But what is motivation?
According to Dictionary.com, motivation means providing with a reason to act in a certain way. in other words, we need reasons to keep pushing us until we cross the finish line.
Writers, for the most part, appear to be highly motivated people. They sit, day after day, churning out words to create their stories. What they do looks so easy that anyone could do it. And yes, writers are very motivated, but we have days when we need a little extra help--a push or reason to keep us writing, because in a lot of ways, we are very much self-destructive. We are our own worse critics.
I'm constantly questioning myself about what I'm writing. Is it good enough? Will anyone actually read it? Will they like it?
So how do we stay motivated?
If you're like me, you probably have several "tricks" you use to help keep you motivated. Here are some of the things I use to give me the reasons to finish my writing projects.
- Reread what you have written. Sometimes it helps to go back and read the stories I've written. It's a way for me to prove to myself that I can write, as well as putting my head back on track, especially when I'm working on a stress.
- Changing writing locations. Right now I have a desk in my bedroom where I do the majority of my writing, but some days it just doesn't work. I can't stand staring at the wall in front of me. So moving to a different location often helps get me re-motivated with the story I'm working on.
- Read letters and notes from fans. Self-doubts are big motivation killers, and writers are filled with self-doubts. Reading letters and notes from fans helps to squish the self-doubts because you're reading the praise from a complete stranger who is not motivated by food and clean clothes to tell you how great a writer you are.
- Little treats. Finish the scene and I can go to the local coffee shop for a latte. If I write another thousand words, then I can watch another episode of Grimm. I think you get the idea. It's the old trick of dangling a carrot in front of the mule to get it motivated to pull the plow.