Maybe motivation isn't a problem for you, but sometimes it is for me.
When it comes to blogging it's (usually) easy for me to sit down and write a post. It was harder when no one read my blog and no one ever commented. But now, I have all the factors working towards me. People read my blog, people (seem) to like my blog, I like my blog, I like to write on my blog. It's easy to create for my blog when I know that there's an immediate appreciation of it. I write a post, I post it and the next day there's comments on it. Perfect.
However, when it comes to writing for my personal projects, it's a different story. I'm a thinker. I come up with all the ideas and jot them down. I make story boards and plot graphs. I'm basically the queen of planning, but after a few weeks of working on a project that I was excited for, I lose motivation. Usually it's because I don't really think the project will be successful.
This mindset led me into a vicious cycle of not creating anything. For a wannabe writer, this is a bad place to be. I felt guilty for not doing something I knew I
Anyways, I was stuck in this guilt/no motivation rut, until the Fall semester of last year when I took a creative writing course. That course, obviously, had deadlines which prompted me to create pieces, finish them, and turn them in. The looming deadline was the motivation I needed. This class was the spark that got me writing again. It took away that strange fear and self-doubt that had prevented me from getting back into it.
However, once the course ended, I didn't jump right back into full-on writer mode. I let ideas stew in my brain for a few months, sometimes jotting down a few words on the weekend. I could feel myself slipping back into my usual habits, and I didn't want that to happen again. As Summer is beginning, so is the feeling of a fresh start, so what better time than now to make some new goals. To meet those goals, I used my tried and true method of the Don't Break the Chain calendar by Karen Kavett.
Don't Break the Chain is all about completing an activity every. single. day. Each day you get to cross off the date, creating a chain effect, that you don't want to break. If you don't do said activity, you don't get to cross off the date, thus breaking the chain. This is a mental game that works very well for me (I've been using it since January to remind me to read my Bible each day). What's even better is that Karen just came out with a specific Summertime Don't Break the Chain calendar for June, July, August and September.
So with my Don't Break the Chain calendar printed and at the ready, June 1st I committed to writing 100 words a day. It's not much, but it's enough to keep me going. It was exactly what I needed, and I'm proud(ish) to to say that I've made it through the first 15 days without breaking the chain.
I wanted to share this little anecdote of what worked for me, because I know that many of you are in the same boat. I also wanted to write this down for my own posterity. I get in these ruts often enough that I need to remind myself how I pulled myself out of them. If you're interested in using this method, for whatever you want to accomplish, you can check out her Summertime Calendar post here, and her full year Calendar post here.
What keeps you motivated? Do you have any projects that are calling your name this summer? Are you going to try the Don't Break the Chain calendar? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments!
|Yay! It's the first of many summer posts on SOI again! Click here to read the ones from last year.|
Reading: Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
Listening: The Astronaut Wives' Club by Lily Koppel on audiobook
Watching: Casey Neistat vlogs