Well folks, it’s been a little while since my previous post, Quit Struggling! Motivation Tips To Keep You Writing (Part 1). In all honesty, I’ve been struggling with motivation myself lately. It’s so easy to get lost in work, or school, or whatever you’ve got going on in life, and forget that your love of writing has been sitting on the back burner. Maybe, like me, you’ve stared at a blank page a few times and have been unable to conjure up the white light of creativity. My weeks have been riddled with this problem, so I decided it was time to continue my series on motivational tips in hopes to not only get you back on track, but myself as well.
Co-Motivation: This is one that I’ve always known works for many people, but have failed to try myself, until now. The idea behind co-motivation is quite simple; find a partner and push each other to reach your goals. This technique is used all over. You see this when you meet a friend at the gym, when we’re trying to diet and need someone to remind us of our weight goals, or trying to kick a bad habit and eliciting the pressure of a third party to get there.
They can be a friend, family member, co-worker, whomever….it doesn’t really matter who they are, as long as you know you can rely on them to give you that extra push you need. Set a small bit of time aside to get together and make a list of goals and expectations. Do what works for both of you, but keep in mind that the goal is to get motivated and writing. The writing should always be your focus.
I want you to nag each other. I want you to demand proof from each other. I want you to hold each other accountable and put in an actual effort. The hardest part about this is finding a person to work with. The rest is a breeze once you get started, as long as you both stay true to each other. You’ll find that you can’t let the other person down, you won’t want to.
Rewards/Consequences – Another simple concept like co-motivation, the idea of using rewards and consequences to get motivated is likely the oldest trick in the book. I’m sure I could move easily on to the next tip, as we all have a pretty good idea of what a reward/consequence scenario is like, but let me point to something you may have not considered. I am going to go ahead and suggest that instead of using a system of rewards and consequences, you use a system of ONLY rewards. Let me explain why.
While consequences are incredibly effective at lighting a fire under our asses and getting us to do something, can you think of a single time that you were happy with being pushed to do something by the fear of a negative? If writing is the love of our life, like we all claim that it is, why on earth would we want to treat anything associated with it, as a negative.
For instance, if you’ve been struggling to write your ten page goal for the week, do you think that taking away a few hours of television watching (or anything you enjoy) is really going to make you a happier, motivated writer in the long run. I can tell you from experience, consequences just made me angry. I started to fear the time that I was slotted to write, as a consequence intends to do, but instead of just motivating me to get it done, it made me want to quit. The frustration and anger at losing the things you want, even at the hands of your own laziness or inability to produce, will damage your motivation much faster than it can provide more.
Instead, set only rewards. When you reach your word goal, do something you enjoy. Instead of taking away hours of watching the shows that make you happy and help to strengthen your creative senses, give them to yourself. It’s often just as simple as looking at the situation in a different light. Don’t take things away, reward yourself with them. I think once you start changing your outlook, you’ll find new excitement with each new step.
Read Good Writing: You should read as often as you can, and as effectively as you can. Find the authors that you admire and read everything they’ve ever written. If you’ve got writers block, pick up a novel that falls into a similar scenario as yours and read it from front to back. Use the experience of the professionals to find new ideas, techniques and motivation. Read, Read, Read.
I really can’t stress this one enough, but I’m working on a post dedicated to just this idea, so I will keep this tip short and link you to the in-depth topic soon!
I hope you decide to put some of these ideas into practice. They’re all very simple, but oh so effective. For now, I have to get back to working on my novel before my new co-motivator calls me back and hounds me for a draft!
Write on Writers!