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Staying motivated and sticking to a schedule can sometimes seem more of a chore than a delight. As a writer, it's important to set goals for yourself. These goals will help you see progress, successes and provide you with inspiration and motivation.
It's one thing to start writing an eBook.
It's another thing to finish it.
1. Take Risks
Often times when someone feels they're boxed into a corner, they lose desire and motivation. They feel forced to do something instead of wanting to do it. I know that it happens to me. I get trapped by deadlines or sidetracked with delays and I just want to quit writing at times.
And taking a risk at times can help get me fired back up (Which is just a sports phrase that means MOTIVATED).
What kind of risks?
Being totally honest. Sometimes it is good to just say how you feel, even if those feelings are a bit controversial. For example: I've actually said, "You know, the customer is supposed to always be right...but sometimes I just want to tell some bozo 'You're an idiot. Go away.'" That may come across a bit controversial, but it certainly keeps things interesting. Some of the most motivating (and ultimately rewarding) things you can do as a writer is to be totally honest and just share what's on your heart.
Being totally vulnerable. Another way to stay motivated by taking risks with your writing is to open up and let people see the real you. So what if you're a male -- you can still share how you love your wife and kids. It may not be a "war story" or a "macho" thing to talk about, but you might be surprised at how many other people feel the same way. I continue to share about my being a Christian (many people say don't do it...it's bad for business and you shouldn't mix the two) because that's something I'm passionate about. Like me or hate me because of it -- you gotta respect me for not holding anything back.
Want to stay motivated? Talk about what you love; even when what you are writing ISN'T about what you love. For example: In the last section I mentioned my relationship with Christ. See how that was worked into the content? Not only does it allow me to stay motivated by sharing more about myself and the things I am passionate about, it also allows my readers to get to know me on a more intimate level. And that builds all kinds of positive things into a relationship: trust, loyalty, friendship. So, get personal and share who you are, what you think and feel, what you want and strive for in life; the real you.
2. Spread the Word
Sometimes sharing your goals and aspirations with close friends and family is a huge motivator. When people expose their dreams, in a way, they've made themselves accountable for your own success. In essence, they've now presented a challenge to themselves. In addition to making these desires public, you have also created a cheering section.
Now, when you aren't motivate, you can always have those people remind you of why you wanted to write. Have them repeat back to you what you had shared with them – how important writing was to you, that writing was a passion, etc. They can help you keep your dreams alive.
When I first started an offline newspaper (actually, I hadn't even started it yet) I had folks asking me "When is it going to be here -- I'm ready to read it!"
Need any more motivation than that?
By giving other folks involved, you not only have accountability, you have waiting readers who want to see your finished product; sometimes as much as you want it yourself.
3. Reward Yourself
Many writers create a tradition for their successes. When you get your eBook finished, reward yourself with something important. It doesn't really matter what it is, but bait yourself with something you really want and make that your prize. Whether it's a new dress, a trip to your favorite restaurant, a night out at the movies, whatever it is, congratulate yourself for your successes.
I personally like a large deposit into my bank account by selling a lot of copies.
Hey, we're being honest, right?
One writer collected beautiful Oriental paintings by a particular artist in China. Although not expensive, the paintings were all signed and beautifully done. Each time she successfully published an eBook, she would buy another piece of his work. Within a year, she had completely redecorated her living room with his artwork on all the walls, and, she had to switch to new rewards because she was running out of wall space. No matter what you choose, it's important to choose something you like and can look at from time to time as a reminder that you succeeded.
Be good to yourself.
I think that's a song by Journey, but it illustrates the point.
4. Get Physical
You wouldn't think that physical exercise would be important for writing. Well, it is. If you look at successful people, no matter what their area of expertise, the one thing they all have in common is that they take time to get physical. They take time to work the body, which then fuels the mind.
To keep sharp in your writing, it's extremely important to keep your body well tuned. Eat the right foods, exercise regularly, and get the right amount of rest. When you need some extra motivation, go exercise and allow the endorphins and adrenaline to flow.
And it's always good to get oxygen to the ol' brain too.
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The Writermore Staff