Finding Motivation

26 Mar

A couple of months ago I started going to the gym on a regular basis. The first few weeks were the hardest. Each day I had to give myself a mental pep talk to get me going. I started out by walking and/or jogging around the indoor track. It wasn’t long before I got bored with that routine and decided to try a cardio kickboxing class. I loved it and it started getting easier to get myself out that door. I made a few new friends in the class and I began looking forward to seeing them. Feeling myself getting stronger motivated me even more.

Maybe you’ve already recognized a few of the ways that this relates to writing. I feel like the process is very similar for me. First, I need to get myself mentally prepared. Then, I have to force myself to take the time to do it. I also have to find an environment that promotes the process. For me this means relative quiet and coffee. After I’ve done this a couple of times I find that it becomes a routine that stimulates the writer in me. At this point, it doesn’t take much to get my imagination going and I begin seeing stories everywhere. Also, being around other people with the same interest in writing motivates me. I look forward to seeing them and I learn from them too. Just like with exercise, it’s accompanied by a feeling of accomplishment.

Is there a particular mindset, environment, routine, person, etc. that motivates you?


Posted by on March 26, 2013 in inspiration



13 responses to “Finding Motivation

  1. Janis

    March 26, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    A “retreat” atmosphere motivates me because there are enough distractions at home that I don’t make writing a priority. Unfortunately, I need to write more than a couple of times a year. 😦

  2. Jennifer

    March 26, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I agree Janis. Retreat is a wonderful writing environment. I think I wrote more during retreat than I did the whole rest of the year combined.

  3. Stephanie Berget (@StephanieBerget)

    March 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Now if we could only have a retreat every month. You’ve nailed it, Jenn. The habit of doing anything is motivating.

  4. Jennifer

    March 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Yes, a monthly retreat would be nice :). Unfortunately, it seems like not long after I’ve managed to obtain a routine, something comes along to shake things up again.

  5. Kristin

    March 26, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Deadlines motivate me. And just the annoyance of something left undone motivates me, hence why I can not be a crafter, writer, seamstress, etc!

  6. Jennifer

    March 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Kristin – you are one of the most organized people I know. If it weren’t for you I would never have survived my first (and only) year of teaching. Thank you!!!

  7. Judith Keim

    March 27, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Jennifer, I’m with you on routine. I find that setting up a daily routine is important for me. For me, it’s like going to a job– rising, checking on emails, etc. having breakfast and then giving myself the morning (and beyond when I can) to write. I know, I’m very lucky I don’t have to go to work outside the home. And writer friends are the best! In many ways no one else really understands the joy, the anguish, the highs and lows of writing a novel. I can’t wait to read what you’re writing! Good luck!!

  8. Jennifer

    March 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Yes, a routine puts you on autopilot when it comes to getting certain things accomplished. Setting a time limit on things like surfing the internet helps too.

  9. marsharwest

    March 27, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Hey, Jennifer. Congrats on starting the exercise routine. Kick boxing, huh? Guess you don’t get many CPs questioning your comments on their work. LOL I, too, love the writing retreat. I can kick out a ton of words at those, but one a year makes it take a really long time to finish a book. Gotta set up that routine and atmosphere at home. Hard to do, and I only have one husband who works long hours, two pups, and 3 grands to distract me. Oh, yeah, all those emails and blogs, right. Surely those are the hardest for me to control. 🙂
    I’ve started my first set of edits for my book coming out this summer. I was really scared to open my editor’s email. 🙂 Not as bad as it could’ve been, and she’s one of those lovely people lavish with praise when she sees something she likes. Those little smiley faces of hers are motivating to me.
    But I’ve got to have a deadline. She didn’t give me one, so I picked one and told her. The accountabiltiy helps. Love the post, Jennifer.

  10. Jennifer

    March 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Yes, those pesky emails and blogs can offer quite the distraction :). You’ve obviously figured out a great routine since you have a book coming out this summer. That is so exciting! Congrats!

    • marsharwest

      March 29, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Thanks, Jennifer. VERMONT ESCAPE has been in process for two years! Lots of rewrites. So I really don’t have a handle on the time management thing. Fortunately, I’ve got a couple of books I’ve written in that time, also in need of edits. I need more discipline. Hah! In lots of areas. Love y’all blog.

  11. maryvine

    March 31, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Well, there is a place along the road in Oregon that always get me thinking about a story and during my spring break I saw it once again, and I am dying to get it going. Still, I have a busy schedule until the end of May so may have to wait. So, I guess I need to have some time, too, to get it going.

  12. Peggy Staggs

    April 2, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Sometimes it’s as easy as a trip to the coffee shop, or waiting for repairs. Other times it just won’t come. That’s when I need to take a look at the story and figure out where I’ve gone astray.


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