14 Oct 2014
Being a writer is brilliant. Currently i am a theatre reviewer, book editor, and freelance writer. I am getting paid for none of them, however, the opportunities it is creating for me is worth it all. I get to write, the one thing i have always wanted to do and have never before had the confidence to do.
Why then do i spend half my time trawling Facebook and Twitter, playing silly games, making notes that get lost amidst a pile of unread books and empty coffee cups?
Motivation to actually write is a bizarre entity, it flits about, taunting with it’s power to complete the features, articles, and reviews that pile up. Motivation rises with the heat of fresh coffee though flees as it cools to soggy biscuit matter in an empty cup.
Luckily i have lists and spreadsheets. Lists and spreadsheets make my world go round. If i am feeling trapped on my couch with no will to even research what my article is to be about, i make a list. Bullet points of things i could include. Or i list the tasks i am yet to do, maybe put them in a spreadsheet. Most of the time colour coding too. I am rather partial to a bit of colour coding.
After completing a list, or three, i find my morale has risen and most of the time my fingers get to tapping out what i need, my mind back to being a hive of activity. Not always of course, sometimes i slip back on the couch, snuggle further into the robe i probably shouldn’t still be wearing at 4pm and play a nice game of Papa Pear on Facebook.
Regardless of how much writing means to you, it can be difficult to want to do it, maybe because your brain perceives it as necessary work and therefore shuts itself down against it, or maybe because of deeper issues, something which i have recently been coming to terms with myself.
I do not think i am a good writer. I have such little confidence in myself and my writing that i quite often push it all to one side and pretend to myself that i am busy with other things or that i require a break from the terribly taxing work of the nasty article. In reality i’m just terrified. Terrified that people will read my work and laugh at it’s inaccuracies, it’s grammatical errors, it’s incoherence. Terrified to be criticised for the only thing i have ever been good at. Writing.
Whatever your reason for demotivation the trick is to find that one thing that brings you back to the table. Listen to ACDC at full volume for ten minutes, go at that punch back for a while and rid yourself of some self hate or general aggression, play a silly game, read a chapter of a book.
Allow yourself that time, release yourself of pressure but do not let it rule your day. Set a time limit. Or get someone to poke you with a big stick until you finally close Twitter and cower fretfully over the keyboard.
Everyone has at least one thing that has the ability to motivate them. Lists and spreadsheets are mine. What’s yours?
Think about it and send me a list of them. Maybe all neat and colour coded…or put them in a pie chart that depicts how much each one motivates you….or in a spreadsheet of how often you use these tactics….
Don’t worry, I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested.
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