We’re All in This Together: Motivation Post #2

How do you keep yourself motivated? We all like to have written, but find it hard to stay motivated to write.

Yesterday several children’s writers weighed in on how they stay motivated. Today, Alayne Kay Christian gives several tips for staying motivated.

Alayne Kay Christian

Author of “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa”


Some words my thesaurus gives for “motivated” are inspired, stimulated and encouraged. Some antonyms for those words are demotivated, uninspired, depressed and discouraged.

When it comes to writing, do you ever feel demotivated? Discouraged? Uninspired? Depressed or frustrated? What might be behind those feelings? Following are ten obstacles to consider when you lack the motivation to write. I have listed a few ways to combat each obstacle. Can you find some other ways?

1. Fear

List the beliefs, thoughts, events, situations etc. that are behind the fear and find a way around those obstacles.

2. Lack of Knowledge

Take classes; read; ask questions; participate in writing community discussions; join a group like Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12; attend conferences; join a critique group; read blogs.

3. Lack of Ideas

Join Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo; start an idea file; live life thinking like a writer – eventually you’ll hardly go through a day without hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting or feeling something that sparks an idea; ask other writers how they get ideas. This is a common question in author interviews, so read interviews.

4. Rejections

Read “We’re All in This Together” posts on rejection (post #1 and post #2) and my post on TWELVE METHODS FOR COPING WITH REJECTIONS.

5. Other People’s Successes

Instead of letting the green-eyed monster frustrate, discourage or depress you, do something nice. Congratulate the other writers. Buy their books. Share their success on your blog or elsewhere. Let their success inspire you. Believe the same is possible for you.

6. Feeling Overwhelmed or Overloaded

Take a break by doing enjoyable things that you have not allowed yourself to do for a long time. Cut yourself some slack and prioritize. Are all those “shoulds” spinning around your head really that important? See time management link in #10 this post. Journal, meditate, vent to someone that you know truly understands.

7. Distractions

Set limits on social media and other computer distractions. Find a place and time to write that is void of distractions. Are you a distracted mom? See Marcie’s “Mom’s Write” series.

8. Writing for the Wrong Reasons

Ask yourself why you are writing. If it is to become famous or make lots of money, those reasons might not be enough to motivate you after you’ve received a few rejections. They might not be enough to motivate you away from distractions. There has to be something in it that makes you want to write no matter what. Even if no one ever reads it, you are compelled to write. What makes you love writing? According to my Webster’s Dictionary, the definition for motivate is “To provide with a motive.” The definition of motive is “Something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.” What is your motive for writing?

9. Beating a Dead Horse

After sending the same story to your critique group twenty times, you might feel like you are beating a dead horse. After getting twenty rejections for the same manuscript, you might feel like you are beating dead horse. When going around in circles editing the same old five stories, you might feel like you are beating five dead horses. Try putting the dead horses away for a while and start writing five fresh stories.

10. No Time

Look at your time realistically. Are you trying to fit a 72-hour day into 12 hours? If so, you have too much on your plate and something must go. What will it be? When considering this, the first place to look is time wasters. Check out these time management tools


Your turn: What keeps you motivated when things in your writing life get tough?


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  1. This is a great post. And I didn’t know about Marcie’s Mom’s Write series. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. There’s soooo much good stuff here, Alayne. Thanks, coach!

  3. Excellent tips and summary from yesterday’s post. #5 and #7 resonated with me the most. Thanks Marcie!

  4. A great list of motivational tips. Thanks for mentioning PiBoIdMo. Even though I am often too busy organizing it to reach my own goal of 30 ideas, it always turns out to be my most productive month. I’m so deep into it all, that I end up writing great manuscripts in November.

    • Glad you liked the tips, Tara. I had to share PiBoIdMo because the gift that we give ourselves (as an extension of your gift – the challenge and group)when we work to come up with our daily idea is a gift that lasts all year long. Even if participants turn only a third of their ideas into PBs, that is 10 books in one year!

    • Thanks, Tara! I do think so many of us are motivated by challenges, like yours. A very productive month can help keep us going the rest of the year. 🙂 And by the way, I LOOOOOVE MONSTORE!

  5. Thanks, Marcie! I can’t believe that I forgot to mention Sub Six as a good group to join – so glad the other “We’re All in This Together” authors mentioned it in yesterday’s motivation post.


  1. […] stories and tips from Sue Heavenrich, Carol Munro, Vivian Kirkfield, and Marcie Flinchum Atkins. Part Two features the one and only ME. In this guest post, I offer ten common obstacles to staying motivated […]