Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Finding Your 'Inner Reason'

Image Credit - Pixabay

Lost your way a bit? Hit a slump?

Maybe its time to ask yourself, what is my motivation? Or put another way, your  'inner reason' for writing? Lets be honest, inspiration comes and goes, but if you know what your motivation is, then you're sure to keep pushing forward.

Money isn't my motivator, BUT, I do understand if its yours. It could be you want to win a short story competition, or get an article published? Maybe seeing your name in print makes you want to write? Or perhaps seeing your script played out on the stage, or you want to stand up and perform your poem? Or maybe you are writing purely for fun. Whatever it is, you need to know your 'inner reason' and focus on it.

Perhaps like me, you desperately want to finish your novel - my 'inner reason' isn't because I'll earn lots of money, I'm not that naive! I want to see my book in print, hold a copy in my hand, and be able to say to myself, 'you did it!'

Progress is never linear though, making plans is all well and good, but plans often change. You can't predict illness, job changes, family issues, and other commitments. Know this though, you'll learn that you'll progress more at certain times than others. When your 'life' workload is high and you're too tired to write into the evenings, or rise early in the mornings, its hard. When you come face to face with challenges that come between you and your writing, don't give up the fight, NEVER, give up. Accept you'll progress slower at certain times, and you'll be faster at others. As long as you keep trying, even when things are slow, TRUST, that they'll pick up again.

If you've hit a slump, and who hasn' are a few ideas to help you find your motivation again.

1. Start really small - Do just one thing. Don't aim for 10,000 words this week, aim for 500 instead. You don't have to knock yourself out with big word counts, try writing less and see what happens. Chances are, you'll engage with your characters, and fall deep into the story.

2. Find inspiration - Hang out with others who write regularly, visit blogs that inspire you, read magazines and books on the craft, immerse yourself in the world of writing. You'll soon not want to miss out.

3. Build anticipation - Make a plan, set one or two goals, set a date in the future. Mark it on your calendar. All of these things will increase your focus, delaying your start,  will increase your energy for the project too. So when the date does come round, you'll be raring to go.

4.Get support - Join an online forum, pair up with another writer, attend a writers group, or start one!
Find your network, and stay in touch. Knowing you have the support around you is your comfort blanket. You're not alone.

5.Small succeses  - Build on the small steps you make to reach your goal. You can't fail if you start with something easy. Edit a couple of pages of your manuscript, or go out and buy a new notebook. Clear your desk, or print out your WIP in readiness.

Before you know it, you'll have found your 'inner reason' and you'll be back on track.


  1. What a great post, perfectly timed for the 'middle of the week slump'. As writers and creatives, it's tempting to be hard on ourselves and focus on all the things we haven't achieved.

    When I'm struggling, I take a look through my writing folder on the computer and browse through all the short stories, flash pieces and blog posts I've written (sometimes half-written!) and I'm often surprised with the amount of stuff that's in there.

    Kelly's Eye - Writing, Music, Life

    1. That is a good way to motivate yourself...hoping you haven't slumped this week, and that you're on track with your goals.

  2. Great tips for motivation there. Sometimes the smallest things can be the biggest boost and, paradoxically, slowing down can speed you up!
    Funny though, I think I've lost track of my 'inner reason.' It seems to change a lot - which isn't a bad thing - but if it doesn't match, or slot into the rest of my life then writing becomes ever harder.

    You're right. I think it will help me to rediscover what that reason is (even if it's lots of little ones) and then see where it takes me. :)

    1. Slowing down really does speed you up, and I'd urge anyone to try it...

  3. great advice. I especially like the advice not to knock yourself out with goals that are too ambitious to start with.

    1. I really have to listen to this one myself, but I don't beat myself up if I don't achieve my goals. I always think, I've done more by having a list, than I would of done without one.

  4. Motivation is very important to keep us writing. I'm a terrible procrastinator but work well to deadlines! Great post, Maria.

    1. Deadlines are a great motivator Rosemary, my problem is organising which deadline to reach first! :-)

  5. I find my motivation changes depending on what I'm working on. Unfortunately, the motivation to keep on writing magazine stories (the money) sometimes overshadows the motivation to carry on with my novel (looking foolish if I have little to show the NWS reader).

    1. I can fully understand that...I have always remembered what a full-time writer once told me. He said I have to keep writing articles about science for the Telegraph, to pay the mortgage, and let me stay home to write my novel. Except, my novel has to take back seat, because I need to eat too!
      He has a couple of novels on the shelves at WH Smiths but admits he still has to write for the papers to earn a proper living.


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