Motivation of the Indie Author

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Look at the progress you’ve made to help push forward.  Find those silver linings and bold victories to keep yourself going.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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68 Responses to Motivation of the Indie Author

  1. This is excellent advice and I am reblogging. Thank you for always sharing your motivation! ❤

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  2. Reblogged this on Silver Threading and commented:
    Just reading this gave me tons of motivation to stay on task! Thank you Charles!

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I went freelance 19 years ago and these helpful tips apply to anyone who is working from home. It took me a while to begin to treat each day as a working day and the bigger problem is scheduling down time. But when you love what you do…..

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  4. …also reblogging… great advice for bloggers, writers and scribblers of all types… thanks, that man, Charles:):)

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  5. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    …great advice for bloggers, writers and scribblers of all types… thanks, that man, Charles:):)

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  6. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Great advice from Charles – although point 5 might be difficult, after all, you’ve got to read books by others sometimes just to relax 😀

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  7. tjtherien says:

    I am finishing up two weeks in the country away from most distractions that I’ve used to gain some headway in editing of the second “Scrolls” novel. While I haven’t made as much progress as I would like I have made much more than I was at home. I return home tomorrow and will have to buckle down on the editing and not getting sidetracked before I start classes on May 4th. I still think I will meet my announced release date of May 25th, but it’s going to be tight. Worst case scenario is I push the release off a week or two to ensure I have a novel worth reading. Book two is a little more complex in story than was book one so I’ve had a few speed wobbles, but I’m on track…

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    • Cool. Are you going to do a cover reveal or any pre-release marketing? Always willing to help if you need it. Getting away is definitely a good idea if you can pull it off.

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      • tjtherien says:

        I was lucky and someone offered me a place for two weeks… I have a draft of the cover, I’m just waiting for some minor modifications and hopefully will be doing a cover reveal in the coming weeks. As usual I haven’t given much in the way of pre-marketing although I might post a few excerpts in May to do a little teasing of what is in the book without spoiling the story…I appreciate any help and will keep you posted… now back to work…my break is up and my boss (me) is screaming at me…lol

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      • Good luck with the finishing touches.

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  8. “Try not to look at what other authors are doing in terms of marketing, sales, and rankings.” <– I cannot tell you how many times I've told fellow authors this. It just sets them up for feeling down. Great article, Charles!
    ~SAT

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    • Thanks. I say it all the time, but I fail when I’m feeling down. Not sure what draws me to observing the successes of others when I’m already moody. It’s a strange habit I’ve had since high school.

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  9. olganm says:

    Great advice. I’ve done the not sleeping much but you pay for it eventually. Thanks to Sally Cronin for sharing too!

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  10. Having a clone does help with some aspects of being an author (someone else to handle social media or editing, for example), but as far as I have seen, it doesn’t make much difference as far as motivation is concerned.

    Personal deadlines work, but the trick is not to freak out and then drop everything if you are delayed somewhat because of things outside your control.

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    • A clone does help clear the schedule of distractions and chores though, which can help clear the way for motivation. At least until it decides to go evil and attempt to claim the author’s life as their own. Same goes for robotic doubles too.

      Benefit of personal deadlines is that they can be flexible. As you said, things can be outside of the author’s control.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I like number 3, getting out of the house regularly to write. Great post. We all need (especially me) to stop procrastinating and WRITE! 🙂

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  12. These are all good ways. I like number five a lot. I see stuff that I know won’t work for me but want to try it anyway just to say I’ve tried everything. Good post.

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    • 5 seems to be popular, but I think it’s also the hardest to hold to. Being an indie author means befriending other indie authors, so you have to pay attention to when you congratulate your peers. This really does help teach humility and teamwork though.

      Excellent statement on trying something just to say you tried it. You never know what will work.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Training mice… Might try that one. 🙂

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  14. mgill0627 says:

    Great list for one whose motto is “never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.”

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  15. Great advice! I took myself right away to a writer’s retreat in Devon when I REALLY wanted to get something done. It’s where I started and planned out my book with no distractions at all and no guilt. And with someone doing all the cooking and clearing up, plus bringing me wine in the evening, it doubled as a holiday.

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  16. dorne whale says:

    Reblogged this on Write Dorne – Putting life into words. and commented:
    As someone who has the outline for a non fiction book , along with the chapters, set up; but who has yet to do something with it… this is just perfect.
    I suspect I’m not alone and so I am reclogging this great post… to motivate we fence-sitters!
    Thanks for visiting and have a great day.
    Until the next time.

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  17. dorne whale says:

    I might even reblog it; when I have put my reading glasses on! LOL! 🙂

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  18. Good ideas, Charles, and I like the humor. 😀 — Suzanne

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  19. Ali Isaac says:

    Good post! I have been toying with the idea of no 1, but just the thought of it makes me feel like a failure already lol!

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  20. M T McGuire says:

    Excellent post. Some days I succeed at this, others I fail royally and get about an hour of writing done. I try to do three hours every day, packing it in with all the other things I can only do when my lad is at school. It never ceases to amaze me how short the school day is. 🙂

    Cheers

    MTM

    Like

  21. jjspina says:

    Good advice, Charles. Thank you for sharing. When I get into writing I forget about everything else including eating. Lol!

    Like

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