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How to Get Motivated to Write
A couple of years ago, I purchased a kit called "The Complete Writer's Kit" by Scott Edelstein.
In the kit were two books, one called "30 Steps to Becoming a Writer" by Scott Edelstein and the second was a tiny book called "Get Published in 6 Months or Less" by the same author.
There was also a deck of cards by Natalie Goldberg that have inspirational quotes on them from books she's authored.
I found this entire kit most helpful and I highly recommend it.
I want to share with you some of the quotes that I found particularly inspirational and expand on them a bit in my own words. My hope is that you will find them inspirational too.
Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
From "Wild Mind" by Natalie Goldberg
- Forget expectation. Just write.
I think we very often get caught up in "am I doing this correctly" or "will people understand what I'm saying" or other such phrases that tend to stifle our creativity. Don't worry about all of that stuff, just write. Write it all down. You can always sort through it later, or you can simply have the conviction that you are who you are and that is your perspective on things and publish it. With practice, you can get to that point.
- No topic is perfect. You just have to shut up and write.
I think this is similar to the first one. Each topic has many facets. Your only task is to tell your side to the facets you want to explore. Don't get bogged down on being politically correct or ride the fence. Let your own ideas flow.
- If something scary comes up, go for it. That's where the energy is.
Getting into scary topics allows you to explore your own feelings about them. Don't be afraid to explore how you feel about something. Have you ever tried a food many years after you had decided you didn't like it? Surely you've found a few things that you actually like, maybe even love, after having not eaten them for many years. Sour cream and guacamole are common items that fit that description. I think topics can be the same way. After years of life experience some topics aren't as scary as they used to be. When you allow yourself to delve into these ideas you'll most likely learn a lot about yourself.
- Writing is a great journey. It is a path with the possibility of making us free. And it can do all of this while you sit at a desk.
Anyone who has read a good book, can attest to this. The written word has the ability to take you anywhere. You can go, and do, and see anything. Remember when you're writing, that you are now the pilot taking your reader to places. Enjoy that process.
- The only failure in writing is when you stop doing it.
This is quite a true statement. Everything you write is helpful to you in some way. The moment you stop writing is the first time you fail at writing. The more you write, the better you get it at and the more confident you are. It's virtually impossible to keep doing something and to not improve at it.
- Go ahead. Say it: "I am a writer." Practice saying it when people ask you what you do. You might feel like a complete fool. That is okay. Step forward and say it anyway.
So many of us have a problem with calling ourselves a writer. We're hesitant to give ourselves that label for fear others may not think we're good enough for that label. If you're on HubPages and have written one hub, you're a writer. You have published an article for online readers and you are therefore a writer. We've already talked about the best way to become a better writer, but you're a writer nonetheless. Start calling yourself a writer. You don't have to yell it from the rooftops, but at least acknowledge it's what you do, even if it's on a part-time basis. I am a part-time writer. I aspire to be a better writer.
- Let everything run through you and grab as much as you can of it with a pen and paper.
You are a filter for which your life experience passes through. I think it's important that you acknowledge that you have a unique perspective on life. No other person has seen or done what you have. Even siblings will have a different experience than you. It's up to you to record that to share. If you never bring it to writing, it will remain with you.
- Don't wait for 100% acceptance of yourself before you write, or even 80%. Just write. The process of writing will teach you about acceptance.
You see this with kids, but it often spills into adulthood. Many people don't want to tackle something until they think they will be masters at it. They fail to realize that to be a master at something you have to start out not knowing how to do it and practice at getting better. So often people fear ridicule and rejection, so they give up before they ever start. Don't worry about doing anything perfectly the first time, or even the tenth time. Just do it! You will learn as you go along.
- Don't worry about style. Be who you are, breathe fully, be alive, and write.
Don't worry about your style of writing. If you're lucky, it will be unlike anyone else! Trying to copy another's style is pointless. Be yourself. Let your personality engage your reader.
- Write about what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.
This is similar to another quote above from the same book. I just want to add that I think this exercise is how you unleash your passion. It doesn't mean that you have to publish every rant you write down, but allow yourself to put into words what bothers you. It'll help you find your voice.
Brainstorming Ideas-Avoiding Writer's Block
For me, the key to avoiding writer's block is to have multiple projects going at one time. I sit down and brainstorm ideas and start 5-10 hubs by creating the title, the category and choosing a few of the tags. If I'm especially inspired about the topic at the time I create the hub, then I will put down several paragraphs right then. I can always tweak them later. Then when I have exhausted that bit of inspiration, I move on to the next one. If you have several going you always have something to work on.
If I ever sit down to work on them and none of them inspire me to continue working on, then I brainstorm more ideas. How do I brainstorm more ideas? These are several things I've tried that seem to help:
- Think about events in my past that might be interesting to others. Think about all of the stories you've told friends or co-workers that happened to you. If they found them interesting or funny perhaps an online audience would as well.
- Think about historical things that have happened around you that others may not have heard of. We take it for granted sometimes that "everyone knows that old story" when really the world is bigger than you think. There are many things that have happened in your hometown that the news never reached the rest of us. Historical topics often lead to other memories both for you and the reader. We tend to look back and remember what we were doing in that year or that time of our lives. People love being nostalgic. Don't be afraid to take people back in time.
- Think about places you've visited and the things you found interesting there. Other people travel and love reading about these tips. As I prepare for a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in 2010, I will be watching to see what others have written about those places.
- Think about advice you've given, or others have given you, that may have made a big impact. Others can benefit from that same advice. Why not share it with them?
- Think about your hobbies. Is there anything you could teach someone else about tips or shortcuts. Maybe you've developed a technique you'd like to share.
- Watch TV, YouTube videos, or listen to the radio, Each of them can spark a memory of something. I've created several hubs from things I heard on the radio on lunch.
- What books or movies have impacted your life. Write about them. People love top 10 lists of your favorite movies, favorite books, etc.