Lately, a few of my writer friends have asked me for some advice on how to get motivated writing. Considering I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately, I’m not sure I’m the best candidate to ask. Notwithstanding my questionable credibility, I always try to help my fellow writers however I can, wherever I can.
When I was in college, one of my English literature professors recommended Letters To A Young Poet by R.M. Rilke. My professor gave me great advice. Rilke’s book was one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read. In short, Rilke tells a young poet to draw from deep within himself to find his inspiration.
Sadly, I’m no Rilke. But here’s my advice, nevertheless.
1) Everyone has insecurities. Yep, even me. I’m an attorney with 20 years experience, and 6 books published, with 1 more coming, and I’m STILL grossly insecure about my work. I deal with it by writing, calling it crap if it makes me feel better to vent. But I still write, no matter how crappy I think it is. (It may be crap, but it’s my crap!)
2) The authors I’ve gotten to know through my writing circles have shared similar thoughts—we are all insecure about our work, no matter how many books we have published. The good news is that writers are here to support each other!
3) It’s best to give myself permission to periodically be LESS productive. This way, when I do decide to be uber-productive, I’m less resentful being tied to my computer when my family and friends are enjoying rest and relaxation in the sunshine.
4) If I’m feeling too “eh” to write creatively, I spent my time blogging, marketing, and/or networking. This way, I get at least something done, even if not everything I wanted to get done. (Or even the most important thing to get done.)
Like I said, I’m no Rilke. So, I’ll leave you with a quote from Rilke to inspire all of you: “For the creative artist must be a world of his own and must find everything within himself and in nature, to which he has betrothed himself.”
I’d love to know what inspires you.
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