By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing
Most authors I work with are highly motivated and driven. Yet, every now and then even the most prolific authors run into a wall.
As a book publicist, I’ve helped many authors fix a current book, focus on their next book, given inspiration, direction or sometimes just ‘pushed’ a bit to move things along.
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” E.B. White
Most writers have goals they hope to achieve, but sometimes a lack of motivation can impede their progress. I understand that writing is hard. It’s something almost every writer struggles with – even some of the greats often did.
If you’re waiting for motivation to start writing, you might be waiting a long time because the motivation to write is fickle. You need to change the way you think about writing.
I’ve put together these five remedies that can help you stay motivated:
1. Daily repetition and routine.
In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami mentions that when he is writing a novel he gets up at 4 am every morning and works for five to six hours. He keeps this routine every single day without variation.
If you’re an aspiring writer, you have to dig deep and find the drive to write every single day. Repetition is essential for forming daily habits. It helps to set time aside for writing each day and to stick to it. Writing needs to fit into your life in a way that suits your circumstances. Commitments in your life like school, work, and hobbies will fill up your whole day if you let them, so it’s necessary to commit to a regular time where you just sit down and write. The key is to write consistently – only with repetition will you be able to make it part of your routine.
2. Read something different like Poetry or a Business book.
Reading will help turn on your creative engine and provide a source of motivation for your own writing. How often have you read a good piece of work or come across a beautifully written passage and thought to yourself, I would love to write like that. Good writing by accomplished writers can be deeply inspiring.
3. Remember why you started.
All writers write for a reason, whether it’s to express themselves, create something meaningful, help others, or entertain. The purpose behind the writing drives the writer to produce meaningful pieces of work. Periodically ask yourself why you want to write – this can help remind you of your writing goals and why it’s important to you.
4. Do something exciting.
Take a hot air balloon ride; take surfing lessons, go sailing on a barefoot cruise for a week in the Caribbean where you are part of the crew doing the work. When you’re focused on sailing your subconscious mind will help you get free of things that trap you in the rut.
5. Meet your fears and conquer them.
Can’t stand heights? Learn how to skydive. Don’t like to go underwater? Learn how to scuba dive. Don’t like raw fish? Eat some sushi. Force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. You’ll be better for it.
I recently came across a great article by Robert Lee Brewer on the New York Times bestselling author Christina Baker Kline, where she shares insights into the writing process of her novel: The Exiles. Christina shares some valuable advice to other authors on persevering when things get difficult: “Forge ahead through the hard parts. With every novel I’ve written, I come to a moment when I want to give up…The only thing to do is inch ahead little by little. There’s a quote I love by Honor Moore: “If you don’t put it in, you can’t take it out.” If you don’t get something on the page, you won’t have anything to work with. That advice has saved many a writing day—and many a novel.”
The truth is that no writer is always motivated to write, but it helps to make writing part of your daily routine and to regularly read books that inspire you. When you feel unmotivated and stuck, remember why you started in the first place.
I’ve written a few related articles for authors and provided writing advice for aspiring writers. If you feel like you’re stuck in a writing rut, check out this article on great author resources available online to help you generate ideas. I also wrote this one on attending writers’ conferences, and another helpful article on how book fairs or festivals can be a way to meet people who can give you valuable advice on your writing.
The Bottom Line: Waiting for inspiration to strike won’t help you achieve your writing goals. Take action and motivation will follow.
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.
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