Writing is hard. I love to write but every time I sit to write, I feel nervous and anxious.
Other times I feel tired. But the main reason is always fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not knowing what little I actually know.
And perhaps fear of knowing I write well, but not wanting to be seen as boastful!
How weird fear is! it makes no sense at all!
Yet fear is nothing but a mental construct of our own consciousness. Fear does not exist in a manifested form.
You cannot hold it in your hands. You can only hold it in your mind. And the only way to banish the fear is to take action. And the only way to take action is to be motivated.
So lets look at how you can stay motivated through your writing.
Human motivations generally fall into four camps:
- Avoiding pain or punishment
- Pursuing pleasure or gaining a reward
- A sense of duty
#1. Avoiding pain or punishment
Are you putting off writing because of fear? Or maybe its too hard to do the writing. Ask yourself if avoiding the pain of writing is what makes you not write. If so, you need to decrease the pain associated with writing. Here are some tips:
- Make writing fun. Don’t take it so seriously.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes
- Let go of your perfectionism tendencies. Allow yourself to write-through the crap before the gems show up
#2. Pursuing pleasure or gaining a reward
This is a great motivation to help us write. Its simple. Reward yourself after you complete a writing sessions. Here are some ideas:
- Take a break after completing 500 words and treat yourself to a cup of tea or a beverage of your choice
- Take a day off from writing after you send your manuscript to the editor
- Celebrate the publication of your book with a book launch
Every time you achieve a milestone, reward your self, whether it be big or small. It can be as simple as taking a short break in the garden, or going out for dinner with your friends.
The point is to reward yourself for the work you have put in. Acknowledge the work you have created.
Eventually you will chase these rewards and get the words written down faster. Personally I like to reward myself with a cup of tea or slice of cake after a good writing session. Or I take an hour off and indulge in guilt-free reading.
#3. A sense of duty
Declare to the world and to yourself you are writing this book. This will make you feel a sense of duty to complete this task.
Do it in public, like I do via this blog. When you make such a declaration, other people will hold you accountable. The shame of not following through will motivate you to keep writing.
Perhaps Love is the biggest motivator off all. You need to love writing. You need to love the process. You need to love the learning and putting in the effort.
With anything you do, there has to be a genuine love for it. Otherwise it will feel like a long, hard slog to get through to the end.
Not everyone wants to be a writer. And that’s OK. Its better only people passionate about writing, write books.
So ask yourself, are you willing to suffer a little for your love? Are you willing to put in the work and effort to see your words in print?
What motivates you to keep writing, even through the hard bits?