Monday, March 8, 2010


Next to inspiration, motivation is probably one of the most important facets of writing. It also seems to be another one of the most-struggled-with amongst many writers I know. I'm no exception. I know some writers have no problem getting motivated. To them, it's almost necessary for life or is, at the very least, a huge part of life. Writing itself is motivation.
I think part of what sets apart those of us who struggle with motivation is the rest of life. When I think about my own life and that of some of my fellow writers, there are a lot of us who are multi-talented or who have a lot of other responsibilities besides writing (such as parenting, school, work, etc.). Those of us who fall into those categories seem to be the ones who struggle most with motivation. That is not to say this is scientifically proven or that because you're multi-talented means you may struggle with motivation or anything like that... this is just my observation.
I know for me, it's hard to sit down and write sometimes because I have SO many other things going on that make it difficult to concentrate and work at inspiration. And then there's demotivators. LOTS of demotivators (yes, that is a word, oh spellcheck. I have spoken, therefore it is a word. but I guess I don't feel too bad since it says "spellcheck" isn't a word either :P Sorry, I digress...). Sometimes I'll be writing along and something happens to lose all my work or someone will suggest I totally redo a large piece of work... that's just so uber demotivating. Don't get me wrong, it's great if someone has a good suggestion that will make my work even more perfect (lol) than I already have it. It's just like this subconscious thing about having to do MORE work and realizing that all that work was wasted *tears*. Ok well  with the exception of accidentally lost work, no work was truly wasted, right? That's what I'll keep telling myself anyway. But anyway, as I was saying, these things just totally work against motivation. When these things happen, I just run into a BRICK WALL mental block not much unlike the Berlin Wall... complete with armed guards and barbed wire. And it's not so easy to get past. This drives me crazy to no end, and it almost seems like it's unstoppable. It's like a battle within just trying to MAKE myself get back into writing and climb the blasted wall. I usually end up taking a break and working on something else but that is just not conducive to productivity in the writing area (though it works great in the "help dad out", baking, exercise, or sewing departments :P ). This is a bad habit I must conquer. *attempts to look determined*
Ok so now that I've admitted my stupid problem, let's talk about what DOES motivate me. And let's see if there is anything that could possibly help me overcome the demotivations I face... hmmmm
So one thing that motivates me is new or fresh ideas... new things in general, really. It kinda reminds me of my school days when getting a new book to work on got me all excited and motivated to get schoolwork done. I don't know exactly why, but newness is always very motivating. Sometimes I just have to get out a fresh page and start writing. This can be both motivating and inspiring (the two are very closely linked, you know ;) )
Outside challenges or deadlines are usually very motivating. Especially when it comes to getting over the brick wall. I have to be careful there, or sometimes it occasionally causes panick and therefore causes sloppy writing which in turn causes having to re-write large portions and you know where that leads. However, knowing that I have a deadline helps me focus and tell myself that I have no choice, no time for pity parties or hitting the wall with my head, just gotta get it done. Does that mean I work well under pressure?  Ummm yeah sure I guess so. In a way. Here's the thing though. It doesn't always work if I have self-imposed deadlines. I usually have to get someone else to hold me accountable to my deadline in order for it to be motivating. Funny how that works, huh?
Sometimes I play little tricks on myself to motivate myself. I wrote a blog elsewhere once about this... Sometimes I will bake cookies in order to motivate myself to clean the entire kitchen solo mio. Usually seeing a dirty kitchen is enough by itself, but if I've cleaned the kitchen solo for a week and my brothers come in right behind me and mess it up: y'know... demotivation. Anyway, so the same thing works for other things I need motivation for. I just find something else to do that necessitates or inspires me to do something that I need to do. That's a little trickier with writing, though. But I find that if I do a lot of studying and note-taking, that sometimes motivates me to start writing.
Another thing that will motivate me sometimes is thoughts/dreams. Yeah I know, kinda funny... But like sometimes I have an awesome thought while I'm taking a shower or going for a walk and it just totally motivates me to write. Or sometimes I'll have a horrid dream that it's the end of the world and God is disappointed with me for not finishing my book (I can't tell you how dreadful those dreams are! O_O ). Sometimes I'll have a positive-motivating dream though where I write this tremendous book or preach a tremendous sermon that changes the world. Then I just wanna write and get it done. ^_^
For sure, the absolute biggest motivation is inspiration. Which is funny because sometimes inspiration comes by motivation. The two are just such great pals, it seems. They're always pushing each other around and having a great time. ha ha that got a funny picture goin' on in my head
Ok well I'm either out of things to list or I just lost my motivation to write this blog. At any rate, I do feel some serious motivation to get back to work (lol). But before I go, I want to ask YOU: Do you ever have motivation problems? how do you motivate yourself? Or do you? ;)

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