Hi, Hey, Hello!
So there is a theme over the past two days, talking about inspiration and now motivation and it might have a similar kind of thing to a post that I did a couple of weeks ago, buuttttt this is in a more general sense rather than in a creative sense which is what the focus was for that particular post.
This is more about that crazy thing called motivation. And more specifically how I stay motivated.
The simple answer is by not letting my own brain get the better of me.
I spend many an evening after work just sitting at my laptop with some kind of blank screen staring back me and Tumblr just calling my name. Or Netflix. Or that number in brackets next to the Twitter on the open tab. Or Facebook, which is the really weird one.
Basically just anything. My motivation when I walk through the door after what is usually a pretty shitty journey home has gone bye, bye and I need to find it.
The quickest source of motivation usually comes from the fact sometimes I am writing a blog post the night before it is scheduled to go up at noon the next day. And it’s a blank page at 7pm…
Then I just break it down into what I need to do. I need an opening sentence. A title, somehow (that is always the hardest). I need some kind of point to the post (I don’t always succeed with that one I feel). I need to not go over 1000 words where I say nothing of any importance because who needs that really. I basically need to get from point A to point B in as painless a way as possible. And the thing that gets me through that is that at some point I wanted to write the post otherwise I wouldn’t have even made note of it. And clearly I have something to say (usually) about whatever it is that the post is about.
I have this.
That is step one in staying motivated. For me any. I mean it’s a pretty big step. But very little is more motivating then knowing that after my hands have flung around my keyboard for an hour or whatever that I will have a finished blog post (or some other creative endeavour) out of it. I mean it will need work and editing, but if there is one thing that I am good at, it’s editing. So I just get to that stage. All I have to do is get to that stage.
And the other part of that that keeps me motivated is the part is small rewards. Sometimes the reward is a bit extreme, like if I write 500 words or read 20 pages then I can go and cook my dinner. But usually the reward revolves around chocolate, or actually allowing the endless scroll on Tumblr to happen. I mean they are usually food based these days because then the spike in energy fuels me to do other creative things.
Other people keep me motivated as well. Not necessarily those in my immediate vicinity. I am mainly talking about authors and stuff. Just reading keeps me motivated. It sparks ideas and makes me think. It reminds me that words are incredible. I recently read a couple of pages in The Mime Order (I mean I am reading the whole thing obviously, but yeah) that were about words and their importance and it really resonated with me while I was getting internally passive aggressive about the fact that I was on yet another delayed train. It made me wish I hadn’t taken the pen that usually lives in my bag out so that I could just write something down.
It made me feel inspired and motivated. It put me in a good mood. For that short period of time I was raring to go.
Reading and all that jazz keeps me going and works to remind me that even when it feels like there is not, and it feels like that a lot, that there is a reason that I love doing what I spend a fair amount of my time doing.
Which brings me onto the final thing that keeps me motivated.
I hate this whole writing thing a lot. It has kept me awake at night. I have lost the ability to form a coherent sentence many a time. I have written essays that sounded like brilliance in my head and as I typed them out, but when I read them through just moments after I thought ‘first draft finished’ I realised that the words had betrayed me. I have had beautiful sentences and images in my head that were fully formed and everything, but the second that I go to actually put it out in the world it barely becomes fully formed. It’s frustrating as hell and has thrown me into many a strop with it, but I can’t help but go back.
Because for every shit essay I initially wrote, I then wrote one that I was proud. For every garbled sentence I have ever written, I have written one that was perfect. For every blank screen that has mocked me for hours on end, I have had a screen go from blank to full or words in mere moments. For every wall I have hit, I have had weeks of creativity where it just poured out of me because it needed somewhere to go.
Because I hate it, but I love it more.
And ultimately, that’s what keeps me motivated.
(Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!)
Find me here: