With the Olympics ending it’s hard to think about motivation without thinking about those who were part of them. Be it swimming, track, kayaking, basketball or one of the other sports athletics competed in the desire to be the best shone in them all. No athletic there would say he/she made it to London on their own. I’m sure they could name coaches, parents, siblings, spouses, and the list goes on of people who inspired, supported, or pushed them to be the great athletic they are (and I think anyone competing in the Olympics has outstanding dedication, motivation, and ability). Another thing all Olympic athletics have in common is their many ‘milestones’ along the way.
As writers we also share many ‘milestones’ along the way that can act as motivators. Finishing our first novel. Getting our first novel published (these may not be the same novel – I know several writers whose first novel are hidden away. It was the finishing that was important the honing of the skill came with the second). Receiving our first review (good and bad). Etc.
The ‘milestones’ change for writers as they develop their career as it does for an athletic. For one it maybe mastering a new swim stroke for another it may be to set a new record. Each is motivated by different things. As with writers. I’ve said in previous post, I’m not extremely competitive so to join a yahoo group that focus on daily/weekly/monthly word counts does nothing to superglue my butt to the chair and keep me off facebook.
I’ve really struggled the last weeks with finding my motivation – hence the reason for Motivation Monday. While my switch from my full time EDJ to full time writing sounded great what I didn’t think about was the personal satisfaction element. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE e-mails offering me book contracts but it isn’t the same as working closing with a student and helping her/him achieve a goal.
So after WEEKS of gorging myself on M&M’s to the point I can’t wear anything but yoga pants (which have never been worn to a yoga class) and my sweat shorts I realize it’s not the motivation I lack but the sense of accomplishment that I helped someone bury a personal demon. That we made a small step toward good.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand finishing a book is an accomplishment but for me it doesn’t propel me to take the next step. I started writing as a type of ‘therapy’ to handle the ‘darkness’ of my job. Gone is the darkness and with it the motivation to write.
So now I have identified the problem, how do I fix it? How do I make myself write? Well, first I decided I need to volunteer or do something that allows to me work with people. I need that interaction and that sense I’m contributing. Not to return to the darkness that accompanied my EDJ but an outlet for my writing this time.
As each Olympic athletic has their own personal motivation pushing them toward the gold, writers also do it for a variety of reasons. Now that I have figured out what mine is hopefully, I can finish these two WIP‘s before I outgrow my yoga pants.