For months now, I have neglected my blog. It happens. There are lulls. I lose interest or am uninspired or I just forget. My intentions are good, however, my motivation is clearly lacking. There are signs all around me that serve as reminders to stay the course.
Last week, I was looking around online, researching how to retain motivation in writing. I came across a couple of sites that may help me. The ones that say to give yourself rewards and punishments are no help to me. If I want a piece of candy or a trip down the river in my kayak, I’m gonna get it when I want it. There’s no waiting for the end of a blog. Punishing myself doesn’t work for me either. Typically, we only punish ourselves after we feel guilty or wrong for something. Am I right? Punishing yourself seems to be more of having bad feelings toward yourself. That being said, it doesn’t work for me, either.
What does seem to work is realizing that I made a commitment to write and I must carry on. In my quest for motivation, I went to the internet to find others that were in the same boat and see their methods to maintain regularity in writing.
There were two websites in particular that got my attention. The first is specifically about blog posts.7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Write Blog Posts; Henri Junttila gives quite a few simple ideas to keep us rolling. One of his suggestions is one that I already use- having topics or blog posts complete for a rainy day. I have a list and some drafts at ready if I need them. Some of his ideas I could do more of- writing every single day, even if only for 15 minutes; changing my format on occasion to add variety and keep me on point.
The second site I came across was http://www.emeryroad.com. Jody Calkins is a writer and editor who’s website focuses on the writing side of business. After seeing her site, I found her on Facebook and Twitter. She provides a vast wealth of information as well as methods of motivation. I signed up for a 7 day exercise, in which each day, an email was sent to me with a description of something to write. Each exercise was completely different. They challenge writers to remain active in different aspects, in turn churning up thoughts to write about. She encourages research, short writing bursts, mapping, and even physical activities to stir creativity. I will admit, I have not completed the exercises yet, but I have been inspired to write this post.
In another area of my life, I am an artist. I dabble in different media, but my concentration is hand built pottery. I am part of a local cooperative art gallery that also helps to keep artists motivated and the public interested. We offer classes to the public for various types of art and each Monday night we have Studio Night. All are welcome, artist or otherwise, to work on whatever project they have going at the time. On any given night, there are as many as five different types of art/project going on: painting, sketching, pottery, fiber art/craft, jewelry, or even teaching or making a new fixture for the gallery itself. Our group usually is between 5-10 people and we help and encourage each other in our creative journeys. Some of the people work on the same type of task each week, while others (such as myself) change it up on a weekly basis. My main focus is to remain active in art and maintain creativity.
Here’s a shot from Studio Night. Over in our annex, we were painting with oils and acrylics as well as making jewelry. The project in the foreground is a rack I made to put in the gallery with scarves that I make.
Check out Vision Gallery. Are you part of a similar group?
What about your writing? How are you staying motivated and encouraged? I would love to hear what you’re doing.