How to Get (and stay) Motivated While Writing Your Great Work.

February 2nd, 2010


Some hard fought lessons from the trenches to stay on target with your writing.

1.   The Buddy System. Find an enthusiastic writing buddy. They don’t even have to be a writer. Just having a ‘go to’ person who’s in your corner can help lift your spirits. Find a fierce supporter of you - someone who doesn’t hesitate to offer you their enthusiastic encouragement.

2.      We can’t all be rock stars. I wish I could sing well or play guitar like Stevie Ray Vaughn, but I can’t. But I can play inspiring music. I know for me listening to great music from amazing talent. Heavy metal, easy listening, rap, good old rock and roll…

3.      I’m a visual learner. Keep a visual reminder of the larger reward your writing will bring – a jar of sand to represent a dream vacation, a photo of a musical instrument, for me it was a picture of a kayak, or maybe it’s a photo of the loved ones you’ll be supporting with your continued writing.  

4.      Clean up your act. You’d be surprised how a little environment de-cluttering can clear your mind.

5.      Da Plan Boss! Da Plan! Develop a plan for your book. An outline or Table of Contents sets a mark to write towards. It lets you know where you’re heading and leaves fewer opportunities to get stuck.

6.      Cut it out. You wouldn’t jump out of the tub to answer the door or spit out your dinner to answer the phone would you? (oh, you would?) Well, I never do. Just because someone thinks it’s a great time to contact me doesn’t mean it is. If I’m not expecting a call/visit etc. I just don’t answer. That’s what paper, pen and voice mail are for, no? Take advantage. Negotiate schedules with loved ones during your writing time.

7.      Retreat! Professional development in the form of conferences or retreats is a great way to inject some new life into your writing. It’s also a great place to hook up with other writers to boost your motivation.

8.      Maybe it’s time to quit writing altogether. Did that one hit you in your gut and hurt or do you find yourself nodding in agreement? ‘Man up’ or move on.

The bottom line – keeping up with writing requires more than will-power – that tank is easily emptied. Writing passionately about what you love is the most energy efficient fuel your creativity can burn.  

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