Finding the Motivation

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Sometimes motivation finds you.

But usually not.

If you’re a writer, then I guarantee you’ve said this before.

“I just can’t find the motivation to write today.”

First off, I disagree with notion that writer’s block doesn’t exist. It does. Because writing is not a typical career as it requires a level of creativity and a mind for focus, writer’s block is simply the inability to get that flow going for a period of time.

“Well if you’re a doctor, you don’t have doctor’s block.”

Correct, because being a doctor is not the same as being a writer. It requires a different level of intelligence and thinking.

However, I don’t believe all writer’s block is real writer’s block. There’s a difference between “unable” and “not having motivation to”. Both are common struggles but there are cures for them.

First, let’s define writer’s block; it’s kind of like when someone asks you to name a song you like just off the top of your head and suddenly, you can’t remember any song to ever exist. That’s kind of what writer’s block is. You sit down at the keyboard, you do the work, but you just can’t get the creative flow going. Your mind locks up and the page remains blank.

Lack of motivation is different. This is where you just don’t “feel” like you have it in you today. Maybe you had a stressful week or a sleepless night or what have you. Point is, you begrudgingly glare at the computer and make a billion and ten excuses why you can’t write today.

Hey, it happens. Question is, how do you find motivation once you lose it.

Ultimately you know yourself the best. It helps to figure out where the block is coming from. Are you losing motivation due to stress? Maybe you’re tired. Maybe it’s self doubt. Whatever it is, once you figure out the source you’re more likely to get over it. However, if you can’t trace it, then here’s some tips that might help you get your mojo back.

Read A Book: This might give you inspiration and where inspiration is motivation generally follows

Physical Activity: Sometimes we get a little low and a light jog can help. Especially if you can do it outdoors. Plus, it might give you a sense of accomplishment which will build confidence- confidence is also a key component for motivation

Eat a Healthy Snack: Again, this might help you feel better. Being hungry can affect your moods, so something light might give you a bit of energy to get some writing done.

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Music: Have some favorites? Use them to sort of give you a “pick me up”.

Take A Nap:¬†If you’re tired, don’t try to work your way through it. Go ahead and rest a bit, by else, you’ll spend the entire time muddling through and getting frustrated when you can’t concentrate.

Go Back Through Your Old Writing: This can help you see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved, once again building confidence.

Remind Yourself Of Your Goals: Get excited again. Remind yourself of what you want and make sure you’ve got a deadline. Sometimes having a accountability partner helps.

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Don’t wait for motivation to find you, it rarely does. Most people have to dig deep to get it. Motivation usually comes through necessity but since most of us aren’t career writers yet, writing is more like a dream and not something we have to do, thus we don’t feel compelled to keep at it.

Fret not. You’ve got in you, but you have to pull it out. If all else fails the best thing for you to do is to keep writing. Write something. Anything. Even if it’s a bad poem or one line of a story, just write. It will prove to yourself that you’re serious and that you’re not quitting. And that’s the important thing. To make sure you don’t give up.


All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them

Walt Disney

The Jigsaw Heart

Have you ever opened yourself up to someone, maybe telling a secret you kept for years or a hurtful memory from your childhood. During the entire time you feel scared. You wonder how this person is going to response with something that’s very meaningful to you. Will they laugh? Will they look down on you for it? Will they even care?

The reason you feel this is because you are literally pulling a chunk of your heart out and handing it to that person, trusting them to do the right thing with it.

That’s what writing feels like.

Now I’m not going to defend poor writing. I’m not even going to advocate for people to stop criticizing us because let’s be honest, we need it. But for those who might be wondering why it seems writers are stubbornly sensitive about their work, here’s the basic truth about us and most artists in general; when we write, we’re not just stringing a story together. We’re not just throwing words on paper. Those words have meaning, sometimes deep meaning. Bits and pieces of our very being rearranged into another form.

When I started on my first book, I tried to create a character that was suppose to be modeled off my dad. But as I wrote he started to develop into someone else. And I was fine with that at first. However, it wasn’t until I finished the story and was working on the edit that I realize his flaws and fears were something close to mine own. Unintentionally some of my struggles, issues I was dealing with at the moment, were running congruently with that character’s.

Through writing, I discovered myself.

You can’t write something that you don’t know, which means your limited to your own experience or knowledge. Sometimes that means what you are, your fears, perks, flaws, and deepest thoughts, will bleed through on paper. It’s a beautiful thing, but it can be uncomfortable.

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Putting yourself out there for people to pick apart and critique is never going to be an entirely fun experience. We discover stuff about ourselves that we either didn’t know about or were in denial over. But as painful as it feels when it’s happening, it can be a rewarding thing when it’s all said and done.

So if you’re a writer, keep writing. One day you’ll step back and look at your work, something you spent your time on, something you created with your own mind and ability.

And it will be beautiful.

Why?

Because it will be more than just a work of fiction. More than just a story. Everything you cherish, everything you know, incarnated in ink. And maybe just like me (and many others) you’ll learn a few things about yourself. When all those little pieces start coming together, you step back, and see the bigger picture.

And it’s you.


There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.


 Ernest Hemingway