The motivation to sit down and write is tough.
Sometimes it’s because I haven’t quite figured out where to go with my story, or I gathered a lot of ideas and deciding which one to choose feels overwhelming.
Maybe I’m trying out a new project and that’s exciting, yet daunting too. Where do I begin?
Other times, I just can’t get my mind to completely focus on my story as my children are yelling at each other, and the ding on my phone reminds me of the million other things needing my attention. But, again if you want something bad enough, you make it happen.
How do I begin writing and getting into motivation mode?
First, I set very specific writing hours which are not to be messed with. For me, it’s when my kids are at school and at night once they’re in bed. Make a schedule that works best for you and stick to it. If something comes up that takes you away from your schedule, make up that time somewhere else in your week.
Second, find a circle of people to hold you accountable. I let my family know my goals often, and express to them how I need some cheerleaders to root for me. Once I accomplish my goal, we all go out to get a treat. My kids have no problem supporting the treat idea. When my children get home they also ask me how much I’ve written. My oldest really loves this job and she’s good at it. Having a few like-minded friends to help push you is beneficial too. A sprint group, accountability buddy, or critique partners can go along way with assisting you to stay focused.
Third, I have a few things that ground me into working mode. I make myself a warm cup of peppermint tea, silence my phone, get my headphones in place with tunes, and I clear a space that’s not associated to food or sleep. If I lay on my bed and write…I get sleepy, and if I sit at the table, I’m ready to eat. So, I have a chair in my room where I work, or my couch in the front room is my secondary option. I use these same places every day to associate that this is my working space. My mind processes that. I like to have a scent burning in my warmer. Typically, it’s Cucumber Melon as that’s the best scent…EVER.
I do a few lunges, planks or dance for a minute to some music to awaken my body. This may not be for everyone, but for me it’s a routine that gets me pumped and ready to go. I’ll also read some motivational quotes or listen to an inspiring video. By doing this, my mind tunes into being positive and I’m more aware of myself and the things that I want to say as I create.
What are you waiting for? Go get a sharpie and schedule your writing hours. Gather a few people to hold you accountable and tell them your goals often. Find that space that will be your environment through this next project. And, make a few rituals for yourself that bring in that optimistic energy that gets you jazzed to show up to the page.
Lastly, sit in your chair and don’t give up on your dream.
Here’s 15 of my favorite quotes to get you started.
- Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. –Louis L’Amour-
- Don’t be a writer. Be writing. –William Faulkner-
- The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising. –Stephen King-
- A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing, it can change your life. –Tobias Wolff-
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. –Richard Bach-
- This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. –Neil Gaiman-
- It always seems impossible until it’s done. –Nelson Mandela-
- There is no perfect time to write. There is only now. –Barbara Kingsolver-
- The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. –Neil Gaiman-
- Writing is more than a gift. It is a struggle that blesses those who see it through to the end. –Nona Mae King-
- Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. –Ayn Rand-
- Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it’s only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, or a journal entry. Writers are like dancers and athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. –Jane Yolen-
- Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. –Barbara Kingsolver-
- There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. –Maya Angelou-
- The scariest moment is always just before you start. –Stephen King-
Lauri Schoenfeld’s first love is her little clan of three silly kidlets and her wonderful hubby, Andy. Writing is a close second. She began writing poems at the age of nine, and her love for literature and music developed into composing thirty songs. In 2014 her short story, Christmas Treasure, was featured in an anthology called, Angels from their Realms of Story. Her favorite genre to write is anything dark, psychological, and suspenseful, but she enjoys expanding her horizons and dipping her feet in other genres as well. Lauri teaches summer writing classes for kids and mentors teens throughout the year. She’s a Child Abuse and Scoliosis Survivor. Lauri runs a group for teen girls with Scoliosis called, The S Squad. Their motto is Strength, Support and Self Confidence. She’s been known to dance around the house with a spoon as her microphone and sneak toppings from the ice cream bar. Lauri’s taken online classes at the Institute of Children’s Literature and was the President of the League of Utah Writers, Oquirrh Chapter for two years. She’s a member of Crime Writers and International Thriller Writers.