How Do Authors Get Motivated!

We’re discussing this today at my online critique group… :

Special thanks to Sharon K. for mentioning it, and  Ëarwen! for your insightful suggestions…

Losing enthusiasm for your writing? Here’s how you can handle it.

1. Stand Back—This involves creating a certain distance between you and the project. When you’re writing, you focus on a specific area, a certain scene, or a critical chapter of nonfiction information. And so it’s easy to lose perspective. Your original enthusiasm sprang from your concept of the project as a whole. When the enthusiasm wanes, it’s time to stand back and revisit your original concept. View the project as whole, complete, and engrossing—the way you first thought of it. That’s where you’re headed. That’s where the book is headed, no matter what stage it’s in right now. Reminding yourself of this is great way to rekindle your enthusiasm.

2. Move On—Very often, enthusiasm wanes because a writer is struggling with a particular section. And because that section isn’t going well, it’s easy to think that the entire project isn’t working. The cure? Set those pages aside and write a different section of the project. Pick a section that seems fun or exciting to you. Chances are the writing will go well and your enthusiasm will begin building once again.

3. Read—Enthusiasm still weakening? Begin looking over the manuscript that you’ve produced so far. As you reread what you’ve done, pick out a few aspects that are strong and working well. It might be a particular character, a section of dialogue, or in nonfiction, an exciting anecdote or even a strong how-to section. When you see something that’s working well, it’s hard to view the project as a lost cause. And so your enthusiasm can return.

4. Focus on Yourself—That’s right. You’ve come this far, and what does that mean? You’re a writer. Plain and simple. Even if the project doesn’t seem to be going well, you’ve taken it this far. You’ve done more than most people do. You’re far beyond those folks who casually say that they’ll “write a book someday,” then never write a word. You’ve taken the risks and created something. You’re a writer. And if a piece of writing isn’t well done, a writer can fix it. If a project has lost its zing, a writer can rediscover that. A writer can tap imagination, alter words, and make things right. You’re a writer. You’re capable of doing all that.

About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

3 responses to “How Do Authors Get Motivated!”

  1. uninvoked says :

    Don’t forget talking to other people. When ever I’m stuck on a particular part of my book, half the time the answer comes out when I’m talking with another person, even if someone is just asking what the scene is about, it helps.

  2. Ashley Ludwig says :

    Great comment. Agreed. Talking to other people is essential. Whether delivering your 25 word pitch, or just making eye contact and idle chit chat with a neighbor!

    Someone mentioned to me the other day what a solitary business this really is–even though I get lost in worlds with my characters, it is solitary. When the muse clams up, it gets lonely in a hurry! don’t forget your “real” world friends.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Donnie says :

    Reading your post made me think about the parallels between computer programming and writing. Your post applies almost word-for-word to developing new computer programs (exploratory programming, R&D, developing new products). I was going to throw in “talk to others about your project”, but I see that uninvoked already did!


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