Who I am, and why I write

Welcome! My name is Erin Manning, and I write clean Young Adult fiction for ages 12 and up. I'm an avid reader and I've been...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

On motivation

Anyone who works on something creative and who does not have external deadlines will face, sooner or later, the problem of motivation. For me, as I've said before, NaNoWriMo and their events help me when it comes to writing a book. But editing is another story, and plotting/planning/prewriting is also something that's hard to do under a deadline. As for marketing and selling--it can be hard enough for an indie writer to figure out what to do, let alone when and how often to do those things that will bring attention to a book.

Even people who aren't writers, though, can sympathize with the struggle to create and set realistic goals and deadlines around seemingly endless and sometimes vague tasks. Moms at home, small business owners, students and many other people may find it hard to get things done in a timely manner. In many ways, the illusion of control we all try to create for ourselves can evaporate when we realize how difficult it is to adhere to a self-imposed deadline, or to accomplish complex tasks in the midst of the chaos of daily life.

The important thing about motivation to me is this: it's important not to fall into the trap of thinking that one day's failures will define a week, or one week's failures a month, or that one month's setbacks will set the tone for the whole year. We have a certain number of hours each day to try to accomplish some of those things on our long "to-do" lists, and just because one day isn't going as expected there's no reason to give up on the one hand, or to try to cram too much in the next day (leading to inevitable failure) on the other.

I try to accomplish a few simple writing-related tasks each day, but if things don't work out, I don't give up for the rest of the week. It's important to keep going.