I’ve been thinking a lot lately about motivation and determination. It’s really the only things standing between us and our dreams, right? Are we motivated? Are we determined?
It can be really… difficult… to feel motivated or determined when we don’t feel we have much control over the world around us, or even our own lives. I know personally, it has been a rollercoaster of productivity since we went into quarantine in March. There have been different cycles of feeling like I have all the time in the world to work, and I fly through the words, but other times? It’s like I can barely control my own breath let alone my schedule. Some days it isn’t even about the schedule. It’s about the fear. The exhaustion. The stress.
I’m not even talking about any specific stressor anymore, because no matter what year it is, there is always going to be things that knock us off course. Things we don’t expect. Things that throw us for a loop that snatch away our ability to enter that quiet place inside ourselves where the creativity lives.
The thing is, Wyrms, it’s okay if there are times when you don’t feel determined or motivated. As long as you’re always looking for the opportunity to be creative, and you don’t pass it up when it comes, it is okay to wait out the times when you just aren’t feeling it.
If you’ve been in a motivational slump, and you’re ready to step out of it, there are things you can do to help yourself along:
Just about anything can prompt creativity. I purchased a creativity packet from Scribblers. There are tons of books filled with writing prompts. Or you can find free writing prompts on Pinterest and social media if you know where to look. A game a friend and I played recently was to take turns selecting songs and then writing 10 minute scenes based on how we interpreted the lyrics. I was in the middle of a writing slump when we did it, but I was surprised how easily the words came and how fun it was to write the scenes.
Edit An Old Project
I’m currently rekindling my motivation and determination by starting the third draft of Shenanigans. So far, I’ve just been reading through the second draft and making notes for changes, but as soon as I’m done with the read through, I’ll start the rewrite, and I am really excited to get to that step. Did I lose a few days last week due to external stressors? You bet. But luckily, I spaced my timeline out a bit so that I could account for days where I stumble. Working on a project that I’m really excited to finish, one that’s tangible and in my hands, is really helping me to not let the motivation slip through my fingers.
Start A New Project
You know what else really helps? Starting a brand new project. Nothing excites me quite the same way as starting a new story. Exploring the plot and getting to know new characters. It can be exhilarating. Now, I will always be a big fan of finishing one project before really committing to another, but as long as you aren’t procrastinating real progress with shiny, new idea syndrome, a blanc page can be the best way to put your heart back in the keyboard.
BookWyrms, my friends, I hope that you’re in a creative space. If you aren’t, then I hope you get back to it soon. Maybe give “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten or “Get Up” by Shinedown a listen. They always help me. As always, I hope you’ll leave me a comment. Let me know if you try writing after listening to a particular song, or if you have your own tactic to overcome the dry spells. Lastly, be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of my upcoming posts. Happy writing, BookWyrms!