An interesting question was asked about indie authors and motivation. Without a boss of any kind, we make our own deadlines that are about as flexible as an overcooked noodle. It gets even harder when the person is a full-time author. So how does one stay on track as a solitary organism operation? Cloning? Train mice to do your bidding? Extra wives/husbands? Removing all feasible distractions from TV to ceiling fans to any length of string? Let’s see some ideas.
- A blog can help by making public goals that are either weekly or monthly. This creates a sense of accountability since you, hopefully, have people reading your blog. They will know if you slack off or aren’t writing at all. I would call this the ‘forging of guilt and shame’ path. At least you try to avoid those two things.
- Make a personal deadline for things. This is easy. Just because you don’t have anybody screaming at you to quickly finish a job, doesn’t mean you remove deadlines entirely from your life. They can be at any scale. Maybe you want to write a chapter by the end of the week. Perhaps one a day. Just outline for a weekend. It’s all up to you and everything is on your head in the end.
- Claim an out of the house spot and get into a habit of going there at the same time on the same day. Starbucks, library, or anywhere that you can get work done. Pick a place and then train yourself to continue going there. This takes a lot of dedication and can get you odd looks. Yet the result is you carve out an area that draws out your inspiration and motivation.
- Always put some time aside for family and friends. This will prevent them from actively getting in your way when you want to write. No arguments of you being anti-social or people never seeing you. If you must go these connections for any length of time then you better not be in the house. Also explain where you’re going before somebody puts a missing person report out on you.
- Try not to look at what other authors are doing in terms of marketing, sales, and rankings. You might see this as motivating yourself and that will be the case at times. The danger here is that you might try to push yourself too quickly and rush the next release. If not that then you’ll jump into a marketing venue that simply doesn’t work for you or any number of mistakes that will take time to fix.
- Sleep. If you push yourself for too long then naps may ensue. At the very least, you will find your energy drain within an hour. So even if you’re motivated, you can barely move toward your notebooks or laptop.
- Look at the progress you’ve made to help push forward. Find those silver linings and bold victories to keep yourself going.