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This week I'm deviating from my Ultimate Book Marketing Plan for Self-Published Authors blog series to share a piece from Lucy Adams as she shares her insights on what to do when you just don’t feel like writing, even though you know you need to in order to meet your goals.
Take it away Lucy.
By Lucy Adams
From time to time even the best authors experience writing as a difficult and unpleasant task. Perhaps, everyone is familiar with the situation when coming up with fresh ideas requires a huge amount of time (something that we often feel we don't have much of).
Well, such hostility can be easily explained if in the past you had to write essays, thesis, and dissertations on uninteresting subjects. Meanwhile, schools and universities are far from being the only places where we need to write texts. For instance, reports and presentations, motivation and recommendation letters, reviews of books and movies, notes, blogs, posts on social networks – all these closely intersect with private life and business.
Undoubtedly, proficient writing is one of the most perspective skills. But how do you make it effective and bring you immeasurable pleasure? How do you motivate yourself to write the text and bring it to an remarkable end?
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation, as the name suggests, is a set of external factors that force us to work. A typical example is the need to write a term paper or an annual report on the subject at hand. If the student does not write it on time, he can be expelled from the university. If the employee does not prepare a report, he will lose the trust of colleagues and superiors and may be fired.
Expulsion from the university, bad marks, career ladder – all these are external factors. Of course, extrinsic motivation can have a more complex essence. For instance, sometimes people start writing to attract attention to themselves, cope with their complexes, etc. However, here writing is only an instrument for achieving other goals.
Many psychologists believe that extrinsic motivation can never be compared in strength with intrinsic motivation. The latter is a collection of personal needs, desires and character traits that contribute to the effective implementation of a noble and definite cheif aim in life - a worthy ideal. The distinction between external and internal motivation can be illustrated by the phrases "You need" and "You want:"
Meanwhile, the power of intrinsic motivation is often overestimated. It may not be enough to bring the case to an end. Therefore, the only 100% guarantee to start writing is to combine both internal and external motivation.
To make things easier, let’s consider 4 basic satiations that often happen with a potential pen wizard
#1 You Want to Write, But You Don't Have an Idea
"Why to write if you have nothing to write about?"
Well, when it comes to academic writing, the statement above can be true, but if we talk about creative writing, things are not so obvious. Many people do have brilliant thoughts, but don’t have any writing culture and habits. They just don’t know from what to start.
Amazingly, writing is no longer a part of our daily life. We take pictures and videos, but do not write travel notes or memories. We talk for hours over the phone or by Skype, but do not write letters to each other.
So if you want to become a real master, you should cultivate a culture of writing in your personal life first. To do this, allocate at least 20 minutes a day to describe what has happened to you, what pleased you or caused indignation, what emotions you felt. You can describe whatever you want, from a recent football match to the behavior of business partners. After a while, your notes will become more consistent and exciting, and you’ll notice that there are lots of things to write about.
#2 You Can't Bring The Work to an End or Within Deadlines
In this case, you have a lack of intrinsic motivation. The typical situation usually follows this order:
In this case, you should find additional sources of motivation. The best way to do it is to set yourself a reward for work performed. It may be a bar of chocolate for a paragraph – whatever – the main thing is to make a self-agreement.
Well, if you’ll be able to combine business with pleasure – for example, by earning on writing reviews and blog posts – you won’t have any problems.
#3 You Don't Have Enough Patience and Perseverance
This issue may be related to both the lack of motivation and the inability to concentrate. Some people can easily work in noise, but others instantly lose their focus.
If you belong to the second group, be sure to get rid of all external distractions when writing. Even a sudden telephone call can nullify all your previous efforts. Turn off the phone and the Internet. But be sure to make breaks as no one can stay focused for too long.
#4 You Can't Bring Yourself to Start Writing
If the task seems immense and elusive, you may experience problem #4. Obviously, you have to split the work into smaller sub-tasks. Regardless of the type and scope of the writing project, you’ll have to complete 4 consecutive steps:
Please don’t mix these steps and don’t do everything at once.
I hope I’ve shed some light on the motivational aspect of writing and inspire you to start doing this hard but very noble activity. Feel free to share your motivational tips and tricks in the comments below. I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors!
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Lucy Adams is a writing guru from https://buzzessay.com/. She’s a generalist able to cope with almost every topic, including psychology, marketing, business, education, and many others. Lucy is constantly in touch, so rest assured, you’ll get a response very soon. Contact the blogger and start an effective co-working relationship right now!