“If I waited till I felt like writing, I would never write at all.” Anne Tyler.
As much as children’s writers love their job, like most writers they find it difficult to find every second of the journey riveting. It’s also a job that is particularly difficult since the process relies overmuch on self-discipline and little else. Plus the deadlines are self-imposed and it’s a lonesome job, minus colleagues and peers. Given all that, it’s easy to procrastinate getting into the writer’s chair and then finding time slip by with nothing to show for it except blank sheets.
Waiting for inspiration to strike rarely works. So, find out what it takes for you to stay motivated and stay focused for the length of time it takes to complete the task. Here are some ideas which might be useful in keeping you inspired to write.
Find Your Inspiration
Every now and then, all writers need to do a little introspection and revisit the real reason they do what they do. We all need to touch base with what really matters to stay inspired and go the distance.Maybe it is the thrill of being able to reach out to a child or inspire a child. Being a children’s writer is a long term commitment that requires focus and motivation. Unless you have clarity on your personal reason, it is difficult to stay faithful to the art of writing.
Fear of Failure
Despite the popular view, fear is not always a negative factor. Fear of failure can be one of the best motivators a writer can have. In a lonely profession, fear can keep alive the competitive spirit and sharpen the will to succeed. If you have invested your idea and energy in your book, it is reasonable to feel some pressure to finish the project. Use this stress as the driving force in helping you to accomplish your dream. A little fear is not always a bad thing.
Set the Deadlines
While some writers fall apart under the pressure of deadlines, there are writers who thrive on it. If you are that kind of writer, set yourself some deadlines with teeth. For maximizing the effect, make sure that there are real consequences to breaking the deadlines. Better still; get a friend or fellow writer to work together on setting the deadlines and enforcing them.
Reward yourself by daydreaming about your success. Visualize the glory of your book being on the best-seller list. Of course, you need to keep the fantasies under control but nevertheless, feeling good about yourself may be just what you need to reach your goal. On good days when you have met your writing target, reward yourself with some goodies – a scoop of ice-cream, a slice of rich cake. Because you deserve it.
Part of a Community
Build up a community around you and use this as your support system for writing. Published authors will help demystify the process of writing a book. And fellow novices will share in your journey. All this should make it easier for you to build up the fortitude required to peg away at the keyboard for as long as it takes to complete the book.
Finally, write about something you love. Sometimes it is just easier to push something you believe in rather than trying to chase the flavor of the month. Here’s hoping you find your personal impetus to take you through to the finish line. Happy Writing!