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Keep On Keeping On: A Common and Daily Hurdle Writers Encounter

When that spark of inspiration ignites within you so does that elusive feeling of euphoria.  Your pen just can't seem to keep up with the whirling thoughts and images that run rampant in your mind.  It's pure bliss and is one of the main reasons I love to write.  That feeling is addictive just as as any drug and I constantly crave and pursue it.  But how do you keep that inspirational fire from fizzling out?  How can a writer keep those motivational juices flowing?  Damned if I know!  I struggle with this problem especially when it comes to re-drafting and editing.  I find myself either procrastinating, diverting my attention, and even dreading working on my manuscript.  Why would I dread something I love to do?  In my quest for an answer I found my problem is quite common and also came across some useful tips that actually work.

1.  Recognize your own signature.  (No, I'm not talking about your actual signature even though practicing your actual signature and imagining your are signing books will keep that exciting dream of becoming an established author alive.) Where and when do you find you are at your best?  This would be the time and location when your ideas, thoughts, and inspirations are at their peek.  Take note of your pattern when you seem most productive.  

2.  Exercise.  It does really work even if you just jog in place for five minutes.  Motivations isn't just experienced mentally. In fact, it's actually rare.  The idea goes back to Newton's basic principles of physics.  A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

3.  Set a schedule.  Since writing isn't your typical 9-5 job it becomes harder to stay committed to a set timeline.  I find it useful to set an egg timer or you can set a daily appointment reminder on your phone. 
 
4.  Deadlines.  Since we don't have external forces imposing guidelines on our work we need to set them ourselves.  Example:  Give yourself two weeks to complete one chapter.  Then break that down into a daily schedule to accomplish that task.  This can be done for re-drafting and editing also.  A mountain is never climbed in a single leap.  It takes many small victories to reach the top.

5.  Take a step back.  We all need to get out of our own little worlds so we can see that we are only a minuscule piece of the grand scheme of things.  Doing so recharges your batteries and you come back with a fresh perspective.  So back away from your computer slowly and no one gets hurt.  Open your door and go outside.  Get away from all the electronics and experience life.  Live in the here and now.  

The common misconception is that when you are doing something you love it never feels like a job.  It does!  Not all the time but there are definite periods when it does feel like a chore.  It's a natural reaction to anything you place a goal upon but just don't forget why you decided to write in the first place. 
Hold on to that!

Lisa A Baeringer

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