Every writer needs to find their own motivation to keep moving forward, to sit in front of that blank page and stamp out words on the page over and over again. Despite rejection, despite self-doubt, despite criticism from loved ones or strangers, writers need to march on through the rough tugging of all of these negativities in order to keep creating their art.
Here’s some background information about me that might be useful: I’m a mom to a small child and he’s been struggling a bit in preschool lately. Emotions and subsequent behaviors are difficult to regulate at that age, so many schools, including my son’s, implement behavior charts.
My inner inspiration isn’t much different than a small child. The writer version of myself can be whiny, petulant and just downright frustrating to deal with. Personally, I don’t do well with negative self-talk. Actually, I’m frighteningly good at being mean to myself. This article illustrates why it can be a slippery slope to be negative about not writing everyday. So, I knew that I would need positive feedback in order to stay motivated and moving forward with my writing. I feel like I seriously need a set of cheerleaders always cheering over my shoulder.
So, how are you going to motivate your inner writer positively?
A sticker chart with smiling stickers? Go onto Pinterest and find one, but beware! Creating a sticker reward chart can be seen as a form of procrastination.
A progressive tangible reward? Mur Lafferty of the I Should Be Writing Podcast “treats” herself with an M&M for every hundred words whenever she is slogging through a draft.
A big reward? Are you going to buy yourself a new book or a new laptop case or a writing software once you complete your draft, editing pass, etc?
A reading reward? I know of a different writer who promises herself that she can read one a book from her TBR list whenever she completes a project. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
A calendar/word count? Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn uses a calendar and stickers to show herself how many words she has written that month and if she is “on target” for the project.
Let us know what ideas work for you! I’d love some additional tips.