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Being a writer is hard – staying motivated is harder

Being a writer is very difficult work.

Real, actual writers will resonate with that statement in a way that only writers can.

Being a writer often means working for hours on end, sometimes (more often than we care to admit, actually) with really not much to show for it.

And this can very very (read: heart-wrenchingly) discouraging.

So here’s a little pick-me-up post, in case you need help to stay motivated as a writer!

If you have read my “about me” page (fascinating read, to be sure), then you may remember that I recently lost my job because of health issues. This of course means a huge amount of worries about the future, mainly regarding our finances (yay adulting!).

I’m sure that I don’t need to go into any details for you guys to understand that one less income will leave a huge gap in our account.

But despite that, despite the worries, my husband and I have decided that it’s not the right time for me to start looking for a new job. I was very unwell for 18 months, and have only just in the past few weeks started to get better. We’re both worried that if I go back into the corporate rat race too soon, that I’ll fall back to square one.

So we decided that this is the perfect time for me to focus 100% on my writing; that’s when and why I started this blog. Not only to connect with other writers and readers who are passionate about the same thing as I am, but also to keep me accountable to my goals, and to be a sort of journal of my writing journey.

So I’ve been doing this full-time for about a month now, between blogging and writing my first novel. It’s been exciting, it’s been liberating, and… it’s been terrifying.

For the first time in 10+ years, I won’t be getting a paycheck at the end of the month. So I have to make this writing thing work.

But when you throw yourself into it full time, there are a million doubts and hesitations that fill your mind, and it can be really hard to stay focused and motivated and to continue believing in yourself and your choice.

So I wanted to share with all of you the best tip that someone recently gave me to stay motivated.

Here it is (you ready for this? Hang on to your pants):

Write down 100 reasons why you’re doing this

How to stay motivated as a writer | J. E. Masterman | jemasterman.com

Remind yourself why you’re doing this

Yes, you read that right; it’s not a typo. I didn’t mean to say 10 reasons.

Nopitty nope.

It’s 100 reasons why you’re doing this.

And the reasoning behind it is simple; it’s easy to come up with 10 reasons why you’re doing this and no writer like easy, am I right??). It’s always been your dream, you have a story to tell, you have knowledge to share, or you’re doing it for the fame, the glory and the statue that someone is bound to build.

But forcing yourself to continue looking past those first few obvious reasons, to really start digging into yourself for the why, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when things start coming out that you had never thought of. Things that had always been there, only lurking in the depths instead of in the forefront of your murky mind.

Forcing yourself to go beyond brings those up. And if you’re anything like me, you will be surprised by what comes up.

Those reasons, the ones that you have to dig deep for, those are the reasons that are going to keep you going. Those are the reasons that you had hidden deep down inside because we were afraid to admit them, even to yourself. But they are the ones that are going to drive you.

Do this exercise all the way to the end. Find 100 reasons why you want to be an author, why you want to write a book.

It might take several hours, or it might even take several days. But keep going, keep looking, keep listing them. You are going to unlock things that your mind had hidden from you (naughty naughty!), and it’s going to unleash motivation like you wouldn’t believe.

I did this exercise in the beginning of the year, and whenever the doubts start to surface, whenever I think that maybe I need to give up and get a “real” job, I look over my list. I read every single one of those reasons, and I remember why this is the right choice, for both me and my family, in the long run.

And the motivation comes roaring back full speed, doubt fleeing before it like a toddler fleeing before his mother after she found out he ate the entire pot of Nutella.

I really, truly encourage each and every one of you reading this to do this same exercise. Sit down and write those 100 reasons. It’s going to be tough, and you might feel like you’ll never reach the three digits, but if you’re serious about it you will.

And it might just change your life the way it changed mine.

Now go and try it, my little duck!

Well…? Did you do it?

If you do try this, I’d love to hear about it!! Post a message in the comments, or send me an email with the picture of your list! I’d love to hear back from you guys, and see if this tip has helped you as much as it did me!

In the meantime, have fun writing, and always remember that you’re not alone out there, you terrified little soul. We’ve all got that little voice asking us if we’re good enough and if it’s really worth it. (The answer is a resounding yes. Yes, we need to read that novel, so get it written!)

Pin for later | J. E. Masterman | jemasterman.com
How to stay motivated as a writer -- Tips on how to stay motivated as a writer, to get you through to the end of your project! | J. E. Masterman | jemasterman.com
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