Here are a few thoughts on staying motivated, after you've recovered from Thanksgiving:
1. If you don’t have an external deadline, create one. For example, pick a date to exchange manuscripts with a critique partner or promise to have the story ready for beta readers by a certain time. Making a commitment that involves other people can work wonders for motivation.
2. Create a chain, as Jerry Seinfeld once advised a new comedian. Using a calendar, make a large X each day you complete a certain task. Soon the line of Xs becomes self-perpetuating because you don’t want to break the streak. (FYI -- gold stars work, too!) James Clear says on Entrepreneur.com, “The Seinfeld Strategy works because it helps to take the focus off of each individual performance and puts the emphasis on the process instead. It's not about how you feel, how inspired you are, or how brilliant your work is that day. Instead, it's just about ‘not breaking the chain.’” If you are looking for online support, the Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge encourages participant to write or revise daily for the month and document it on the group spreadsheet, mixing the “Seinfeld Strategy” with public commitment--a winning combination! The same can be said for NaNoWriMo.
3. Make a plan that divides “writing a novel” (a huge, scary project) into manageable pieces. Set goals to write the first chapter, decide character names, write the second chapter, research the setting, etc. If you want to finish a novel in a certain time period, approximately how many words do you need to write a month? Make a schedule. It can always be adjusted, of course, but, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”