Guest Post By Peggy Bogaard-Lapp
One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up with my mind racing with ideas for a new blog. I grabbed the notebook off my shelf and started brainstorming. I was so excited to finally have a focus of all those ideas that had been bouncing around in my brain. I went on with my daily routine, got my daughter to school, ran a few errands, and sat down later that afternoon and looked at my notes. I re-read the list. Nothing sparked me like it had earlier that morning. The excitement was no longer there, and I thought that after re-reading it, some of it seemed pretty lame. I had lost the crucial part of writing. I had lost the motivation to push into the topic and make it better.
Motivation is our reason for taking action to follow a desire to write, cook, run a marathon, or whatever strikes us. Motivation does not just jump out of bed with you every morning. It has to be stoked, poked and sometimes dragged along.
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If only motivation were a vitamin, we would all be working out with Orange Theory, writing books like Harlan Coben, and painting like Picasso.
Even getting motivated to write this post took more than I thought it would. Over the past few months, I have been gearing up to grow my new blog. I thought that the research, information gathering, and the due diligence would simply take me to the golden gate that leads to successful blogging. Somewhere I veered into the ditch, more than once, and needed to be pulled out. I read about the calls for submissions, and bookmarked the sites, dreamt of writing a spectacular post or article, and then….. bleh. I lost the motivation as soon as I would click off to another link or scroll on to a new post. I just didn’t feel motivated to follow through. I needed motivation!
I’m on the other side of 40, and I look back (too often) and think of missed chances, and the writing I didn’t do – all those thoughts and words that have just evaporated! I want to share things with the world. I have the talent and the ideas. I can make the time to do it. I’m confident in my writing. I’m just short on the motivation vitamin.
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My motivation comes from different places at different times. They don’t always work together, but somehow they do their job just when I need them.
Seeing others succeed and reading great blog posts has been the biggest factor in my motivation. I follow blogs that are edgy, and keep me in the know, and I joined several groups that promote writing of any kind, like the Blogging From A-to-Z April Challenge. Rubbing virtual elbows with other writers, in groups like Beyond Your Bloggers has expanded my world and given me inspiration to do more.
Comments from readers help you to know there actually is someone out there (hopefully a lot of someones) that do read your posts and are interested in having a dialogue about it. It doesn’t always happen, but new connections through those comments can be made that take you into bigger and better places.
This past weekend I watched the movie Motherhood with Uma Thurman. She plays a very busy mommy who juggles too many tasks, not including planning a birthday party for her six-year-old daughter. All this happens while writing a contest entry about what motherhood means to her. There were many similarities to my life, especially the way she procrastinates and finds many distractions to finishing her 500 word entry by midnight. It was fun to watch a movie that I related to. Trying to find time to do something that means so much to your own psyche is tough when you are also a mom. In the end she gets her contest entry written, the party is a success, and her husband tells her he truly loves and appreciates her. Happy endings aren’t always in the movies – make yours happen!
Deadline pressure is necessary. Even this guest post floated around in my head for too long before I realized it was time to get serious. Posting about something before it has already passed its peak is important, and one of my biggest challenges. Other writers give me motivation too, like when my sixth grader came home from school and said she wanted to be a writer. My proudest moment!
As long as you are writing about something you enjoy, motivation should come easily. The words just have to get out. They need to get out. Otherwise it all sits inside your head, and gets lost in the daily mess. Your words are important, if only to you. Each page I fill brings out more and more ideas and thoughts. I hope it’s the same for you.
Motivation is what keeps up moving forward. It’s not always loud and we don’t always have it. But when we do, it really can bring out our best.
Peggy Bogaard-Lapp is a native Coloradoan, and life long writer. She spends summer vacation camping and fishing with her family, always hoping to catch the biggest fish, and as often as possible on the back of a Harley with her knees in the breeze. Read her blog at Pretty Dang Good