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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?


Jan Blazanin said...

Hey, Danielle, you pretty well covered it for me. I couldn't exist without my writing group--and chocolate. And laundry is my number one procrastination tool. How can I ignore that buzzing when the dryer stops?

Jenny O'Connell said...

That's so funny, seems like laundry is keeping us all from writing! And I hate folding laundry, hate putting it away even more, but sometimes it's way easier to do something you hate than to sit down to do something you love and find out you don't have an idea in your head!