This post is a response to a question that my friend Janice, blogger of Your Daily Dose (I’m sure you’ve heard about her great inspiring posts ;D) asked me in a comment reply:
How do you keep motivated to write when you get to that point where it just seems too overwhelming to keep going??
What happens when life takes over writing? What happens when we are at the point of giving up? I am sure that many of you are at this point if you are doing NaNoWriMo. I was a few days ago, until I could finally catch up on my wordcount.
How does that happen? Catching up? Getting to write as fiercely as before?
I have no secrets to hide, thus I will tell you what I do, although it might not always work and not apply to everyone.
First, I identify what exactly is preventing me from going forward and write.
Is it fear of writing itself? Fear of not being good enough? Fear that if you will not be able to carry on to your daily tasks? Or is it something that came from an exterior force, i.e. maybe you had a fight with someone you love, you were betrayed, etc. Be it an interior or exterior crisis, do not panic, because it is totally normal that life gets in the way.
If you have identified the obstacle, then, it’s all right. You can figure out a solution… or simply put it aside and tell yourself that you will deal with it later. After all, it is the unknown that is the greatest brake of all. The other stuff can be brushed off easily and sometimes, it’s way better to let go of your problems: they will find a solution by themselves. Believe me on that! The less effort I usually put in searching for the key, the easier and quicker I find it!
Get some sleep, rest, eat and drink. Get prepared for your writing. Don’t feel tired and write. You have to restore your energy. Put your problems aside for a while. Take care of yourself. I sometimes feel guilty for ignoring this and that and write instead, but I should not. No one should be guilty for doing what they love.
You know you can do it.
Yes you know. Positive thinking is the key. All of these exterior or even interior factors that are spreading negative vibes and dark thoughts into you… you have to push them away. They won’t do you any good. Think positively. Despite everything, I always try to stop worrying for a few seconds and believe that I can do it, that there is hope. Your thoughts are very powerful, never forget that.
The last few days had felt like I had too much to do, too much in my mind. I only want to stop everything and curl up in my bed. But I did not. I took deep breaths and started all over again, classifying what I had to do, on a day-to-day basis.
Know your priorities.
Yes, absolutely! Which is more important to you? Writing or something else? It’s writing? Well, WHAT the hell are you WAITING FOR??
AND is there any deadline of any sort?
Please respect the deadline!
I hate it when people don’t. That shows a lack of organization, and discipline… So if the writing is due like next week and the other stuff comes after that, well just start writing! For NaNoWriMo the deadline is officially on the 30 November, but in reality the deadline is every day. Everyday we have to reach at least 1,667 words. That’s why I write first thing in the morning, because I have only less than 24 hours to meet the deadline!
Deadlines, they always motivate me. That’s why I do NaNo in a way. To keep me writing.
If there are no deadlines, set yourself your own… and maybe tell it to a friend. When people know when my deadline is, I am even more determined to do it in time, because it will be a bigger shared disappointment if I don’t.
So time management and organisation is important!
I know, I know, everyone says that it’s easier said that done, and such. But if you keep on telling yourself that you just can’t find time, of course you won’t! Every day I make a list of the things I will do during the day. I usually do it mentally out of laziness but you can note them down, and specify the hours etc.
Sometimes it works, and I do everything on my list, but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s life. It happens. Get over it. If for one day, you have been unable to follow the list, don’t worry, just move on. If you are overwhelmed, it’s just a waste of time to linger in the past. Just go forward and try to catch up. Always tell yourself that you will catch up!
Motivation comes with love.
You can do all the things I have listed above, yet you might still not be able to find your pace and still not written a single word. To be motivated to write, I only have to enjoy writing. Love what you do and you will do it.
Yes, and love can make people do crazy stuff. Like writing a 50,000 word novel!
Love not only comes from the heart, but from your buddies.
In time of crisis, I expect that you are not alone and that there are many people out there who will be ready to support you in your writing. Family, friends… they are here for you! Do not hesitate to turn to them if working on yourself on your own doesn’t work. They will be then the ones to keep you motivated!
Now, I want to know, throw Janice’s question back at you: How do you keep motivated to write when you get to that point where it just seems too overwhelming to keep going??
Always follow your dreams!
An Evil Nymph.