Thursday, September 16, 2010

Creating Motivation

As a new writer, I find it hard to find to write. I got to school full time and I also work part time, plus I'm involved in a fraternity. This makes things complicated. When I write, it seems to happen during a boring class or sporadically at work. I know at this rate, I'll never finish my book, SOOOO I've brainstormed some ideas for creating motivation.

1. Have a special notebook that's just for writing.

One thing I'm going to try is to set aside a lovely notebook that I'm going to use solely for my writing endeavors. This should be a pretty notebook (or handsome, if you prefer). It should be something you want to look at, and therefore different from your school/work notebooks. I chose a pretty one from Staples. (It was on sale, too!)

It has a pretty design on the front that I'm going to color in.

2. Make a schedule.

My next tip is to make a schedule. I'm a schedule freak, so before the school year begins, I've got Excel spreadsheets everywhere. They have my school, work, and fraternity schedules on them, and I post them in important places. By my desk, by the door, on the fridge. Wherever. So if I've scheduled all the other important stuff in my life, why not writing? Set aside a special time of day, however much time you have (anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more), to do your writing. Treat it like it HAS to be done, like homework or laundry. (Not that I'm very dilligent about either of those things...) You get the picture.

And in case you DON'T get the picture, I've provided one.

3. Have goals.

Goals are extremely important for every big project you undertake. Set goals for yourself. They can be small, daily goals. "I will write 500 words today." Or they can be long term goals. "I will finish my book by June." Whatever works for you. Set your goals, and stick to them. Which brings me to my next strategy...

Not these kinds of goals.

4. Rewards!

When you meet a goal or an important milestone in your story, reward yourself! You deserve it. You could buy some frozen yogurt, (I'm on a serious froyo kick right now.) get yourself a new outfit, or buy that videogame you've been eyeing. The thing about rewards, though, is that you can't reward yourself if you don't meet the goals. It's tempting, I know. Sometimes I'm like, "Well, I didn't get this done, but darn it, I'm an adult. I can buy froyo if I want to." (Sometimes I forget I'm an adult. :/ ) But behavior like this does NOT help me get things accomplished. You need willpower. Lots of it. If you're like me, and finding willpower is like trying to find your mother in an antique store*, you need someone to hold you accountable. Friend, spouse, mother. These people are all good at nagging, which is needed.

Froyo! It's amazing. Try it. :D

*She just wanders off. I can't help it.

5. Write it down.

My most important tip to help you create motivation and stick to it is to write it alllll down. Write it on a post-it. Write it on your fridge. On your roommate's face. Whatever you need to do. Writing down your goals, schedules, and rewards gives them a sense of permanancy. Somehow, it makes them seem more binding than if they're just in your head. Like how, in my head, I'm married to Alexander Skarsgard, but the state doesn't recognize it as legal and binding because 1) I'm kind of crazy and 2) it's not written down.

He's saying, "We don't need a marriage license, baby."

Anyway, I hope you found some usefullness in all that blabbering. I'm going to return to the real world and try to do my job because there's a patron staring at me like I'm supposed to help him or something. People are so needy.


Nicole MacDonald said...

I think the best thing I can have for motivation is a story I LOVE. I daydream about my current WIP constantly and will until its finished (all three books... *sigh*)
Good luck with your writing :)

Anonymous said...

I have a desktop timer and countdown, which I use to time myself while I write. I find it motivating.

Tiffani said...

I love the Eric picture.

Cherie said...

Definitely agree with writing it down.. My life is so much easier with my planner. I write even the most simple things down -- just so I DON'T FORGET!

I'm sure my blogging will take a back seat once classes start up again.. alas.

Good post! Very good advice!