Friday, October 2, 2015

This I know for sure...

I seem to lagging a bit in the motivation department lately. I have goals I'd like to meet before the end of the year, which seems to be approaching much too quickly. Once Thanksgiving arrives, my writing time will become swallowed up by handling all those things that come up as Christmas gets closer. I always plan on smaller writing goals during that time period, but because I'm already behind where I should be to meet my current goals, I'm feeling a bit of panic.

Despite already being behind schedule and feeling panicky about meeting my goals, I'm finding myself doing things that can certainly be done at another time during the two hours that is my normal writing time. I get up in the morning with the best of intentions, but by the time I get home from the day job, those good intentions have disappeared.  Despite having a number of important reasons that should keep my writing and/or revising so that I may soon be able to write full time, I'm really fighting to find a way to stay on track to meet my goals.

So I'm here asking for advice -- How do you stay motivated? How do you get yourself back on track when you've seemed to fallen off your path? I guess my real question is how do you stay focused? Your answers don't have to pertain to just writing. It can be how you stay motivated to lose weight, to exercise on a consistent basis (yet another thing I have to work on), how you reach any of the goals you've set for yourself.

10 comments:

  1. Katherine - this is a great question that I feel haunts most writers. For me, I am a plotter, a list maker, and a planner. I try to achieve goals and stay focused on my writing two ways: short term and long. For example, I am able to write everyday and I have not only my writing career but two blogs I manage. What I do is spend time on those only on the weekends. An hour or two or even a half hour a few times during the saturday/sunday time frame works well, I only work on the blogs then. I also participate in NANOWRIMO every year so that helps to stay focused for at least 30 days on a WIP! But for the long stuff, when life intervenes ( like the holidays) I give myself tiny goals like just write 250 or 500 words today. No editing. Just write. THis seems to help me focus better - if it's small stuff. Hope that helps a little!

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    1. I'm a list maker, but most of the time my To Do list ends up being so long that things get pushed forward and it seems those items are usually writing related. While I'm an obsessive planner for family related items, I'm pretty lax when it comes to writing concrete weekly plans for writing. I'm going to try and be more proactive with writing weekly writing plans. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  2. Kathrine, my sympathies and commiseration about the roller coaster of energy/lack thereof, can do/ can't do feelings. I'm determined to get a second book edited before December's over, too. Can I edit 50 pages a day? Yes. That will take me a week, no problem. Set reachable goals with wiggle room. You can do it!

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    1. Hi Rolynn,
      Trying to edit a set number of pages per day is a great idea instead of just doing what I can. Maybe even if I set a goal of a certain number of edited pages per week would be more beneficial in case something comes up and I don't meet that daily goal. It's definitely something I'm going to try. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Great post, Katherine! For me, motivation starts first thing in the morning with positive thoughts and meditation. It's a must for me. I take care of the business, chores first thing after breakfast and exercise. I don't beat myself up anymore if a wrench gets tossed into my day interrupting my writing, too. I used to get so mad at myself, lol! Not anymore. If I write 500 words, I'm happy, if 1,000+, woohoo! I can only do so much in 24 hours, but I must remember to enjoy those hours. Writing gives me such joy, so I make sure to take care of the "joyful" side of this wonderful craft. And I only edit on the weekends.

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    1. Hi Mary,
      I love that you remind yourself to keep the joy in your day and in your writing. It's a great way to look at it. I've wanted to try meditation but the few times I've tried doing it at the end of the day, I've fallen asleep. LOL. I already get up at 5:00am so the thought of getting up any earlier just depresses me.

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  4. My brain needs lots of coffee to wake up. So on writing days, I have a deadline of 11 am to finish household chores. If they are not finished, I leave them for the next day. Then I start writing.

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    1. Hi Madeleine,
      I like the idea of having a deadline time of when writing have to start. It's a great way to keep on track and not let time get away from you. Thanks for stopping by. :o)

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  5. I've been there. In fact, I'm there now. When I realize I'm substituting household chores for writing time...I know there is a problem. When this happens, it tells me that my story isn't strong enough. I don't have enough to keep myself entertained as the story moves forward. I will step back and do a few more character worksheets or interviews, do some related research, re-read a favorite writing book. Then I get back to it as best I can. It is definitely frustrating! I do know a writer who has a goal of writing one page a day. Just one. Sometimes she writes more, but he goal is one. She starts be rereading the page from the day before, then writes her new page. She is a very successful author, so she must be doing something right?

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    1. Hi Susabelle,

      You're right, your friend must be doing something right. It is frustrating. I'm going to try some of the things you do to get back on track. Thanks for sharing your methods. :o)

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