How do I find the motivation to write?
Thanks for your question, Kylar.
My first reaction, is to ask you to send your “inner critic” on holiday.
There are many different types of writing and reasons to write, but they all involve discipline.
This a key, inescapable fact.
First of all a few questions.
Do you really want to write? Why? Do you want to tell a story? Do you want to express a feeling about something? Do you work for an ad agency? Do you have an opinion you feel is important to share? Why do you want to write and what does it mean to you?
These are some simple questions that deserve reflection for a writer.
If you find yourself wanting to be more situational in your writing, then you must ask yourself why you want to write about this particular subject at this particular time.
Then, a biggie: For whom are you writing? Who is your audience? Is it a journal entry? Is it for an industry publication? is it an opinion piece for a news outlet? Is it for a flyer for a lost cat? If it’s for a publication, what do they expect from writers regarding submissions—what are their criteria for submission? What is the desired length of the piece?
The more you write, the better you get at asking the key relevant questions as you roll around ideas and begin to visualize what you’re going to do.
Asking these questions help you set up a mental structure and a voice for the piece.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, why has Pepper written all this without once mentioning the key word in my question: Motivation?
It’s because, Kylar, motivation is something you earn.
It is not a gift from the gods, or something that hits you like a bolt of lightening (that is inspiration, which is another topic and nothing to do with sustainable motivation).
So, the question is, how do you trigger the process—get it rolling—so you have something, some momentum, upon which you can build?
Every writer has a way to pull themselves into writing.
I call it a tease—a way to tease themselves deeper into the piece until, before you know it, you lose track of time and space.
You are in-the-zone, so to speak, and the next thing you know, you’re done and you ask yourself, “Whoa, where did the time go?”
Personally, I like to play around with key concepts, key messages, key thoughts I want to get across.
I may, as I often do, write them down on paper with a pencil as I sit sipping a tea.
I find that I think better sometimes with a pencil in my hand, which is an insight into one of my teases.
Another thing I like to do, if I want to take a break for some reason, is stop mid-sentence.
This keeps me engaged and it makes it easier to pick up where I left off.
This is a form of discipline that has become a habit.
There’s that word—discipline—again.
Many people get a squeamish feeling when they hear that word, especially in the context of a creative endeavor.
The reason is, they don’t understand the creative process.
In addition, they don’t want to achieve anything in this creative pursuit badly enough to invest themselves in it.
It’s much easier for these people to daydream about what could have been.
Who are you, Kylar? Are you someone who really wants to write, or are you more comfortable with daydreaming? Either one is okay, it’s just that it makes life a lot easier if we know who we are and then we can decide if we want to change anything.
We become the choices we make in life, Kylar.
Who will you choose to be—a writer?
Good luck on your journey!
You must have confidence in yourself.
Believe that you are great.
No, I take that back.
KNOW that you are great!
It takes guts to admit that you need help.
That is the first step to changing anything in life.
“Hey, the sink’s leaking!”
“Okay, I’ll call a plumber!”
“My ankle really hurts.
What should I do?”
I’ll call a doctor.
Until then, let’s put some ice on that.
Next, you should carry around a small notebook or sheets of paper stapled together (don’t judge me, that’s how I rolled several years ago!).
Whenever you day dream, write what happened onto the sheet of paper.
After doing so for a couple days, look through your list.
What catches your eyes even a little bit? Focus on that.
Think of that ALL DAY LONG.
You think you have free time? No you don’t.
You have day dreaming time.
You think you can take a break while you are sleeping? Nope.
That is time for you to take your ideas into a realm you cannot control.
See what your brain does with the idea.
Story writing takes a while.
Motivation has taken the kids and left for her mother’s house.
You need to bring something to the table that will make her come back and forgive you for burning down the kitchen.
(Sorry, it’s night time and sleepiness .
Think about things for a while.
Don’t forget to keep adding to the idea in your notebook.
After a while, sit down and take a closer look at what has been accumulated.
Motivation has fallen in love with you again.
You may pursue the story!
You could open an account on Wattpad and post your story on there.
If you have readers to encourage you and provide constructive crticism, you will be more enthusiastic about writing (more like the readers will suck the energy out of you .
just warning you.
You could write about the things that make you upset.
Those could make beautiful stories and you might be more motivated to write about that since it occurs more often.
(Exploiting weaknesses .
You can do it.
Know that you can do it.
Be sure that the greatest writer in the world is you and you alone.
Some may call that narcissistic and egotistical, but that is part of the process in building confidence in your writing.
You got this.
You know you do.
I hope that I have been somewhat helpful.
Good luck to you!
You don’t need motivation to write.
Nor should you seek it.
And if you think you do need motivation to write, you’ll never write with any consistency.
Writing, like any field, is a discipline.
Professional writers establish writing schedules for themselves and stick to them.
Also, let go of needing to feel like your writing is good.
This will also hinder your ability to write with consistency.
I believe it was the famed writing instructor William Zinsser said, “Good writing is good editing.
” Write poorly first.
Then edit ruthlessly.
If you keep this mindset, you won’t have to wrestle with your inner critic as much.
Instead, you can just tell it, “Yes, I know what I just wrote sucks now.
It’s suppose to.
But it will be great when I’m done crafting it.
” And then just keep writing …
Read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write for inspiration.
And experiment using Julia Cameron’s