The frusrating task of self-motivation (for the writers, dreamers and do-ers out there)

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.“  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” – Latin Proverb

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned as I have gotten older is the importance of understanding that we have to go through things alone. Now, I know I have talked about the importance of understanding that we have to have help if we are going to get to where we are going. And that still stands. But we have to do the work on our own. We are the sole decision makers in what we do each day. We are the ones who are affected by our actions, more so than anyone else. We are the ones who have picked the path we are on. And we are the ones with the ultimate responsibility of getting to where we want/need to go.

It can be frustrating at times when we can’t find anyone to help us in the way we would like to have help. We have ideas and projects that we believe in, but sometimes it feels as though no one else really cares. The people who we feel are supposed to help may not always do so. And that can be difficult when we are trying to accomplish something that we believe in. It’s the ultimate rule when it comes to accomplishing your dreams…. No one will believe in you as much as you do until you can show them why they should. And unfortunately, that usually takes a lot of work.

I find that with writing it takes even more work. You can’t force people to read something. You can’t force someone to pay attention. When you sing people can hear you even if they don’t want to. When you act people can see you, even if they don’t want to. When you paint your work is visible, what you have to say and share is visible, even if people don’t want it to be. But when you write, your ideas are hidden between under the covers. The book covers to be exact. You can’t force people to understand that what you have to say is worthwhile enough to give up a few hours of their lives to read it. That’s significant time. A song is three minutes, and can be turned off. A show is 30 minutes or an hour, and can be turned off. A piece of artwork is available to take in over the course of a few moments. But books, books require an investment. And you have to do work. You’re not just observing, you are actively engaging in reading. And as a writer, I think it’s very important not to waste anyone’s time.

So I made it a point to write something that I believe is worthwhile. And after writing it, it felt great. But now I have to get people to read it. Which is less great. Because even though I want to share it, and even though I believe in it, I have to convince other people that they should as well. And though that makes me uncomfortable, what I have found is that thing that I started learning when I started college – no one else is going to do it for me. I’m the one who has to do the work. The ultimate responsibility is mine.

We all have things we want to do. Things we need to do. And we all have to start somewhere. Is there somewhere you are planning to go or something you are wanting to do? Find the time, find a way, and make it a point to do it. And along the way:

  • Don’t be afraid of what you write. Let it flow, even if it makes no sense.
  • Understand that even though people may be supportive, they may not be supportive in the way we’d like.
  • Remember that even though it’s going to get hard, it’s something worth doing.
  • Remember the journey is yours to take, and some of the people will have to come and go. (as will some characters)
  • Remember there are plenty of people who have made it through, so there’s no reason that you can’t, too.
  • Stay motivated. You have what it takes. YOU!
  • Smile. This is just good sense. It has the natural ability to lift your spirit, even when things are hard.


About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on November 2, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Nice post with lots of insight. Thanks.

  2. Great blog post. I often rely on an excessive support from others in order to do things, which isn’t good. I like your statement, “We are the sole decision makers in what we do each day. We are the ones who are affected by our actions.”

  3. This is a truly insightful post on the joys and frustrations of writing.
    It also made me think about other things that one does in life without being seen and therefore without any obvious reward. The reward is in doing the right thing and being contented within.
    Thanks for this post. you got me thinking today.

  4. Wow, well, that was a way kewl motivational post, i really enjoyed the read and bookmarked it in my to blog werld as a re blog one day soon, there are so many writers here with so many different topics nd issues of motivation i think they would all enjoy reading this one with my 2 cents werth also:) will think u something soon… Thank You..Q aka mike in colorful colorado 🙂

  5. Every word you wrote is so true; I agree 100000000000000000000000000000000000000%
    I was a mentor teaching college students, how to become preschool teachers; I always gave advise to parents; I always wanted to be listen to regarding my life situations. It felt like nobody listen when I talked about my situations. Writing sound great;

  6. “understand that even though people may be supportive, they may not be supportive in the way we’d like.” Thank you for this reminder!

  7. All is good advice… When I began blogging I was doing it for me…but it would have been sad if nobody ever wanted to read any of it…. and of course a book is a lot more invested time spent… Diane

  8. ‘Don’t be afraid of what you write.’ These are good words. I have a tendency to have the handbrake on and be in edit mode almost before I’ve started writing. This kind of advice is what I’m trying get into myself right now. To just go with it, flow, and edit later.

  9. I was introduced to your blog after you took some time out to read mine “Insight”. Thank you for that, and thank you for writing such an inspiring post. it feels good to see others reaching out and helping other writers share their works.

  10. Great post! Very thoughtful advice for writers. Thanks.

  11. I’ve written posts right along these lines: the value of readers’ time, esp. Thoughtful presentation.

  12. Reblogged this on Sketchbook: Notes About Music and the Arts and commented:
    Lauren’s advice is to a community of writers, but I feel her advice is equally applicable to musicians as well. We are the only ones who can make ourselves practice. We are the only ones who can make ourselves write lyrics and compose music. And at the end of the day, getting people to come to our shows is ultimately our responsibility.

    Read Lauren’s fine essay, and take her advice to heart.

  13. Great post! As a writer myself I can really relate to the difficulties faced.

  14. Two nights ago I was talking to some non-writer friends how this “writing thing” is a solitary hobby and that the self-discipline to get the work done is solely on my shoulders. Sounds like we are on the same page. 🙂 Thanks for re-posting this older article for us newbies to read.

  15. Thanks for liking my post, “Listen to me”. That’s what brought me here. That’s what got me to read your writing. That’s how we do it.We have to give to get but I believe giving is what we are made to do. Keep it up! I’ll keep reading.

  16. Lauren! Wow! Long time no see! I didn’t know you were writing again! I’m truly sorry… been caught up in my own little whirlwind… got a lot on, as always… but it’s good to “see” you and read your words of wisdom again… I hope you’re well 🙂

  17. I had completely forgotten about NaNoWriMo until I read your post. Many years ago, I had thought of giving it a try, decided it would be too hard, and then promptly forgot about it. Now I’m kind of inspired to get serious about it and see what happens. Thanks for the great reminder and great writing advice!

  18. Definitely great blog article. I write, rap and I used to draw 🙂 Staying motivated is a daily choice but one that is worth making!

  19. I write and paint. Writing consumes you as does painting. Balance is essential but difficult. I have a problem with the balance. Great blog, Barbara

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