In the blog below I discuss motivation, but relaxation and fitness are as important to motivation as any self help book or friendly advice. Our friend on the left will be ready to start writing anytime now! - He writes doggerel, you know.
EVERYBODY has been there. It’s nothing new, you are not unique. You will get over it SOON.
Whatever the reason for it – Tiredness, overwork, problems.... there are strategies to help you first of all come to terms with it and then to move forward.
Motivation, or the lack of it will always be a problem with many writers. We have to accept it. We mostly lead quite insular writing lives, without instant praise, satisfaction or reward. It is important to be involved in the writing community – reading blogs like this, having lots of positive facebook friends and twitter contacts - It makes you feel less isolated and you will often get support and encouragement there.
I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychotic (I don’t think?), but there have been many times where I have struggled to put one sentence in front of another, so I will share my thoughts with you.
I have managed to write a 127,000 word epic in ten months whilst holding down a full time job and walking the dog. I am now well into the second book, and still working full time, writing blog, fishing, playing the piano and thinking up witty (?) tweets at the same time. So, although I am aware I am still doing many things wrong, I must be doing some things right.
Let us talk about goals. Yes, boring isn’t it, goal setting – takes all the fun out of lying on the bed watching CSI – Miami, but goals can be quite exciting things – you can start to think about them in the ad. breaks to ease yourself in gently if you like. Then, when CSI has finished, you can start to write (you really do NOT want to watch Wipeout do you?).
Let’s face it – you are a Writer (say it proudly). And writers write! You must have started writing (or thought about starting writing) for a reason. You want to achieve something, some time, yes? Ok, we are getting somewhere.
Put a time limit on it, a very reasonable one, a flexible one – motivation is NOT about pressure – it is the opposite – it should enable you to relax and really enjoy what you do. If, for example, you want to write a novel – it should end up maybe 80,000 – 100,000 words.
Set a daily goal depending on YOUR commitments and YOUR life. It may be that you can only write 500 words a day, and not every day, that’s ok. It means you may finish your work in six months or so. That’s fine. Set a target that is EASY – do not give yourself pressure – it will kill your motivation. It is not the end of the world if you miss a day, or miss your target for a few days. You are unlikely to write well if you are stressed and anxious.
Ok, you’ve set your goal and you are sat down at your computer with a bar of chocolate (it works for me). Even if you are not sure where to start... just start, with anything. It will get you into the habit of starting and will gradually get easier. Write nonsense for a while if you need to – why not?
If all else fails, talk with a friend, a positive one, not an “I don’t know why you’re bothering with this writing lark” type of friend. Find a “wow, you are writing a book, that’s amazing" – type of friend – I am sure you have one. The encouragement of those we value, friends or family, can have an enormous influence of our motivation, we should not ignore it.
If you really have hit a block, don’t force yourself. Leave the computer for a while (yes, you can take the chocolate with you). Take a look around my website – I have tried to make it humorous – it may make you smile – or it may make you say “If this idiot can write, I certainly can!” either way it may help. If all else fails, email me. I may not be able to help – but at least you are writing!!
I was going to write about time-management but I will leave that for next week now – in my research I have found some amazing websites to help you manage your time – I will tell you about them next week.
When I started writing this blog I decided I must somehow be different, so that I stood out from the crowd – maybe with amazing wit and earth shattering views. Instead I am “the nutter who put cat pics in his blog”. Oh well, I did not really plan it, but I do like cat pics. The poor cat below does not have a microwave so he has to think of another way to warm his dinner – hehe. Bye for now. Oh, I nearly forgot to plug my subscription list – go over there on the right and subscribe to my blog – or the bird gets it! Happy writing.
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