We all have motivation problems from time to time. Sometimes we just need to be more aware of what motivates us – we often don’t know exactly what that is.
Do you know what motivates you? Perhaps you find a good book or film might inspire you to think about writing that great idea?
For some people, it’s the opposite. I was inspired to write my first radio story after hearing a particularly lame and dreary radio story while driving home in heavy traffic one afternoon.I
I personally am motivated by several things. Like I said above, seeing or reading something I consider badly written will inspire me to do better.
At other times, I might read a story that was so well written, or so inspiring I just know I have to keep going.
Other times I find a story takes up so much of my thinking time that I am just burning to write it – I absolutely have to write it – for my own peace of mind.
I am also greatly motivated by having people read my writing. Knowing people have bought my books and enjoyed them is a great feeling – especially if they leave interesting feedback, or ask me questions about the story.
You can’t beat the feeling you get when people like the work you love to do.
Money is very important too. I have heard many artists and writers proclaim that they are not motivated by money but I can only assume they have inherited great wealth.
There is absolutely nothing wrong by being motivated by money. Money pays the bills, puts food on our tables and pays for our computers and stationery.
However, we do need to be realistic about our aspirations and expectations. Not every writer will earn enough to make a living.
Some writers maintain full-time jobs while using the evenings or weekends to write.
I personally always had part-time teaching jobs and made my living from the combined income of my freelance creative writing and teaching.
The economic crash in Ireland did away with most of the part-time teaching jobs and I really did not want to return to the office work of an earlier life.
MAGIC AND THE WILDERNESS
My writing, this website and my children’s stories website www.ballyyahoo.com are now my life’s work.
I now earn my living from the combined income of my freelance creative writing and my websites and this provides me with a huge motivation to write.
Simply put, if I don’t write I will not earn a living. I have no other income, no trust fund etc. to fall back on. Believe me, when I say this is a great motivator.
HOW TO GET MOTIVATED DESPITE PROBLEMS
We all have problems – work problems, financial issues, and family stuff and many of these things can cause us to lose faith in our writing and sometimes even in ourselves.
I wrote a post about how I recovered my own motivation after a serious accident and you can read this post on staying motivated here.
Despite what the gurus say, sometimes those little motivational quotations and expressions do nothing more than lift us for a moment or two.
Don’t get me wrong, I quite like motivational quotes, however, to be honest if I am really feeling uninspired or demotivated it can take a great deal more than a few lines of pop-wisdom to get me motivated.
The inner critic can tell us we are wasting our time or that our work is no good. If this is your problem, you may need to become stern in casting those thoughts away.
They are only thoughts after all and when you recognize them for what they are, thoughts not truth, it will defeat them.
The most common cause of this is the fear of failure. This fear feeds your inner critic and dealing with this fear might take some time but it’s worth it. Read about coping with the fear of failure here.
You need to remind yourself that even the most successful writers suffered from this at the start and that the reason they are now successful is that they kept going and ignored their inner critic.
There is always some level of risk in undertaking any creative endeavor and any artist or writer soon learns that they must accept this or give up.
It might help you to remember that you only have one life and within that life there is plenty of free time so why not use at least some of that time to write – nothing ventured nothing gained.
When you lack motivation sometimes all it takes is a change of mindset. You can learn to do this yourself with the exercises here.
‘There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ – Christopher Morley