Today, I finished the fourth draft of my middle grade novel Stealing Christmas, and I’m feeling pretty damn good. It seems like the perfect segue into a question that I get all the time: how do you do it? The “it” they are referring to is sitting at a computer for 10 hours a day (a lot of weekends, too) and writing the stories that pop into my weird head.

The answer is simple. I make sure to always find something to get excited about in my writing. Sometimes, the message that I am trying to get across can carry me through the book; but, most of the time, it’s little parts inside the book like a particular scene or even just a small piece of dialogue that keep me going.

For example: Today, I was about 10 pages from finishing when I found the perfect place to throw in a Home Alone “silver tuna” reference. For most people that means nothing. Arguably, the reference will fly over most of the target audiences’ heads because the movie came out when they were negative 10, but it happens to be one of the most influential movies in my life. Adding the little line made me really happy and it made me want to write more.

Nothing too crazy, but enough to keep the doubt at bay, which is important. For me, doubt is my kryptonite. That’s the number one cause of my writer’s blocks. Like GI Joe said, “Knowing that is half the battle.” They never said what the other half is, but I think it’s doing something about it. So when I notice doubt rearing its ugly head, I do something about it. That’s almost something for another post about identifying your own kryptonite and finding ways to defeat it. But the original point of this post is still universal, you should always find something to be excited about in your writing. Not only will your writing benefit, but so will you.