Where do writers find a source of constant motivation? Earning a living is a very good motivator, but honestly this is a shallow well. Things like boredom, personal time, and other interests will inevitably slink in and you'll find yourself justifying these things today in exchange for harder work tomorrow.
Sometimes "tomorrow" happens several days later, which is symptomatic of a lack of motivation. All writers go through periods of writer's block, strings of boring topics, and a desire to focus on other things of interest.
Here are a few tips you can use to keep yourself motivated and constantly writing.
This Is Your Real Job
If you're relatively new to freelance writing and expect to make a living from it, you have to take one very important step. You have to tell yourself this is your fulltime job and then treat it as such. As simple as this sounds, countless freelance writers, or more accurately wannabe freelancers, don't understand this simple fact. As a result they have only moderate—or worse—success to show for their efforts.
Finding success as a writer takes hard work and discipline and that starts with setting up a daily schedule. If you worked at a bank, it's unreasonable to think you can show up at random times, on random days, and expect to have any measure of success. You'd lose your job before your first paycheck arrives, yet this is exactly what so many new freelance writers do.
Creating a daily schedule is actually a motivational step. It changes your writing from "hobby" to "career", which is the kind of significant shift in mindset it takes to treat writing with serious and deliberate intent. A career as a writer is exciting, ever-changing, and financially rewarding. These things serve as their own forms of motivation, particularly when compared to writing as a hobby. Hobbies come and go, they can be worked on in your spare time, and they're easy to forego when they become tedious or boring.
If this sounds familiar to you, chances are you have not transitioned your mindset from hobby to career.
Vanity Can Be a Positive Thing
Writers like to hear positive feedback about their work. It's a natural human desire, and any writer who says they aren't in it for the praise, at least to some extent, isn't being honest about what motivates them to write.
Seeking feedback from editors and establishing a fan base for your work is a great source of motivation. The feedback will help your sharpen your skills, as well as help you write in the style your clients desire. Professional critique designed to help you master your craft should always be taken as a positive event. After all, no editor is going to waste their time on writers who show no promise. They'll simply cut them loose.
If you're receiving regular constructive criticism from the people soliciting your work, as well as praise for your writing style, grammar skills, and attention to detail in your articles; you're doing something right and it should make you feel good. Use this as motivation to write another great article, and then another, and another. Before you know it you'll be writing great articles because you know you can, and this is one of the most powerful motivations a writer can tap.
Diversity Is Your Friend
Writing about the same things, over and over, will lead to certain boredom, particularly if you can't find new and interesting angles. A very effective way to stay motivated as a freelance writer is to write on a wide range of topics. Not only does this keep your workload fresh and interesting, it forces you to do some research on new topics, which I find very interesting.
In the same vein as using positive feedback as motivation, you'll quickly discover that writing great articles on subjects that are new to you has a domino effect. As a result you'll continually seek new and challenging assignments which will keep you excited about your career as a writer and fresh with new ideas for future articles.
Let your editors and other content seekers know that you're interested in writing on a wide range of topics. This is your career and you're the one in charge of it. Don't expect them to read your mind or to somehow know your goals as a writer. When you let them know, you're telling them you're serious about your career and recognize their role in helping you become successful.
It's Hard Work
Freelance writing is hard work, it doesn't come with a lot of glory, and it requires constant effort on your part to become successful and stay relevant. Most who attempt freelance writing do so for all the wrong reasons. Treating what you do as your career, with a schedule for writing and a desire to constantly improve your skills, will keep you in high demand with editors and content seekers.
Using the tips above will help you stay motivated, will help you tap into creative forces that will result in engaging content, and will foster good writing skills.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share on what keeps you motivated to keep going consistently every day?
This guest post is by Edwin who regularly writes about celebrities, TV, and movies for the Celebutaunt blog on USDish.