Today, I am excited to share an informative guest post from Sarah at The Sleep Advisor…
Writing isn’t easy. It’s not always fun. It takes time. But when you finish a post, book, dissertation, monologue, or even a journal entry about your warm, fuzzy feelings, you feel accomplished and ready to take on the next task that comes your way.
But how can you possibly write all of these great things and more if you’re completely and utterly, well, “tuckered out”? Especially when you’re a mama bear who has to watch after her children, go to work, and keep the whole universe from falling apart at the seams on a daily basis?
It’s a struggle, for sure. But hear this: if you can take care of everyone else’s needs before your own like you’re doing right now, you can afford to sit down and take care of your inner writer’s needs as well.
This might sound scary or overwhelming, especially if you have a project that you feel guilt for abandoning in the wake of your motherly duties. And, also, if you feel like you could use about fifteen different naps in a row right now.
Well, guess what? It’s time to wake up, mommy dearest! Allow us to give you some advice on how to motivate yourself to write when you’re feeling exhausted.
Change your environment.
If writing at home is fun and relaxing, you’re not doing it right.
Just kidding. Some of us can’t afford to leave our kids at home alone for long stretches of time, it’s true. But if you can find a time and go out to a nice cafe or a quiet library, sit down, and start typing, it’ll be well worth your while.
Listen to music.
But if you feel like you have nowhere to go, and your responsibilities are weighing on you, take a walk around the block for with your earbuds in and listen to a song that gets you excited or inspired.
Think about what you want to accomplish as a writer. Think about the possibilities. Think about how the simple act of writing out words can make you feel something inside that you need to be feeling. Realize that you don’t have to feel like life’s left you behind after all. And most of all…listen to the music.
Ask yourself an important question while you’re at it.
What do you really want to write about?
Oftentimes, when we procrastinate or take a while completing a project, it’s because it goes against what we feel deep inside we should actually be doing instead.
If you’re having problems committing to writing that project you’ve been putting off for longer than you’d like to admit, perhaps you need to either re-conceptualize it or scrap it all together.
For those of you who know in your hearts that you are committed to your writing project (whatever that might be), consider how you can approach the task differently. Is it hard for you to sit down and get started because of how you feel?
Set aside your emotions, but acknowledge them first.
This might sound simple but it’s actually one of the hardest parts of writing.
Writing isn’t just putting words down to paper (or screen, if you will). It’s a powerful act of communication that takes a lot of courage, patience, and determination. It’s also something that you must do alone. Which, like it sounds, can be lonely – in more ways than one.
Many of us who have writing aspirations find out quickly that we don’t have a lot of support from our immediate environment – especially when the people in it depend on you to fulfill certain needs for them.
When you’re a writer, being your own cheerleader is a full-time job. So, naturally, you have to learn to feel better about yourself or figure out why writing is uncomfortable for you in order to gain more confidence.
Navigating through your emotions, your anxieties, and your motivations as a writer will not only help you sit down and get started, it will also make you a stronger person with a clearer sense of vision – because you are willing to engage in self-reflection.
Speaking of motivations…
Figure out why you want to write in the first place.
Do you want to be the next bestselling author of those mystery books you burn through on your Kindle? Or would you rather write columns one day in a fancy magazine, giving advice to people who look to you for sharp-witted wisdom?
Either of these goals sound great and motivating, don’t they? Yet these can also be deceitful.
Have these goals in mind, but think about why you want to have them.
Do you want to tell really engaging mystery stories that suck the reader in? Do you really want to help people and give them advice on how to improve their lives? Or do you just want to see your name displayed prominently in print and take your ego to a fame and glory buffet?
Determining your motivations is important in this sense. Yes, it is exhilarating to imagine success like this – and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
But, if you focus on the act of writing and creating instead of on yourself, you’ll write the content that will get you those adoring fans and book deals in the first place.
Now that we’ve got those wheels turning in your head – write!
Hey there! I’m Sarah, part-time writer and contributor to The Sleep Advisor. But funnily enough, both sleep and writing can be a struggle for me sometimes! That’s when following the advice of my colleagues really pays off. So when I need inspiration, I go for a jog on Venice Beach, blasting my favourite tunes before settling down to write in one of the cool cafes in my neighbourhood. I find that writing’s much easier afterwards and I sleep better that night, too. Win-win!
See ya later,