For the last several months I have found myself thinking a lot about motivation and inspiration. Many of my writer friends, several of whom have been writers for years, have been saying that they just can't seem to get motivated. Why is this? What is happening that their get up and go seems to be on an extended holiday? It was these questions that got me thinking about what motivates us and what keeps us writing.
Motivation can be both extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic can be monetary reward - your paycheque at the end of the month, or selling more books. Intrinsic is what keeps us going when times are hard, what allows us to put one finger in front of the other on the keyboard, or keep turning those pages in our notebooks. Ultimately it is intrinsic motivation which gives us resilience and is most important to our writing career. So why does it disappear?
In my view, the biggest barrier today is that our creative reservoirs have run dry. Modern life, despite numerous labour saving devices, is frenetic. Everyone seems to be chasing their tails (or indeed tales) and authors, with an endless round of writing, marketing, promotion, speaking engagements, book signings, etc, are no exception. It is no wonder that most of us are running on empty and our brains are saying "That's it I've had enough."
However, there are numerous things that we can do in order to fill up our reservoirs and get our brains once more excited about the writing process. In fact, I am currently editing a book called Motivation Matters, which shares 366 ways in which we can shake up our get up and go. However, it won't be out for another month, so here are a few to get you going and get those creative juices flowing.
1. Step away from the computer or notebook. Have a day off. Do whatever makes you happy, something you enjoy.
2. Now for something completely different - switch from Keyboard to pen and paper or vice versa.
3. Go for a long walk in the woods. Take in everything about your surroundings - sight, smell, feel, sounds. Use all your senses. Write it all down.
4. Writing prompt - The sun was high in the sky when I realised the world was vastly different. I stopped and ...
5. Where in the world - take your main character to a different place or city. How would they react when they are out of their comfort zone? get to know them better.
6. Time for a change - take yourself somewhere else to write - library, coffee shop, summer house, writing retreat, local airport, the sky's the limit.
These are just some ideas. The world is full of them. Try them today and change your thinking regarding your writing. Rejuvenate your writing one creative change at a time.
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