After seven days of novel writing, I've developed a routine of sorts - wake early, do morning pages to "prime the pump," and then settle in to write for an hour or so. I've been trying to stay about 500 words ahead of my allotted 1667 words per day - so far, so good. As I mentioned last week, this year I've been more "up front" about participating in this project ~ which definitely provides additional incentive to complete it~and has also forced me to reflect on my motivation for spending all this time and effort on something that's (1) not required; (2) not going to earn any money; and (3) not "perfect."
One simple answer is, "because I can." In the past couple of years, I've found all these words lurking inside my head, I've met characters who beg to be brought to life on the page, characters whose stories wish to be told. I've discovered that word play affords me the kind of satisfaction others might get from running marathons, or woodworking, or gardening, or any other life enriching activity.
The satisfaction is in the doing; the reward is in the completion.
The other motivator is a little more complicated, but the words of a recent country song say it well...