What motivates you to keep writing? We are all faced with the ups and downs that come on the roller coaster of publishing (and life), but when we get discouraged it can be tempting to just give up. Here are some questions to think about as you ponder how to stay motivated. Knowing your answers to these questions will help you to know what to do when you feel the seeds of discouragement sprouting or a lack of motivation to keep up with your writing.
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? Find the best time for you and stick with it! Create a writing schedule for yourself and be intentional about reserving that time for writing.
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. Many Christian authors are writing to make a difference in their readers’ lives or to share the Gospel message. Remembering your goals can help you on days when it feels like your writing time isn’t worth it.
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 and turn off your cell phone.
If you feel comfortable sharing some of your answers, please do!
When the game’s not worth the candle,
and the days seem made of lead;
when life’s more than you can handle
and you want to stay in bed;
when the people closest to you
can no longer cry,
and looking at what you go through
plead, “Friend, curse God and die!”;
when dreams have turned to ashes,
and you hold the fatal cup,
then take your forty lashes
with grace, and cowboy up
for it’s not a Pyrrhic victory
if courage is your legacy.
I cannot tell you how much you inspire and motivate me. You are the most courageous person I have ever known (and as the daughter, sister, and wife of career service members, I have known more than a few courageous folks).
I feel most motivated to write in the late evenings and early mornings, but my body has other ideas. LOL! Right now, I do my best to set aside at least a few hours a week to write.
My office remains the best spot since I can look out over the yard and the garden. I would like to try writing remotely–maybe a park or the library. I just feel it would be too distracting.
I write in the same home office where I work full time, usually while my toddler naps. Many days I pray, “God, this is the time I have and the space I have. Let’s make this work.” He replies, “I love being creative together. This will be fun!”
Kristen Joy Wilks
Thank you, Rachel! I have been having trouble staying motivated, too. Rejections and my wonderful but rowdy house full of boys being home all the time combined with other things that I need to get done can get my down. I try to think of something else creative that I could do to feed my need to express myself and I come up empty. I know that writing is a part of me, how I process life and my relationship with God. I also need to work harder to get in bed early, because I write best early in the morning before other duties of the day creep in. I also must remind myself to be brave. If my writing is not good enough, I need to be brave enough to face that and put in the work to make it better.
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