Monday, December 27, 2010

Motivation -- The Rocking Chair Test

How do we as writers become motivated? Books on how to write say that reading has the most impact. We are what we read. Successful authors tell us the most significant impact will be to write every day. Both motivate us. Reading shows us how clever phrases, tightly crafted plots, a good story line and an extensive vocabulary combine to provide us with a wealth of tools to feed our creative brains. Writing daily produces the same results.

However, what if you are not motivated to write? The people who say they wish they could get going in their writing are not willing to put forth the effort required to be considered writers. What happens if we wait for an idea and no idea surfaces and inspiration doesn’t strike?

Take the rocking chair test. Sit in a rocking chair and look back on your life. Examine all the things you accomplished and the rewards you received from those activities. Then look at your life as if you had not achieved your goals or accomplished what you wanted. Relate this to writing. Have you set goals for writing and strived consistently toward them or are you waiting for motivation?

Mark Twain could have been talking to writers when he said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Paraphrasing John F. Kennedy, “If not (your name), who? If not now, when?“ Nike made a fortune selling tennis shoes with the tag line “Just do it.” They were right. “A determined person will do more with a pen and paper, than a lazy person will accomplish with a personal computer.” Catherine Pulsifer

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