About a month ago, I wrote about the importance of inspiration. Today, we focus on its twin sister—motivation.
Ah, that flighty little thing. You might have a great idea, but unless you possess the dedication and drive to move forward with it, it will sit, collecting dust in your drawer along with all of your gym membership that you pledged to use faithfully.
When you have it, motivation seems like the greatest thing in the world. I’ll often be zoning out during something important, dreaming of what I want to write, and suddenly, I get the itch to leave the room right away and work on it. Unfortunately, as I live in the real world, that’s rarely an option.
So the question remains, how do you stay motivated when the feeling is so fleeting?
Zig Ziglar, a Very Important Person of whom I have never heard, said the following about motivation--
“Of course, motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.”
And that’s the key to keeping yourself motivated, both when scribbling down words and when trying to be an adult in general--frequency.
Find ways that work for you and stick with it. Personally, I’m partial to quotes. If you look around my workspace, you’ll find sticky notes piled high with notes from some of my favorite authors, Very Important People, and fictional characters. Even if you look at my laptop and phone, you’ll often find quotes as the backgrounds. (See Exhibits A and B below.)
In case you were curious, here are some of my favorites:
Even though these words certainly won’t write my story for me (though I’d really appreciate it if they did), they give a nice kick when I’m feeling sluggish or need a little inspiration.
What’s important to remember is that you must find something that works for you. Keep inspirational pictures hanging around your writing space. Continually picture your book on every Barnes and Noble bookshelf. Minimize distractions while you are actively writing and try to focus.
Motivate and concentrate by whatever means necessary. Reapply, rinse, and repeat.
P.S. Tune in next week for another Truth of Writing, where I’ll throw out some tips to writing a blog post/poem/letter/to-do list worth reading. In the meantime, catch up on previous Truth of Writing Posts #1, #2, and #3.
Have any motivation tips you'd like to share? Connect with me!
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.