Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Motivation

I feel like I owe something a little more after yesterday's post. So, to counteract Lazy, let's look at motivation.

Some days, it feels like the hardest thing in the world is to find the motivation to do anything. Get out of bed, get dressed, exercise, write... No matter how much I love it, like a overdramatic actress, I need my motivation. The first two, the risk of losing my job is enough. The third, the loss of my health and the number on the scale. But writing? There's no immediate loss if I decide I'd rather dedicate a few hours to a video game instead. But then days pass without writing and the game gets finished and maybe a few books, and I remember I can't quit my job and become a full-time writer unless I get some stuff written first. Ultimately, though, writing at a particular moment is, for the current time, optional, and it has to fight with all the other optional things in my life for attention.

Through trial and error, I've managed to find a few motivators that work to get me doing something optional.

1) NaNoWriMo is magic for me, but then, I'm pretty sure I've talked about this a thousand times before. Which is a hip trick since I only have 100 posts.

2) Momentary willpower. If I try to do anything long term, like "write every day," I eventually slack off or give myself a by-day or miss a day and sulk until I miss more days. But one day at a time, a few hours at a time, and I can accomplish anything. If I tell myself, "I will not play that game/eat that chocolate/buy that book until I've edited five pages/written 500 words/finished that novel," by golly, those pages will be edited, words written, and novel finished because I want that game/chocolate/book. Anything that lasts more than a few days, though, and I don't have the endurance to complete it.

And, uh, that's it, so far. Other motivators I've tried haven't panned out as well. So tell me, dear readers, what do you do to motivate yourself?


  1. Staying motivated can certainly be a challenge. Over the years I've trimmed down my self imposted expectations and that seems to help.

  2. Motivation is a slippy bugger. Sometimes it is so easy and other days it's worse than pulling teeth. I've learned to take advantage of my motivation when I have it.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author