I was asked recently how I stay motivated--how do I keep writing until a story is finished? Interesting question. Really. It got me thinking, because motivation has never been my problem. I've always loved writing, and felt irritated when something (like life) got in my way.
I thought some more. Why am I still motivated, even after all these years of frustrations and set-backs? What am I doing right?
Not sure if these will work for you, but they sure seem to work for me. And so, here are six things that keep me motivated:
1) Above all else, have fun. Let go and let the story take you on a wonderful journey. Writing is an act of creation. Be inspired! Think big!
2) Fall in love with your characters. Spend enough time with them and you'll have to finish the story. How will you be able to walk away from those heroes and heroines when you have so much invested?
3) Read. I mean REALLY read. Turn off your inner editor and freshen your mind with new material. Read outside your genre. You'll be amazed at the things you will learn and the strangest places inspiration can come from.
4) Share your work. Even if it's just with a trusted writing buddy. Get some feedback. Develop a network that supports you on this wild, kick-ass journey.
5) Protect your work. As in, turn off that blasted editor when creating a first draft. Editing is for finished manuscripts only. I should capitalize that. EDITING IS FOR FINISHED MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. There, get the point? I'm speaking from direct experience. Editing an unfinished manuscript is like polishing the door that opens to a brick wall. You'll end up with a nice, shiny door nob that leads nowhere.
6) And finally, reward yourself. Give yourself a break! Look at what you've accomplished, not what you haven't! Enjoy the successes, no matter how small.
I hope these things help. Got more ideas? I'd love to hear them!