Is Your Motivation to Write Lagging? (Penny Rader)

I've been having a bit of a motivation problem lately.  Being me, I set out to see what sorts of pearls of wisdom I could discover on the Internet.  Here a few snippets of what I found, along with a few quotes I hope you will find motivational:

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
 - William B. Sprague

5 Ways to Stay Motivated While Writing a Novel (Nathan Bransford)
  • Cultivate Your Fear of Failure
  • Set Deadlines with Teeth
  • Daydream a Little
  • Befriend Writers Who Have Finished a Novel
  • Write Something You Love
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
7 Key Self-Motivation Strategies for Writers (Luc Reid)
  • Pick Your Project Very Carefully
  • Always Keep in Mind What Excites You
  • If You Stop Feeling Motivated, Retrace Your Steps
  • Use Support, Encouragement, and Deadlines
  • Don’t Spend All Your Time Reworking
  • Writer’s Block Is Just Fear of Writing Something That Isn’t Good Enough
  • Don’t Get Too Attached

“Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about.”  -  Cec Murphy

10 Tricks to Motivate Yourself to Write–Right NOW (Ollin Morales)
  • Reward Yourself for Trying
  • Don’t Place a Goal on When You’ll Receive Your Worth
  • Be Flexible with Your Writing Schedule
  • Don’t Self-Punish
  • Don’t Overwork Yourself
  • Follow the Inspiration
  • Work through Emotions
  • Avoid a “Me vs. the World” Strategy for Motivation 
  • Instead Use a “Me Together With the World” Strategy for Motivation
  • Write

"I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces."  - Harold Ross
24 Ways to Enhance Your Creativity (Keli Gwyn)
  • Take a break.
  • Vary your location.
  • Write longhand.
  • Make use of creative moment.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Take a nap.
  • Listen to music.
  • Feed your creativity.
  • Take a shower.
  • Soak in a tub of hot, Calgon-scented water.
  • Talk to another writer.
  • Socialize.
  • Reread your story.
  • Work on another project.
  • Change POVs.
  • Daydream.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Gag your internal editor.
  • Write fast.
  • Browse in a bookstore.
  • Seek solitude.
  • Read.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Develop a conducive environment.

“Being in the mood to write, like being in the mood to make love, is a luxury that isn't necessary in a long-term relationship. Just as the first caress can lead to a change of heart, the first sentence, however tentative and awkward, can lead to a desire to go just a little further.” -  Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

Creative Goal Setting for Writers (Kathy Steffen)

  • Mean It.
  • Make it Possible.
  • Let Go.
  • Make it Real.
  • Empower Yourself.
  • Be Specific.
  • Prioritize and Focus
  • Move It or Lose It.
  • To Tell or Not To Tell
  • Be Honest with Yourself
  • Change Your Approach
  • Celebrate Evolution
  • Don’t Give Up
  • Reward Yourself

"When asked, 'How do you write?'I invariably answer, 'one word at a time.'” - Stephen King
Emergency Writing Motivation Techniques (Luc Reid)

  • Get a little exercise.
  • If something’s bothering you, fix your thoughts.
  • Visualize a result you like.
  • Just start typing.
  • Meditate.
  • Why did you decide to write this piece?
  • If you feel overwhelmed, focus on one thing.
  • Write it out.
  • Talk with someone who supports your writing.
  • Find inspiration.
  • Skip ahead.
  • Come up with something new.
  • Take a short time to organize.
  • Warm up.
  • Work on a different project if necessary.
  • Use external motivation.
  • If all else fails, do writing support work.

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck

Motivation and Inspiration for Struggling Writers

  • Keep a journal of all the triumphs and pitfalls you've experienced. 
  • Pretend your story is a movie. Who would star in it?
  • Edit what you've already written. 
  • Visit the setting of the novel or a place that reminds you of it. 
  • Make deadlines (and actually stick to them).
  • Reward yourself.
  • Work out of order.
  • Make a dust jacket.
  • Do something for your novel besides writing.
  • Talk to people.

“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.” Unknown

Motivation to Write – How Writers Get and Stay Motivated (Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen)

  • See beyond the rejection slips.
  • Get your “bum glue” out.
  • Find motivation to write in your procrastination.
  • Don’t be a wannabe.
  • Write what you got.
  • Accept that good writing is hard work – it doesn't come easy for any writer.
“You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesn't matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.” – Leonard Bernstein 


What works for you when you're having a bit of trouble in the motivation department?


Rox Delaney said...

Great stuff, Penny! I just added a link to this from my blog. :)

Penny Rader said...

Thanks for the link, Rox!

Penny Rader said...

Here are two more quotes I forgot to include. I have these hanging on my wall at work (need to make copies for home!)

"What if your book goes unwritten? What will the world have lost?" - Barbara Samuel

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard

Ilona Fridl said...

I agree with all of that, Penny! I tend to be my own worst enemy. I have to shut up and write.

Monique DeVere said...

Hi, Penny,

What a great post!! I keep forgetting that exercise (better than chocolate) helps to release those important feel-good hormones which helps to motivate us!

Thanks for reminding me! :)

Penny Rader said...

Hi, Ilona. I am so my worst enemy. I should put that on my wall, too: Shut Up and WRITE! :D

Penny Rader said...

Hi Monique! Exercise gives us feel-good hormones? Huh. And to think I've been avoiding it all these years. :D I remember being shocked when I first heard of cross-country running. My classmates probably thought I was an idiot when I said, "You mean you run that far on purpose?" LOL. Something scary has to be chasing me to get me to run. Then again, a toddler can outrun me so it'd be a short chase.