A BLOG FOR READERS AND AUTHORS OF MTV BOOKS
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
How do you stay motivated to write?
Um, write a blog about motivation for starters! Procrastinate a lot! This means checking email, feeling a sudden urge to clean out a drawer or sharpener a stack of pencils. More laundry, sure, bring it on! Then after a period of time, guilt sets in and I actually miss writing. However, at that time of the day, I’m most likely tied up with carpools, homework or baby chasing. So the next time I sit down in a funk, I remind myself that writing time is precious and I better get to work. That usually helps because after I get going, I don’t want to stop.
On a bigger scale, conferences are a great motivator. Hearing an awesome speaker can really get me back in the groove, especially if it’s someone I’ve admired for a long time, like the time Judy Blume was the keynote speaker at our local SCBWI conference. Also, hanging out with fellow authors at conferences allows us to talk shop and I think that’s vital to regenerating the writing spirit.
I’m also lucky to have a local critique group where I can share a chapter or two at a time of whatever novel I’m working on. Just reading and discussing a chapter gives my mind the boost it needs to move on with the manuscript. In addition, reading a great book is helpful. It makes me fall in love with writing all over again.
Reflection is another motivator. I go to bed thinking how lucky I am that I’m doing something that I love—writing books. I think about how each moment I spend with the book that I’m working on is such a pleasure.
When I’m in a particularly slow spot in a book, I find that daily word goals help. These mini goals provide me with a sense of accomplishment. Often I go over my daily goal but just knowing that I can stop helps to keep me going.
And when all else fails, dig out the chocolate! I often say, WILL WORK FOR CHOCOLATE! Okay, now that I’m done with this blog, I better get back to working on my current manuscript. So now I want to know, what are your tricks for staying motivated?