Staying motivated isn’t usually a problem for me, although I have experienced several episodes of depression during my life and at these times motivation became a big problem.
Thankfully this hasn’t happened for some years now and I think that moving to this beautiful little place on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and being able to relax and work in my wilderness of a garden has helped me enormously.
My husband and I chose this place because it is exactly a mile walk from the sea and ten minutes by car from the beautiful Burren – one of our favourite places to walk. I thought living in such a beautiful and dramatic landscape would make it easier for me to feel positive and remain motivated.
Unfortunately, an accident soon after moving house put paid to my walking adventures. It also meant we put off a lot of the jobs we had planned to do around the house while we focused instead on my mobility and care issues and looked forward to my recovery. I also had to put off my writing for a while too as the medication I was taking made me feel groggy and sleepy, and writing was impossible.
WHEN GETTING OUT OF BED WAS A PROBLEM
It was hard staying motivated enough even to get out of bed during this period and since getting up, washed and dressed took over an exhausting hour and a half – even with help. I didn’t feel like doing a whole lot and soon found myself facing an episode of depression – something which I have experienced at other times in my life.
It took the best part of a year and two operations before I could resume walking and even now I sometimes have difficulties. However, having been incapacitated for so long I felt this burning compulsion to somehow catch up on all the tasks I had been unable to complete.
One of the jobs we put off was having a wood-burning stove installed to replace our open fire which was consuming way too much fuel and giving back way too little heat.
PLAYING CATCH UP
I wanted this and lots of other jobs done as I zoomed into catch-up mode. Not only the house stuff like the wood burning stove, but I also felt compelled to play catch up with my personal writing projects.
Staying motivated was no longer a problem! The problem now was finding time to do it. As well as writing night and day, I wanted to complete other jobs on the house and develop my wilderness into a garden – oh and I’m writing about that now too, and if you’re interested in seeing me working at transforming an overgrown tangle of briar and thistle into a garden you’ll find it here at www.gracelikestogarden.com
Anyway, back to what I was talking about – staying motivated. I do recognise my own growing compulsion and I do try to stop this way of thinking but it’s not easy because it was this way of thinking that kept me going through two operations and a long period of enforced immobility.
I was forced to stay still and spent my time sitting – reading, thinking and planning. Making all these plans and noting my ideas helped me enormously. It made me feel nearer to the time when I would be walking and able to put these plans into action. One thing I learned is that stillness is great for creativity – whether I liked it or not.
As I got better I felt as though my all my ideas were pent-up and saved up, ready to be unleashed when I recovered. So here I am – unleashed! Much recovered, much writing and very much staying motivated.
So much so that a friend warned me about overdoing it, saying that ‘the writing’s on the wall for you to have another accident if you don’t slow down and rest.’
Inpatient to get on with my life, this irked me a little and my answer to her was ‘don’t you think I’ve had enough rest, really? I mean really.’ I emphasised the ‘really’ to make absolutely sure she got the message.
A few days after this conversation the plumber came to fit our new stove. He removed the old fire-place and when he had finished he called me in to the living room to show me what he had found.
Behind the fireplace someone had painted the word ‘really’ – just that one word – nothing more. I am not a believer of omens usually but I have to admit this was quite a timely find and something about its discovery spurred me on.
In a way it proved my friend was right, but not in the way she meant it. The writing was on the wall and I’m not just staying motivated I am staying on my feet.
We can’t be motivated and inspired all the time so if you’re feeling unmotivated for whatever reason, I suggest you read this post on how to get motivated.
Bye for now – keep going and keep writing! Best of luck with your work.
P.S. I have just updated this post. It has been three years since I wrote it and despite working as hard as I can I am still on my feet and still writing.