Life is hard. Writing is harder. When working on multiple books whilst trying to juggle the daily minutiae, it can be hard to stay motivated. Here are the top 5 things I’ve used when writing NO ANGELS that kept me motivated enough to sit my butt in the chair and write.
1 – Watching Fantasy and/or Action Movies
Who hasn’t watched Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or Harry Potter to get themselves amped up about writing? This is a pretty common trick, but for good reason. Not only does it show the fantastical in rich detail, but it also tickles the notion that your ideas can one day be on the big screen too.
2 – Thinking of my Readers
I love telling stories. If I had to choose between making a living off writing but never really satisfying my readers, or never making a dime but people LOVING my stories, I’d pick the latter every time. I want to deliver. I want to tell a story that enthralls, but to do that I have to actually write.
3 – Fighting/Sparring/Playing with a Variety of Dangerous Things
If you know me, you know that I have a solid history of martial arts training, am always armed in some fashion, and am a card carrying Texan (read: know how to shoot). I’ve cleaned up in many a tournament sparring division, have split a cement brick with a single punch, fired AK-47s (plus many more, obviously) and so on. You get the idea. And all of these activities light an absolute fire in me. Not only are they wildly fun, but I inevitably always start thinking of novel fight scenes while I’m doing drills, cleaning my equipment, etc. Plus, I like to think my experience adds to the energy of the written fight scenes themselves. ;) Try throwing a few punches one day and see how you feel about your next action scene!
4 – Reading Poetry
This one falls much into the same vein as #1; I could have put reading in general, but I feel that’s far too obvious. The personal charm of poetry for me lies in the beauty of each carefully selected word, the arrangement and variation of the lines, how lyrical the language is, and how such a strong image can be imparted with so few words. When in doubt, poetry prevails.
5 – When All Else Fails
Sometimes, nothing you do to motivate yourself will work. I get that. Motivation is rather unnecessary if you ask me, but it does make the job easier. But sometimes life simply isn’t easy. So, when all else fails, here is a fool-proof strategy for writing.
Step 1: Put your butt in the chair.
Step 2: Acquire a writing utensil and paper (NOT A COMPUTER– I see you, internet addicts.)
Step 3: Write. Force yourself to put words on the page. (They do not have to be good. They probably won’t be good.) Literally just put down words and then, look! You’re writing! You might be writing absolute trash, but that’s leaps and bounds ahead of not writing at all.
What strategies do you use to motivate yourself towards a task, writing-related or otherwise? Comment below!