Motivation – one of my favourite subjects. Motivating yourself to write should be easy, shouldn’t it? After all, we want to write. Don’t we? So why is it so difficult to get started? Recognise any of these excuses – er hem, I mean REASONS?
Time: I’d like to write but I never seem to have the time.
If that’s you, ask yourself a question. Is it really true? Do you really not have time? Or are you just not prioritising writing? Possibly because you don’t feel you deserve the luxury of having time to write when there are so many other things to do, for example, work, friends and family.
Well, if writing is what you really want to do, then don’t you deserve to carve out some time for it? If you were to allocate half an hour three times a week you could probably write a short story in a month (perhaps even two). Little and often really is the key.
Focus: I don’t know what I want to write.
Many people set off with the idea of writing a novel. This is very commendable; don’t let me stop you if that’s your burning passion. But there are many other forms. Here are some less time intensive ones:
- A blog
- A short story
- A poem
- Morning pages
- A feature for a magazine
Why not experiment until you decide what’s for you. Better still why not pick one of the above and set a deadline to complete it.
Confidence: I’m not good enough to be published.
How do you know until you try? Not many people are good enough to be published until they’ve done some market research and learned what works and what doesn’t. Writing is a little like learning the piano I think – we wouldn’t expect to be concert pianists without a fair bit of practice.
Laziness: It just feels too much like hard work a lot of the time.
Newsflash – it is! Believe me, I know it is. I write a lot and some days (actually there are quite a lot of them) I would much rather be doing something else. Some days it feels as though I’m wading through sludge.
Usually when this happens, I just carry on. (I have to, it’s my day job). Very often it’s because I’ve got to a tricky bit. So my top tip for this is that it’s much better to finish writing when I’m really enjoying myself – then I’ll be all the keener to go back to it again. This really does work. Trust me.
If you’re really stuck I once heard a novelist say she used to handcuff her ankle to the desk to make herself sit still until she’d done her allotted amount of words. I can’t say I’ve tried this one – but I’m not ruling it out!
PS I’m running a course in Bournemouth this Saturday. 23 October. Write a Short Story in a Day (Hopefully the title is self explanatory but if you’d like further details please do leave a comment or email me.)