- Writer's Life
Most writers are motivated to write for a while. Many writers are even highly motivated to write. But is this enough to be a successful writer? I will argue that it isn’t quite sufficient since irrational motivations can stir us in too many different false directions and can lead to many incomplete writing projects. This can further lead to a lack of focus and lessened productivity at the end of the day.
A writer’s motivations tend to fluctuate from time to time. This is normal because motivations are usually based on temporary or short-term excitement towards a writing project. But for many of us, our motivations alone cannot carry us through all the trials and tribulations of completing writing projects. As soon as our energies start to wander or dwindle, or something unforeseen happens in our life to distract us from our main writing goals, our motivations turn flat, and we quit whatever we’re working on, many times never to return to it. Again, this can lead to many started and incomplete manuscripts and a largely unsuccessful writing life.
I’ve been there myself at the beginning of my writing career. Every week or two a fascinating topic would strike me as a promising prospect for a writing project. I would spend a week or so working on the project full throttle. Then one day I’d wake up and suddenly my inclinations to continue working on the project would dwindle and I didn’t want to work on it any longer. This went on for a few years until I realized that I needed something much more predictable to stick with a writing project to its completion. But what exactly did I need?
After some reflection, I realized that I needed something more than a motivation. I had to make a decision to see the project through to the end, regardless of how I felt about it in the short-term. So, I had to create a long-term plan to complete the project. Obviously, this took much more than motivation. It involved a firm commitment to see the project through to completion.
I believe that what writers need to be successful is commitment. Commitment goes way beyond the fluctuating short-term excitement of beginning a new project.
So, join me for a whole run down on how to be a highly efficient writer. We all can be by developing a few habits.