In my post What Spurs You On In Your Writing? I listed four things that encourage me to persist in writing: seeing improvement, satisfaction, a paycheck, and giving to others. These positive outcomes motivate me to want to write even more.
So I take proactive steps to make that happen. From these four results I have seen three writing characteristics emerge:
- I Use Deadlines to Keep Me on Track: Deadlines move me forward. I race against time to complete a project; I love it when I win. And when a project doesn’t have a deadline, I often give myself one so I can compete against myself. Meeting a deadline is great; finishing ahead of time is an added bonus.
- I Make Writing a Priority: I block out my schedule so I can write. I prioritize what I enjoy and what matters to me, giving my writing the best part of my day. I fit in with other tasks around it. And this just feeds back into the allure of the art.
- I Write Whether I Feel Like it or Not: On those rare times when I don’t feel like writing, knowing the possible outcomes spur me on. I sit down, and I write. The results will eventually come. I know if I push through the challenging times good writing will reward me in the end.
These are the natural outcomes of me doing what I love and enjoy—and from seeing the results from my work. They make me want to write even more. These three traits feedback into the first four. Momentum builds. And on it goes, with my writing feeding itself.
But my story isn’t yours. We are all at different points in our writing. The important thing is to do what we can to move forward. That is the right answer.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.