Elaine Roberts has been thinking about what people do to motivate themselves and carry on when things get too much. She’s had a lot going on in her personal life so, consequently, has been feeling too tired and demotivated to do anything.
When my children get those same feelings, I always tell them life is all about small steps, which lead to bigger steps that occur naturally.
I came to the conclusion I should practice what I preach, so to speak. As a writer, NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) is a motivation, and the aim is to write fifty thousand words in a month. Straight away, the immediate and automatic reaction was “whoa, I could never do that”. Then I thought, what if I aim for fifty thousand, but not worry if I don’t make it because that way, the daily word count would increase.
That’s fine if you’re a writer, but what if you’re not. Here are some of the things that have worked for me, which I would recommend:
- Have an overall plan. My plan is to be published, but my dream is to walk into bookshops and supermarkets and see my books on the shelves.
- Set specific achievable goals that are measureable, with a realistic timescale for you and the life you lead. It doesn’t matter about how small the goal is, because it’s about stacking the building blocks, towards achieving the plan that you have decided upon.
- Celebrate when you reach those goals, even if it’s only with a cup of tea and a happy dance around the front room.
- Put yourself out there, wherever out there is for you. It can be intimidating, but there’s nothing like mixing with people who are aiming for similar things. With the Internet and social media, there are forums and groups you can join.
- Be positive. I always say to my children, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, whatever “it” is. Don’t take on board other people’s negativity; that is their issue, not yours.
- Give yourself time to serve your apprenticeship. Learn your craft properly. I have several written novels that I thought were great at the time. When the rejections came through, I was crushed, but now my knowledge has increased, I’m quite relieved they didn’t get anywhere.
- Write a list. We all love a list. You can’t beat ticking things off a list, to make you feel you’ve achieved something.
- Whatever the plan is, do your research. Look at what others are achieving and how they are doing it. I’ve come to the conclusion there is nothing you can’t find on the Internet.
- Above all else, don’t give up. Whenever I feel like that, I remind myself how some of the best authors have struggled to be published, and I don’t put myself in the same bracket as them.
- Remember it’s all about the journey, not forgetting where you started from and what you can do to encourage others to achieve their goals.
Whatever you want to do, go for it. Make time for yourself and your dreams. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
Good luck xx