Do you ever think it isn’t going to happen? That your dream to be published is just that, a dream? Does the list of necessary steps to holding your own brass ring just keep getting longer and more fraught with disaster?
Or are you totally focused, never frustrated, always sure of yourself, with nary a misstep to cause you to doubt?
If that last is you, go to the comments section and tell the rest of us how you do it. Please.
But if not, if hard work and teeth-gritting determination sometimes need help, read on.
Here are 7 things I do when doubt and lethargy come hand in hand to edge me away from my goals.
1. I imagine my book finished and sitting on a shelf, not just in my house but in the houses and apartments and condos of my friends and my dear family. I see down through the generations my progeny saying, “She was a writer, you know.”
2. I pick the task of the day which seems most likely to give me an immediate reward, once finished. For instance today I picked up a well-researched and referenced book about my own family origins which, coincidentally, is about the time period of The Loyalist’s Luck, the second in my trilogy. Reading about my ancestors, reveling in the minute detail of their daily lives, I found reams of information which set me into my time period. The time flew by. Then I was more than eager to get down to some actual writing with this weekly blog post.
3. I pick a good historical novel off my ample shelves and lie on the couch reading. After a half hour or so of soaking up the winning words of one of the best writers in the world, my brain says, “Go and do likewise!”, especially if I’ve had an epiphany about one of my own writing roadblocks. This is not to say I copy what I’ve read, but my subconscious keeps ticking along behind the scenes while I’m enjoying myself and not working. Bit of a conundrum, that.
4. I go for a walk in the fresh air. Such a well-worn solution, but it really helps. Maybe it has to do with The Secret and walking is just a good way to encourage positive ions to attract (whatever they are!).
5. I email my daughter, my very good listening ear, and she makes me laugh, tells me a funny story about her daughter, or gives me a figurative kick in the pants. I have been known to do the same for her.
6. I go back and read some of my earlier writing and I am pleased. Not that it’s perfect, but that I started and I am constantly building a body of work with my name on it. To others this may not seem important, but this writing connects to my soul and this window inside tells me and, I hope, others who and what I am. Things we cannot say in person speak boldly from the written page.
7. I take a day off. I give myself permission to go fill my cup with other things, with life and love and, with luck, I’ll find inspiration enough to carry on the next day.
And I forgive myself. Being a perfectionist means this is necessary. I must remind myself people are meant to be happy in life, not perfect.
Staying motivated is tough for many people, not just writers. Consider leaving a comment with your tricks and taboos.
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