Write on a WHIM: Work, Help, Inspiration and Motivation
by Amy O'Quinn
Coming up with new ideas on a consistent basis can be time-consuming and overwhelming. However, creating content is the name of the game for writers, so we have to write whether the muse is present—or not. We may possess dreams and intentions, but those don’t pay well or get our names out there. As writers we must WRITE (and finish what we start) in order to make any progress. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
The WHIM Factor
Set aside a time to write every day and actually work during that time! Without a schedule, we probably won’t get anything done because life happens. I can have the best intentions, but if I don’t actually make out a writing schedule (in ink), the day is gone before I have written the first word. If something is put on a to-do list, it is more likely to happen.
Treat writing as a professional business—because it is! Keep scheduled hours and do the work. Don’t waste time by checking email, Facebook, or Twitter. Set a word count, and don’t quit until it is completed. Be determined. Be dedicated. Apply butt glue. WORK!
We can all get stalled at some point in our careers, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from seasoned writers or offer help to newbies. More experienced writers are usually happy to offer advice and answer questions (within reason). Asking questions on forums is also a great idea. Remember, we were all beginners once. I try not to be a pest or require too much time out of another writer’s busy schedule, but the only dumb questions are those that are unasked.
However, pay it all forward whenever possible. With each success and mastered learning curve, we are in a position to help those who are a few steps behind us in their writing careers.
Inspiration can find us anywhere. I keep a small notebook with me to record sights, sounds, impressions, ideas, and even dreams. If things are not written down immediately, they are hard to recall.
I have also found that certain kinds of music will inspire me. Music evokes memories, or even put me in the mood to write. That’s why I like Pandora or Sky FM. Song lyrics can also spark ideas.
Create a vision board. I like to find pictures of what I’m writing about or even how I see myself as a writer. Staying focused is key, and having something tangible in front of me helps.
Pinterest is also inspirational. I have all kinds of boards dedicated to writing, book love, people, places, and ideas to research, history, and even favorite quotes. If it inspires me or piques my interest, I pin it! When I’m stuck for ideas, it’s a great place to visit.
We all have times when we really don’t feel like churning out a daily word count, but action begets motivation. Getting started is often the hard part. Just do it!
Revisit your vision board. Remember why you write. What are your long-term goals? Push through negative feelings.
If you don’t have a personal reward system in place, create one!
Read quotes about perseverance, writing, writers, etc. Sometimes a single quote can light my fire and motivate me to write!
So, if you are struggling to advance your career as a wordsmith, remember—write on a WHIM!
*Article originally appeared on The Work Writer's Club website HERE.