Motivation Matters

The more I write, the more I realize that writing is mostly a mind game. I have a word count that I strive to hit every day. Some days, the words seem almost to rack up themselves. I accomplish everything in one sitting without breaking a proverbial sweat. (I don’t actually sweat when writing…much.)

Other days, I find myself checking my word count after every sentence, mired down and bemoaning the fact that it has only gone up a few dozen words since last time I checked it. If I cross the finish line on days like this, It is just barely.

Then there are some days, like the 30th of June of this year. On that day, I wrote about 9,000 words, many times the normal amount. This also happened on a day in December last year…almost 10,000 words in a single sitting.

What’s the difference?

I feel like it all comes down to motivation. On the last day of the month when I’m way behind on my writing goal for the month, it is a lot easier to sprint. In the middle of the month when I’ve had plenty of time, I have to work a little harder.

On that day in December, I was writing for a contest to see who could write the most in four hours and won the contest and some money for Christmas presents.

There are many things that motivate you to write. I don’t think it matter so much what you use to motivate yourself, only that you have something. Set and do everything you can to stick to your goals. Keep track of your progress and race against yourself. Reward yourself after your own fashion when you hit certain milestones.

In a perfect world, the motivation of creating wonderful prose should be its own reward. Human nature keeps this from being a perfect world. The trick is to know how to trick your own brand of human nature so that you can get some work done.