Motivation vs. Inspiration

shutterstock_81172669For self-published writers, a lot of deadlines are self-imposed. This can be a blessing and a curse. It allows for flexibility, but it also enables us to procrastinate, since the only person we answer to is ourselves. Sometimes we’re waiting for inspiration to strike, but at least for me, I think that the real culprit is motivation. Do I have the energy, after a day of working my day job and a night with my adorable but rambunctious toddler, to sit down and write a couple thousand words? Or would I rather finish the Divergent trilogy? Perhaps if I had an editor breathing down my neck that would be the motivation I need to channel my inspiration and write.

However, motivation won’t be a problem for me in 2014. I have a unique deadline that is compelling me to finish writing the third book of The Conjurors Series. I’m having a baby in the middle of March. After my little bundle is here, I question whether, for at least a few months, coherent writing will be possible. So it’s up to me, right now, to admit that being pregnant is no excuse for slacking off. But having a newborn and a toddler might be a compelling reason to take a break in a few months.

Knowing that this deadline is coming has been both motivating and inspiring. It’s immovable, and every time my baby kicks inside me it’s a reminder that time is ticking by. But rather than feeling that the pressure of the deadline is leaving me blocked, I’m finding that my inspiration is there when I focus on it. I suspect it’s been there the whole time, and the only thing holding me back was finding the motivation to tap into it.

So once I land back on Earth and juggling two kids instead of one feels possible, I’m wondering how I can find the motivation to always chase after my goals this aggressively. I don’t think my husband would be on board with having babies every time I’m getting lazy with my writing.

What do you do to motivate yourself to adhere to your deadlines and keep writing when you’d rather be playing Candy Crush? Please tell me, because I’m going to need all the motivation I can find to write pretty soon!

7 thoughts on “Motivation vs. Inspiration

  1. My motivation lays in the belief that my writings are good and that it will bring joy to others. To this point I have written pretty much only for the theater and that’s where my readers are. And I think they enjoy my scripts, especially when we start do discuss it and they find out that it’s so much more to it than at a first glance.

      • Thanks. And yes, it is very rewarding and much fun. And I guess that’s something one need so the motivation for continuing with writing don’t die out.

  2. First – please accept my congratulations as well as my sympathies. Trying to birth an baby and a book at the same time is no small feat. I suffered from baby brain during my pregnancies and wouldn’t have been able to hold a plot together. During the first months after my youngest was born my entire family lived by the baby’s schedule. He accepted no substitutions. A good night’s sleep remains one of my primary motivators. Is whatever I am doing worth losing sleep over? Usually not.

    But in addition to sleep, to be motivated, all I have to do is look to my kids. Writing has the potential to provide me with a source of income with flexible hours. If I am successful, I might one day be able to leave the day job and spend more waking time with them – and yet still have an outet for adult interaction. Writing also gives me an excuse to look to their father and say – sorry hon, I have a word quota to meet tonight, whenever I need some “me” time. This is technically true as I maintain a large glaring pie chart o’ progress. Everyone gets excited when I get to color in a bit more of it.

    I set a realistic quota for myself, less than 1000 words per sitting. Yes I have cheated on myself a couple of times, especially over the holidays. It is good to be the boss every now and then after all, but I always have to make up the difference which can mean typing well into the night. This of course affects my sleep. Refer back to motivation number 1.

    • Thank you for this! First of all, I love the pie chart idea. That is awesome, and it is so cool that you have your family cheering you on and able to see how hard you’re working. And you are absolutely right about the motivation of writing enabling you to have the flexibility to be home with your babies. I dream that someday that might be me, too, and it really does keep me going.

  3. What a woman! Sounds like you have the inner strength to push past the demands of work and toddler. Keep your focus, and your success might spawn the opportunity to spend more time with your growing family. Hang tight; you can do it!

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