The 5 W’s of Motivation

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski

Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.

What helps you to write? Do you write better at a specific time of day? Are you best off with a cup of tea on your desk, or does drinking tea while writing inspire more bathroom stops than words on paper?

I encourage you to explore what keeps you motivated. It will help you to focus. Plus, if you know where to go to get motivation when you’re feeling discouraged, you’ll get out of the writer’s slump you’ve fallen into faster. This is important for when you’re writing for something like the National Novel Writing Month program or writing on deadline. You can’t let those slumps stop you.

To evaluate your motivations, think about these things:

Who motivates you to write? Is there a person in your life whom you are writing for, or is there someone who knows what encouraging thing to say? If so, when you start to fall off the writing track, think about that person or give your encouraging buddy a call.

When do you feel most motivated to write? Do you write best in the morning, midday, or at night?  One of my close author friends has young children, and she gets up very early in the morning to write so none of the kiddos distract her. Find the best time for you and stick with it! Create a writing schedule for yourself.

Why do you write? (What motivates you?) Think about your goals for writing. Focus on them, and when you feel discouraged, think again about what you would like to accomplish with your writing. It’s a good idea to write down your goals and keep them near your writing space.

Where do you write best? Where is your writing space? Some authors write best from home while others are too distracted at home and must write at the library or a coffee shop. If you find yourself unproductive, try something new. Avoid the Internet while you write; consider disconnecting your router during your scheduled writing time.

If you feel comfortable sharing some of your answers to the 5 W’s, please do!

6 Responses

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  1. I really love to encourage others through sharing my own life experiences and what I am learning through them. Motherhood is teaching me a lot! Most likely related to the world of motherhood is the fact that I usually do better writing with a cup of hot coffee nearby.

  2. NikoleHahn says:

    5 W’s:

    Write and pray

    Write goals are important and keep me on track when I am in a slump. Deadlines are important.

    Write schedule is important and when I can’t make the schedule I do make up days.

    Write consistently and practice new tecniques when not working on work in progress.

    Write without internet and without husband looking over your shoulder.

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Oh, I love talking about this stuff! I’ll be back to see what other writers do.

    For me. . .

    Who: I have two non-writers (avid readers) read each of my novels so I can get a non-crit-partner perspective. When one of them said she completely related to one of my characters and if “THAT MESSED UP GIRL” can find redemption, then heck, so can I. So, that’s who I write for.

    When: Pretty much any time of day works for me. But sometimes, I’m really pumped to write after a 60-mile bike ride, because I’ve had time to hash out ideas/plotting/etc.

    Why/What: Kinda goes to the Who for me. I want to reach out to those who think they are unworthy of love. Because no one is, including the tattooed rebel stuck in a crazy cycle of sin.

    Where: Sedona, AZ, staring at the red rocks. But I can’t be there all the time, so I will settle for my patio lounger or my comfy, plush leather chair in the bedroom.

    Fun post today 🙂

  4. Jessica says:

    Great post and good reminders!

    I like to write on my couch at night when the kids are sleeping. And I stay away from the internet. LOL

  5. Lynn Dean says:

    Who-I have crit partners who provide gentle accountability (a chapter a week, minimum), and then I have a small group of non-writer friends who keep me enthusiastic by asking when they can read the next bit.

    When-Some of my best writing happens between 11 pm and 3 am. I’m a nightowl because I need quiet to “see” the scene playing on the movie screen in the back of my head. If I can find quiet during more decent hours, of course, I’m definitely up for that.

    Where-I do have a desk, and I do work there during regular daytime hours, but it seems like the phone always rings or someone needs something just when I’ve hit my stride. It takes me twice as long with interruptions to accomplish what I can do after everyone else has gone to bed.

  6. Who: My kids… when they are out of the house… taking advantage of a rare QUIET house is SO a motivation! A good brainstorming with other writer’s is helpful too:-)

    When: Uh, see above answer. I pretty much write whenever I have a minute to. Throw a kid in the bath tub… voila! 5 minutes of writing! Lunch break? WOW! a whole hour!

    Why: Because the stories in my head won’t let me be! Because God gave me the desire to write and far be it from me to tell him no. Oh, and hope. I write for hope.

    Where: I’m pretty versatile. I have a desk with a laptop that is hooked up to a big ole monitor… but many times I just curl up in bed with my laptop and pound on my story. Or… in the winter, My rocking chair is by the fireplace, and I get a nice cup of hot chocolate (with a TON of marshmallows) and sit there and write.

    What: If I need to “get in the mood” I watch a romantic comedy. It totally gets my brain in that frame of mind. Or I read a good book (but many times that’s a huge distraction too!) Or I clean my house. Sometimes my mind is so filled with things I “should” be doing that if I just get something else done, it frees the braincells to write.