These are 5 tips I use to stay motivated as a writer and to keep going when distraction or the business of life hit. I hope you find them helpful.
I first started writing in 1994, I was only 22 years old and pregnant with my third baby. While sitting in the church nursery one Sunday chatting with a friend, I got the epiphany that I wanted to become a Christian writer. Since that time I’ve written over 70 books. It’s been a long road, but I have been so blessed to be able to walk it with wonderful friends, family, and mentors along the way.
Having been this prolific you might think writing always comes easily for me. But the truth is I have to work to stay motivated just like anyone else. These are the top 5 tips I use to stay motivated as a writer:
1. Think of someone who needs advice or a word of hope and write just to that person.
Why are you writing? Usually, it’s because you feel called to share something. When I sit down to write I often envision one person and write as if I’m writing just to them. Sometimes I’ll ask my facebook friends questions and that always sparks my creativity. But other times, I will see that someone is struggling with something or feel they need a message of hope and I will write my book, blog, or message specifically to address that. I love encouraging others.
2. Choose one thing to accomplish the next day with my writing.
Before I go to bed each night I focus on just one thing. Maybe I’ll research just one thing. Write 500 words. Schedule posts for social media. Often when I do one thing it gets me excited about one more thing … and before I know it I’ve marked a few things off my list. Worst-case scenario, I get one thing done … and those one things add up. By the end of the year, a lot of things have gotten done.
We all have lists and when the list is long it can be overwhelming. I like to allow myself to focus on just one thing at a time and that helps me to stay motivated to keep going and be successful.
3. Think about what I first wanted to write and what got me excited about that. Then foster that excitement again.
Sometimes the everyday work of a published author can get tedious and I forget why I really wanted to write in the first place. When that happens it’s really helpful for me to remember why I started writing. I might open up a file on writing ideas I’m thinking about or look back at some of my past work. Or maybe I’ll just take a moment to re-ignite that fire I felt when I was a young mom sitting at home reading a Brody Thoene novel thinking how fun it would be if I could write novels about World War II.
4. Connect with another writer and find a way to help each other.
Writing is such a solitary work and at times it can be very lonely. To overcome this I have chosen to write several books with other authors. It’s so encouraging to work with an author friend to produce a book together. Often all we need is a little comradery to help us stay motivated. I love connecting with my writer friends and it helps me stay motivated as an author.
It’s so wonderful to be in community with other writers because we can encourage each other in the job we love. I even started an online subscription group through Facebook to help connect writers, agents, and publishing professionals so we can all benefit and build each other up. One of the most wonderful things about the group is the support and accountability we provide for each other. If you’d like to find out more you can visit Write That Book.
5. Envision the future.
Imagine your finished project. Imagine yourself getting your word count done for the day. Imagine yourself figuring out that plot twist. Imagine YOUR book sitting on the shelf of a bookstore and someone picking it up, buying it and reading it.
Sometimes just the act of visualizing the things you want to achieve can help you to stay the course when the going gets tough and you want to quit and surf social media for an hour. Instead of giving in, close your eyes and allow yourself to dream about the future where you reach your goals and live those dreams.
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