Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
How to become motivated? How to stay motivated? What motivates you? For every person, the answer to these questions will be different. People find diverse ways to become motivated, and maintain it. What motivates each individual is also very subjective, and depends on whether they rely on extrinsic or intrinsic sources.
I find motivation is always hard to find, and none so hard then in the silly season. You become so busy with Christmas parties and preparation, last minute gift shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning! The list seems endless. Then after it all dies down you are just so tired. You just want to curl up on the couch with a good book and rest for weeks! The silly season is a good reason to rest for a while, take a break from writing, recharge your batteries and come back to it with a fresher mind and different perspective. This can actually inspire you and help make good progress when you sit down to write again. However, what about the rest of the time? The struggle to become motivated, and maintain it, is a big one. I know I labour with it, and that is what inspired this blog.
Basically we need to think to plan, but we need to feel to act. So, once you have the thinking and planning out of the way, how do you build up those emotions so you can get things done? Personally, I focus on what I imagine the finished product will be; the sense of pride I get from seeing a project through; and hopefully all the positive feedback I will receive! It seems I rely on a mix of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Take a moment to think about what makes you feel good about your writing? Why do you write? The answer to these questions will help you ascertain what motivates you. Use these to help keep up your motivation.
Lack of motivation can also hit when the writing project in front of you seems insurmountable. The sheer size and extent of the venture before you can be daunting and overwhelming. In this case, I break the overall big project down into smaller assignments that I can tackle one by one. Each time I tick of a task, it sends a little thrill of achievement and pride through me. This is what helps maintain my motivation and complete the bigger project.
You can create a “motivation board”. Like a mood board, use it to pin up all those things that motivate and inspire you. Keep it somewhere close to where you usually write. Then each time you feel yourself lagging, look up at that board and let it inspire and motivate you to keep writing!
Motivation is a personal thing. You simply need to find what motivates you and use it to the best of your ability to keep going. The more you write, the easier it will become.