3 Ways to Find Motivation as a Fiction Writer

The joy of writing had disappeared. The sense of wonder, awe and accomplishment was no longer there. Suddenly, writing became a grueling task, a chore. It became draining. All motivation was gone. Sound familiar? Has this happened to you? Because it’s definitely happened to me. That’s when I knew I had problem with motivation.

What was my solution?

I had to step away for a bit and get back into writing for fun. I had to regroup and find the joy again. If you’re struggling, I suggest you do the same. Instead of trying to force yourself into some strict routine, take a step back. Take a break. The problem for me was, I didn’t know what to step back to. If it came down to it, I was willing to go back to reading both poorly and well written fan-fiction to get my motivation back. The first thing I did was the hardest…

1. I allowed myself to slack off.

It’s one of the hardest things to do. Beforehand, I felt guilty when I didn’t write. The guilt wouldn’t put me in a writing mood and it went into this downward spiral of guilt and not writing, falling even more behind. I knew that I was doing myself a great disservice because this was my dream- this is my dream and there is no magic hand that’s going to write your book for you- trust me, I’ve looked.

I am not ashamed to admit that I tried my hand at services like Upwork where you can both be a ghostwriter, and hire ghostwriters. (Note: A ghostwriter is someone who writes but doesn’t take creit for their own work. Many times celebrity biographies are written by ghostwriters). To make a long story short, I handed a ghostwriter an outline to have them write short stories for me. In the end, no matter how talented the writer was, it wasn’t my voice- wasn’t my heart and soul. My own ideas felt foreign, strange and robotic. They lacked meaning and feeling. I refused to put my name on it and regarded the entire experience as a waste of time and money – two of my most precious resources. Looking at it as a learning experience makes it appear as less of a waste.

You can tell five different people to draw a tree and get five different distinct drawings of a tree. The bottom line is, only you can make this happen and the point of any goal is to ultimately be happy, right? Life isn’t supposed to be some grueling chore. It’s supposed to be fun. We’re supposed to live life.

2. I went back to reading fan fiction (both good and bad), novels, and I started reading comic books.

I’m not talking about your typical Batman/Avengers/Superman comic books that we all think of. If you haven’t been into a comic shop, I invite you to check out your closest one. Within comic book stores are hidden worlds from secret imaginations. My partner is actually the one who got me into them. He, too, thought of comics as many of us who haven’t read them do. Overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Here are 7 unique and imaginative comics to get you started.

Secondly, have you ever heard the phrase “evil begets evil?” Well it’s the same way with art- art begets art. Introverted? Don’t worry – most people are nowadays. Venturing out to an art gallery or museum won’t kill you. On a budget? Washington D.C. has free museums. We’ve been there several times and never see the same thing twice. I’ll be sure to write a post about our D.C. adventures and link it here.

3. I traveled more.

Piggy-tailing off of the last paragraph, we started traveling and going on more trips, trying new restaurants and experiencing new things. Instead of burying myself in our home and trying to lock myself in a room until the words came out, I got out of the room. I got out of my comfort zone and familiar surroundings. I tried new things.

You don’t have to go far. I’m not asking you to leave the country or even leave the state/providence. Try something new. Live your life and you’ll find that your writing will start to flourish.

Sometimes we often take for granted our own backyards. And by that I mean that we don’t take the time to explore our hometown or the town next door. Eat at a new restaurant, experience new flavors. While routine and habit can be nice, going to the same restaurants, ordering the same foods, seeing films in the same theater, taking the same route to work and even buying groceries in the same store can stall creativity. Your brain needs new experiences, new triggers.

Have you ever noticed that many people who retire and have no goals or ambitions, often deteriorate in health and die soon afterwards? Don’t be that person! Experience life. Set goals up and get out. Your writing will thank you for it!

Happy writing.

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Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.

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