10 Nov On Writing: How to Stay Motivated
Realistically, how do I get the motivation to start? How do I maintain that motivation? How do I see it through to the end?
Motivation and writing is kind of a touchy subject. Because authors sometimes take a cop out here. They say things like, “My muse hasn’t visited me yet,” or “I have writer’s block.” Everyone else nods sympathetically and says, “I get that.”
But doctor’s don’t get “doctor’s block.” Truckers don’t get “trucker’s block.” Have you heard of a florist saying, “Sorry, I can’t create this arrangement today. My muse just hasn’t visited me.”
No. At least I never have.
All these other careers are forced to find ways to keep going. Writer’s need to do the same. It helps us maintain our motivation and creativity.
Now, when it comes down to motivation, we’re right back at finding your why. Not just, “Why are you writing this story?” but “Why are you writing? Why are your fingers typing on the computer? Why is your brain moving this way? What about writing completes you and drives you here?”If you can narrow all the way down to why you’re doing this thing, it will push you through those moments where you don’t have motivation. Because with our why, we really don’t have much. Pursuit without purpose is just walking somewhere.My why is the most powerful thing for me. Creating these stories for myself and for others drives me every day. Most days, when I’m not motivated to write and I know I need to, remembering my readers is enough to push me forward. The thought that people are relying on me to help them escape, to give them courage, and to be able to go about their day, gets those fingers flying.
Your timer should be your best friend. If you don’t have one, just Google ‘online timer.’ Works magnificently. Write for just 10 minutes. It may not be motivating at the beginning, but you’ll warm into it, get going, and that flow can be motivating in and of itself. You may find that you write for thirty minutes instead of ten. Or maybe you just write ten. But at the end of the week, if you do that for six days, you have an hour of writing that wouldn’t have been done before. Little things add up to BIG things later on.
Writer’s groups can help, too. While with other people on this same path, you can talk about writing, have other people read your work, commiserate, and connect. That’s powerful.
If you hit a certain word goal, do a certain thing that brings you joy. Maybe you love researching, but the writing is hard. So if you write so many words, then you get to research another scene. Find ways to push on. I met a writer that pays himself $15 into a vacation fund every day that he hits his word count target. Consequently, his wife is his biggest cheerleader.No matter what you do to find that motivation, always come back to that why. Figure out why you’re in that chair, why you have to write, and use that to propel you forward.