Wednesday, June 17

Do You Need Some Motivation?

It's a bright, sunshiney Wednesday morning here on the North Coast...this afternoon we'll be a sweltering 80-something with a ton of humidity. The kind of weather that makes you want to laze in the pool or stay in the A/C...unmotivated.

Every morning after a sleepover, bebe follows Holly (in-laws older dog) around the house, hoping she will play a little bit. Every morning Holly avoids bebe until she gets distracted by some other playtime options. I guess they're both motivated.

Each day I open my WIP folder, open the current chapter and work. Some days I get totally new words, some days only some revision and some days a little bit of both. But even on days when I don't feel like it I open that document and get to work. What motivates me?

Honestly, some days nothing motivates me. I don't want to write, I don't feel like writing and I wonder if by writing I'm actually doing myself - and the WIP - a disservice. And then I remember what Nora once said: You can deal with crap on a page but you can't do anything with a blank page.

On those days that I don't feel like writing, editing or plotting, I chant those words like a mantra because she was (and still is) right. If I waited for inspiration to strike or for The Muse to be ready, I'd never finish a scene, finish a chapter or finish a book. So I can't wait, I have to be motivated. I'll ask again: What motivates me?

Actually, I have an answer to that: It's my goal sheet. Every January I start a new goal sheet. I has goals for each month, quarter, 6-month mark and year. This past year my goals were to write 4 books and revise another. My goals got a little off-track because of a sagging middle issue, but I'm actually not that far off. I revised and sent in Book 1 and Book 2, I've nearly finished the first in a series (I think 3) novellas and am plotting the second. I'm feeling pretty good about that. You know what kept me motivated through that sagging middle and reaching November a full book-and-a-half off my goal? The goal itself.

I'm just the teensiest bit competitive, especially against myself. I don't like to set goals and not meet them - although that does happen - so I set goals at the beginning of the year and I revisit those goals throughout the year. When that sagging middle problem hit? I revised my goals for the next 6 weeks so I could concentrate on the middle and not beat myself up over not making more progress with another project.

I love setting goals but I love even more the ability to adjust goals when the time helps keep me on track. How about you? Are you a goal setter? How do you deal with missed goals or setting new goals in the middle of a session?


  1. I'm not a goal-setter, though it might behoove me to be! I'm more of the "oh, shiny" variety. One place I'm almost always able to identify my motivation is in weight loss, because it only happens when I'm motivated. Writing, I do whether I'm motivated or not--it's just a whole lot easier when I amI Enjoyed the post, Kristi.

    1. thanks for coming by, Liz! I'm with you on the weight loss - when I'm motivated, it's easy...oh, to be motivated...

  2. I relate that you don't want to write some times. I'm going through a rough period this year (again) and writing seems to have taken the very back seat to life. I can't change it and I need to feel good about me, life and the world around me to write...and I just don't right now. I can't. But when those times hit I turn to my other love, polymer clay and beading, until life relaxes again. I do admire you, any writer, who can write through adversity. Congrats on keeping your goals in line. ~Calisa Rhose

    1. I'm so sorry you're struggling, Calisa, but I'm glad you have an outlet because that is so important! Shoot me an email - we need to catch up!