1) Read biographies. What you’re feeling or going through isn’t anything new. Find out how others worked through it. Find someone whose career you admire and read about how they kept going and the strategies they used. Read articles on various authors’ websites - many share how they’ve broken through doldrums and what helped them along the way.
2) Find a person. Find someone who you know will lift your spirits. Don’t go for anyone ‘sensible’ – their rational approach may not be helpful. Instead, it may feel like bad news. Find a ‘rainbow’ friend, someone who can smile in the rain of doubt and discouragement. Let them help boost your ego and give you the pep talks you need.
3) List your successes. We all have daily success, no matter how small. List them. Sitting at your desk, writing a paragraph, answering a phone call, all are steps towards your writing success. Far too often we forget them too quickly. Remember a time when you achieved something you wanted. Wouldn’t you like that feeling again? Then keep writing and you will achieve this and much more.
4) Treat writing as a job. Forget about being in the mood. Take the “I have to write if I want to eat” viewpoint even if it isn’t true. Like any job, there are the exciting things you like doing and the mundane. Staying motivated to write when you’re depressed after receiving your 20th rejection letter is hard. BUT, by continuing to do your job (write) your work (writing) will bring you the income you want.
5) Don’t critique your work. Just write. As a rule, we are our own worst enemy. You’re a terrible judge when you’re in a bad mood so forget about critiquing your work. Just put it down on paper, you can always go back and fix it later. At least you will have something to work with as opposed to nothing at all.
6) Use bribery. We all like pleasurable things and writing isn’t always so. Come up with a way to give yourself a treat after accomplishing a task. The task can be big or small, whatever works for you. There’s no right or wrong way to reward yourself. (Unless of course you treat yourself to a sugar-glazed donut for each sentence you complete!)
7) Create an audience. You can develop a newsletter or blog. Because people will be expecting something from you (either weekly, monthly or quarterly), you’ll be forced to continue writing. This is an excellent way to stay motivated because you’ll know that someone, somewhere, will be reading what you write.
8) Create a winner. On a wall or bulleting board, tack up the cover of the magazine you’d like to be featured in. Create a cover or use the existing cover of your book with a banner that says ‘bestselling author’ and dream about the success you’ll have when you’ve finished your current project.
Staying motivated can be difficult, but not impossible. Use one or all of the above tips to help you stay motivated. A successful writing career starts one word at a time.