Tag Archives: motivation for writers

Need Motivation? Join a Writers’ Group!

Guest Post by Elaine Hirsch

Writers come from virtually every walk of life. There are professionals, amateurs, the published, the unpublished, and groups that include writers from every genre. Among all manner of writers a common complaint is the periodic lack of motivation, and how to overcome this obstacle. No matter how many PhD programs one’s completed or how innately creative one is, sooner or later there comes a time when one’s pen seems paralyzed.

Be Motivated

One of the toughest things about writing is the ability to stay motivated. Joining a writing group can do much to motivate the writer who has run out of ideas or simply feels stuck in a rut. These groups can be found both online and off and are often organized as critique groups in particular genres, such as creative non-fiction, short stories, memoir writing, non-fiction writing, biographical writing, reporting, and many other types of writing.

Writing groups might be exclusively critique groups, or may include discussions and workshops. The groups do much to foster motivation, assistance, encouragement, and sense of community among writers who might otherwise be working in isolation. As a writer, working with others can help you present your work to understanding peers so you can gain confidence and outreach in your foray into writing.

Become a Better Writer

In addition to helping you find inspiration, writing groups provide support that helps structure the writing endeavors of members. You’ll be able to learn from writers just like you about prose, vocabulary, and tricks to become a better writer.

When looking for writing groups, consider ones which promote face-to-face meetings. Ones that meet in person can be quite effective in motivating their members because the face-to-face human interaction can provide instantaneous feedback, gratification, and impetus to write. Some people work better when they can bounce ideas off of fellow writers in actual conversation. Colleges and universities sponsor some, and others are free-form groups organized by volunteers.

Competition Breeds Innovation

If just having other writers around isn’t enough motivation, consider writing competitions within groups. Many writing groups host writing contests with specific rules and deadlines. These contests can be great ways to motivate yourself, especially since many offer rewards or cash prizes. Moreover, winning might help you find professional success by gaining reader attention.

Finding the Right Group 

Now that we’ve covered some benefits of writing groups, here are some great ways for you to discover writing groups in your area (or online!)

  •   The Writer Magazine – An established magazine providing advice for writers. Includes a resource for finding writing groups by area.
  •   For Writers – A simple website revealing prominent writing organizations so you can stay updated in writing networks.
  •   Meetup – Meetup is a site which helps strangers meet one another by planning tangible events. Not surprisingly, there is a page dedicated to helping writers meet one another.

Just like many aspects of life, doing something you enjoy in the company of others can help you stay motivated. Hopefully these tips will help you not only find motivation to write but also so you can become a better writer.

Elaine Hirsch is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult to choose just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

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Filed under Advice, writers

Help for Hump Day – Don’t Quit

While ironing the other night I overheard a TV interview highlight with Former President Bill Clinton as he said: “When you get knocked down, don’t give up, Get UP!”

Now, you have to understand I despise ironing. Seriously. My clothes have to be balled up and riddled with semi-permanent creases to warrant me getting out the big ol’ ironing board and setting it up in my living room. Distractions in the form of TV is what gets me through this task. Any mundane show or even monotonous commercial will do. But when I heard Bill Clinton’s quote, I felt a kinship, a glow of enlightenment, which definitely made my ironing chore a pleasurable and philosophical moment. And got me thinking about my own family’s motto: NEVER GIVE UP!

My husband and I have ingrained this mentality in our boys. When learning to ride a two-wheeler: Never Give UP! When struggling with a homework assignment: Never Give Up! When trying to make first chair as the snare drummer for band: Never Give UP!

Although, it’s more than a phrase, but a lifestyle. If we tell ourselves “I can’t,” than, guess what? You won’t! Words without action is fruitless. The belief has to be there, but you also must take little steps to move forward, to have momentum on your life’s path.

So, after you’ve chanted with me:

Never Give UP!

Never Give UP!

Never Give UP!

Get to work. What are you working on today? Me? Reading and revising Chapter 4 of my novel. Little step, but still moving forward.

Don’t Quit

 

When things go wrong as they sometimes will.

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.

When funds are low and the debts are high.

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit.

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.

As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about.

When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt

And you never can tell how close you are.

It may be near when it seems so far:

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

~Author Unknown

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Inspiration, Perseverance, procrastination

Make it Happen Monday!

So, to make better use of the 10 hours I spend each week in my car commuting to and from my day job, I’ve been putting my CD player to work by listening to audio books I loan from my library.

I’ve “read” Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (again) and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

Canfield bookBut last week, it was a week of positive thinking and renewed motivation, while I listened to Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. I’m a fan of Canfield’s work and message.  How better to start your day (in the midst of slow-moving traffic on the highway) than to sip a hot mug of coffee and listen to inspiring stories of those who started with nothing and ended where they wanted to be: successful, happy, fulfilled and excited about life.

The Success Principles is a book, which needs several readings, I’ve discovered.  There are exercises to complete as you go along, which I am slowly completing on my own at home.  The first is lists (yay, lists!) of 30: 30 Things You Want to Have; 30 Things You Want to Do and 30 Things You Want to Be.

Might sound easy, but try it! The key is to give as much detail to your lists as possible – to begin a fluid vision in your mind and imagine that you’ve already achieved everything on each of these lists. This begins with “where you are.”

So, where are you?  Where do you want to be? Make it HAPPEN!!

Check-in: Instead of thinking “I should go for a walk after dinner” I WENT for a walk after dinner. I found a pastel chalk drawing with “Katarina” spelled out in bubble letters on a driveway; the creaking singing of crickets; a dad and his little girl jogging together; a few title ideas for short stories or possibly for my next NaNo Novel…I learned: when the inclination strikes – make a fire!

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Filed under Advice, Believe, books, goals, Inspiration, Perseverance