When Motivation Isn’t Enough to Write Every Day
You need to motivate yourself with strategies that hold you accountable
I was reading an article by one of my favourite online writers about feeling too sick to write. The thing is, she was still writing her article while she was sick and managed to edit and publish it online. She didn’t let her illness or lack of motivation stop her.
It got me thinking. What makes a successful online writer motivated enough to write and publish an article every single day?
Accountability means so much more than motivation
Sure, being motivated can help to get those articles written. I’m motivated to write. I love writing. But I’m not motivated enough to write, edit and publish an article every day. Why not?
I believe it’s because I don’t hold myself fully accountable.
So, how do you hold yourself accountable in order to write, edit and publish online articles every day?
Your income depends on it
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable is because you need to write in order to survive. When your sole income comes from writing — when it’s your day job — your motivation becomes more tangible.
But how do you go from writing as a hobby or part-time income to writing as a full-time career?
According to author, speaker and full-time writer Jim Wood, the first step to make writing your full-time income is to build your network.
I’ve read countless times how building an email list should be a key priority for new writers. Shaunta Grimes is a huge advocate of building an email list. She’s built her Ninja Writers club upon it. Zita Fontaine is another successful writer who promotes email list building for budding writers.
It’s only recently I’ve decided to create my own email list. I’ve been hesitant because I’m not too familiar with email list platforms and some of them cost money. But I’ve bitten the bullet and joined an email list platform so I can start building my own network.
But I have an ulterior motive. I’m an aspiring middle-grade children’s author. From all the advice I’ve read, you have a better chance of getting published if you can advocate having a large email list. That way you can share your published work with your followers, and your writing can gain more traction. I’m not going to ignore that advice.
After all, if you’re like me then you want the best chance possible to spread your writing worldwide, and an email list is a simple way to start doing that.
Along with sharing your work with your email list followers, another way to feel accountable for your writing is to share it on social media platforms.
Give yourself deadlines to get your stories on social media platforms. It gives a sense of immediacy, an urgency to get your story out there. Of course, if this causes too much stress or anxiety then it’s not worth the drama.
But when you deal with deadlines it’s like there’s a reason to get your words across to someone. It’s not like you’re only writing for yourself or to no one at all.
Because while it’s nice to write for yourself, it can get boring. You want your words to be read by other people. You want to help, motivate, entertain or educate others with your ideas, information or advice.
So why not help share those words on other platforms?
The next step
Holding yourself accountable is a way to get yourself to do something you really want to do but can’t seem to find the motivation to make it a daily priority.
Sometimes it takes a life-changing event, like losing your job or a death in the family to figure out what really motivates you. But figuring out what makes you accountable can be a way to get what you’ve always wanted.
Now it’s time for me to continue building that email list and share my work with my friends and family.
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Lana Graham is Editor of Mama Write. She writes about parenting and psychology and lives in Sydney, Australia with her hubby and their three marvellous sons. You can find her sitting on her front verandah sipping black tea and listening to the kookaburras laugh each morning.