writers when you need help. Sometimes a quick “you got this!” is enough to calm your nerves and help you refocus your efforts.
3. Treating mistakes and rejection as learning experiences instead of epic failures.
4. Leaning on your support system. Sometimes it’s a friend or family member. Sometimes it’s someone in your online writing network. It could be a mentor, an instructor, an editor — if you have someone or something to hold you up, you’ll never sink low enough to seriously consider quitting.
5. Making to-do lists in whatever form works for you. Even if you don’t think you’re a “list person,” failing to keep track of your goals, ideas, and tasks makes it much easier to just push it all out of your mind and ignore it.
6. Layering your goals. If you have monthly, weekly, and daily goals, for example, it’s easier to break your eventual accomplishments into small enough pieces that achieving them at least feels a little easier.
7. You don’t compare yourself to other writers, setting your own goals and timelines and deciding not to worry about how much father “along” someone is in their journey than you are.
8. You don’t let other people’s negativity derail you. You persist even when the rest of the world tries to convince you that you shouldn’t.
9. You encourage others to push through their doubt and work toward their goals because writers need to support each other, and the next time you need help, the universe will grant it.
10. Forgiving yourself when things don’t go exactly the way you planned — because that will happen a lot, and letting it ruin your day every time isn’t going to get you any closer to your finish line.
11. Remaining determined to always one-up yourself in everything you do. It may not always be healthy to compete with other writers, but it usually doesn’t hurt to try competing with yourself.
12. Keeping a running list of reasons you want to keep going, and referring to it often — especially in the moments you need to be reminded that giving up isn’t really what you want at the end of it all.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.