Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 Self-Motivators for Writers

January is often a time when we wrap ourselves in the Cloak of Determination. If, like me, your cloak has a tendency to slip from your shoulders, I offer you the following motivators to keep on writing:

10. You can have a cookie(s) when you finish for the day.

9. In the midst of the shambles you've already written, which is mocking you from the page, there is one sentence you really like. Focus on it.

8. What would you be doing if you weren't writing? Do you really want to be doing that?

7. Think about how far you've come; not how far you still need to go.

6. Fantasize about what you'd treat yourself to with some of that royalty cheque. Perhaps it's a personal chef to make you cookies.

5. You love your characters. If you can't keep on writing for yourself, keep on writing for them.

4. Having the discipline to keep on writing even when it's tough is what separates the real writers from the wannabees. Do you really want to be a wannabe?

3. Remember why you started writing this story in the first place.

2. Accomplishment makes anyone glow. Go for the glow!

1. This story deserves to be written and only you can write it.

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Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her twelve murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.comShe has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Her blog, It's A Mystery, explores the writing process with a touch of humor. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites.


  1. I love all of these. I have to use some of these as incentives when things get slow for me. Especially the cookies.

    #3 and #1 Remind me of a post I made on my own blog recently called A Love Song to My Manuscript Sometimes it's good to remind yourself why you love this story you're writing and why you want to see it through to the end.

    Thanks so much for the post!

  2. Something that worked well for me last year was allowing myself to make my writing a priority and getting something down early in the day.

  3. This is wonderful. I especially love the idea of hiring a chef to make me cookies. *grins*

    I always feel more determined in January to write because I've just gone back to work from a couple week vacation (I work at a university) and after time being a hermit, and quite happy being so, it really motivates me to get writing goals done at the hope that I can become one for more than two weeks...

  4. Great idea to think of the rewards of writing and not dwell on what makes it difficult.

    Morgan Mandel

  5. I'm a #s 5 and 1 kind of writer. I love the whole cookies aspect, but alas, this is in direct conflict with another of my resolutions.

  6. Those are some great motivators. Especially the love for characters. :-)

  7. I really liked number 5. That has actually kept me going when I have faltered in the latest book. Cookies are good, too, as is a piece of chocolate for a reward.

  8. Hahaha! Love Maryann's assumption that the cookies are chocolate. :)

  9. Oops--read too fast--just saw the word "is" in her comment. I guess the assumption was mine! So you see the problem...

  10. This is excellent advice. Every writer needs to hear things like this every once in a while.

  11. Number 6 always works for me ... I was able to buy a cookie with the last royalty check.

  12. Donelle; I'm off to check out your blog!

    Elle; Good for you!

    Cindy; I like the idea of a cookie chef too! As for writing, remember even one new word is one more than you had yesterday.

    Morgan; I'm glad you liked the post. Sometimes a walk on the sunny side of the street makes all the difference.

    Kathryn; I understand your dilemma. But...cookies...

    Misha; Thanks! I can't write characters I don't love. Why would I want to voluntarily spend time with people I can't stand?

    Maryann; #5 has kept me going several times.

    Kathryn; Chocolate cookies! YUM!

    Eric; I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. It's appreciated.

    Cruise; Thanks.

    Christopher; One cookie is better than no cookies.

    Dani; #6 - Yeah, baby!

  13. Wicked awesome motivators!

    One of the things my significant other is always saying is, "You are what you want to be". If I want to be a writer, it's up to me to make that happen. (Hugs)Indigo

  14. Indigo; Frightening, but true. Glad you liked my post! (hugs)

  15. Love the list! I live by #10. I'm big on rewarding myself for creative work accomplished. LOL Perhaps this is too my detriment. Could one have too many cookies and sweet things? ;-)

  16. Can I have ice cream instead of a cookie? I really love ice cream.

  17. Great list of motivators, Elspeth! I'll be sending my writer clients here for encouragement and inspiration.

    ...and I'm glad Christopher was able to buy a cookie with the last royalty check! LOL

  18. LD; Of course you can - how about cookie dough ice cream?

    Jodie; Thanks for letting me know you liked my list - and I was glad to hear about Christopher's purchase too.

  19. I saw a link to this posting on Facebook and I'm so glad I opened it. These are great and just the inspiration I needed today. Thanks!

  20. I saw a link to this posting on Facebook and I'm so glad I opened it. These are great and just the inspiration I needed today. Thanks!


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