Finding the motivation to write a book, a post or a journalistic piece is so easy. All you have to do is read something trashy. And voila! You realize you could write something wayy better than that 😉
So, in the first flush of confidence, you start that novel. You write a few hundred or thousand words and feel elated. You take a break for a few hours. Only, that short break turns into days and weeks of writing zilch. You realise getting motivated is so much easier than staying motivated.
How do I know this? Like so many of us, I began writing (and even completed) a novel last year. Although I had fun writing it, with a toddler at home, it was a challenge finishing it. There could have been endless, perfectly logical excuses for not finishing the book. But fortunately for me, my level of motivation was high. Below are some of the things that helped me sustain that initial rush of motivation. Even today, I try to keep these things in mind every time I am working on a piece.
1. Set Targets: You can actually turn around the feeling of being a loser to help motivate you. See, I’d set a target of age 30 for writing a book. A couple of years after 30, I found myself still simply dreaming about writing a book, with not even a single concrete step taken in that direction. That did it for me. I declared that year as the one when I would write a book, and did.
2. Stay Focused: Eyes on the prize. Repeat after me, EYES ON THE PRIZE. Okay, we can relax now 😉 Yes, your own life is full of drama. So, don’t borrow someone else’s drama if you can avoid it. Eyes on the prize!
3. Break Down Your Goals into Smaller Steps: I sometimes tend to overwhelm myself by filling up my to-do list with too many things. When that happens, I’ve found breaking down the most important and immediate tasks into doable ones helps release some of the pressure. Baby steps.
4. Join a Writing Group: I cannot stress enough on the importance of this one. I’ve recently joined one and can’t stop thinking how I should have done it long ago. When you’re feeling low or complacent, the energy of the others in the group will propel you forward. There’s also a nice, healthy competitive feeling that eggs you along.
5. Read about Your Industry: Reading about trends in publishing, writing, blogging etc. usually does a thing or two to my feelings of complacency, whenever they set in. I realise that there’s so much happening around me, so much to learn and do. It’s exciting!
How do you stay motivated? Is there something else you’ve found that works very well for you?