August 07, 2013

4 Motivating Mind-Sets for Writers – Ramona Heikel

Most of the time, I think we writers have plenty of dreams and ambition, but often our own mind-set can frustrate our writing plans. I’ve been analyzing my own struggles for a while, and what I’ve come up with to resolve them is not new and earth shattering, but works for me.

1. The Fifteen-Minute Motivation

I notice that I am easily overwhelmed by huge tasks. This is true with any job I have to do, whether it is at work, home, hobbies or writing. But I have found that if I can just get started, I’ll be rolling in no time. I discovered this idea because in the winter, I just wanted to come home and veg-out after work, but our dog Tango had visions of romping in the snow. Then I told myself, “Come on, Ramona, you can go for fifteen minutes.” So without even entering the house except to drop my bags and grab the leash, Tango and I would head off, and within five minutes, I’d be as happy as he was to be outdoors in the fresh air. We’d usually walk about a half hour, sometimes more. Now I apply that to my writing. I can grab fifteen minutes just about anytime in my schedule, and once I get going, I may go for hours.

2. Avoiding Distractions (Literally)

I get excited about working on a story I’ve started, but as soon as I look around my home, all the chores and tasks demand my attention. But I have found great success writing in my car or at the proverbial coffee shop. I may only write for an hour or less, but it is amazing how much this accomplishes, probably because I am completely focused, even amid activities and conversations around me.

3. Immediate Rewards for Success

A trick similar to the one above is that I am on my way to do something I enjoy, but I don’t let myself actually go and do it until I’ve written so many words, or gotten to a certain milestone. This happened recently when I needed to get some kindergarten books from the library to help with a contest I was entering, but I didn’t allow myself to go in until I’d written a detailed outline of my story. I was surprised that I could force my mind to focus by dangling the library carrot! That immediate reward encouraged some solid planning that produced a good story.

4. Recognizing the “Tired-Voices”

After work, I want to write, but the later it is in the day, the less I can concentrate and create. I notice that if I’m tired, I am very hard on myself and easily discouraged. I often criticize my ideas, ridicule what I’m writing or convince myself that I have absolutely no talent as a writer. Now that I understand this, I find more success writing in the mornings whenever possible, and am learning to recognize that the “tired-voices” are not necessarily telling the truth.

Helpful? I hope so!

Posted by Ramona


  1. Great tips, Ramona! I like knowing what's working for you. I can relate to each you mentioned.

  2. I love all of these ideas! I read a book recently that suggested similar ideas, especially the 'fifteen minute' one. I've tried it and it works. Also, promising yourself a reward is good too

  3. Thank you both! I do need whatever help I can get :)


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