June 14, 2019 by Sarra Cannon
Have you ever had a dream that just felt so big, you couldn’t fully get motivated to work on it every day? This can be a huge stumbling block and one of the most frustrating parts of trying create a new life for yourself as a professional author.
Today, I’m going to give you my Top 5 Tips for How To Get (And Stay) Motivated As A Writer. These tips come from my own experience with burnout, procrastination, and struggling to reach my dreams for years before I finally found a system that works!
Have you taken the time to really sit down and get specific about what your ideal life and career look like? Sometimes, we have vague ideas about what we want, or we base what we think we want on what we see other people achieving.
But to be honest, it’s hard to truly motivate yourself to go out and chase someone else’s dream life.
Taking the time to figure out what you truly want and what your personal idea of success in this business looks like can help you get motivated to start moving toward it.
Yes, sometimes looking at what you want (and admitting it) can be scary, but if you truly want to feel motivated, you have to be willing to look at those big, scary dreams and claim them for yourself.
When it comes to motivation, nothing can kill it faster than a poorly-timed email or social media post from someone bragging about how they just finished something that feels impossible to you.
As creatives, many of us are really sensitive to how others make us feel, especially when it comes to people achieving the things we are trying to achieve.
If you find yourself following an author or friend whose posts or advice or judgments constantly make you feel scared, worthless, or uncertain about your own dreams, you have my permission to stop following them now.
Most of the time, people aren’t sharing their experiences or their major successes to make anyone else feel bad. They are allowed to celebrate or complain about whatever they want!
However, if you find yourself being affected by the things certain people say, it can often be best to step away from them (or from certain groups of people) in order to get yourself in the right mindset for productivity and motivation.
This next tip is key! Like I said in Tip 1, it’s so important to know what your big dreams are and why you want to go there, but sometimes those big dreams can seem terrifying or impossible.
The way to combat this fear is to plan short-term and be realistic about what you want to get done in that amount of time.
For me, 90-Day Planning works best. This is amazing, because you aren’t planning your whole life or trying to figure out how to get from Point A to Point Z. All you’re doing is planning what you’re going to do for the next 90 days. Three months.
It gives you control, where those big dreams might feel so out of reach. If you can learn to balance your big vision with a realistic short-term plan, you can get more done and move toward your dreams faster than you ever dreamed.
If you truly want to get motivated and stop procrastinating, this is absolutely one of the best things you can do for yourself. Keep your eye on the big vision, but break your year into 90 Days and your big goals into manageable, realistic projects and tasks.
This is something I teach in detail in my HB90 Bootcamp Course, which is open for enrollment now and begins with a Live Kickoff call June 20th! Find out more here.
This is an easy one, but a powerful one! It can be incredibly motivational to set up rewards for yourself when you hit certain milestones or accomplish certain things.
For example, you can set a weekly word count goal and also set a corresponding reward. If you write 5,000 words, you get to spend all day Saturday at the pool. Or if you get that newsletter sequence written, you can finally go buy that planner you’ve been eyeing. 😛
Rewards are extremely motivational, but it’s all about picking the right rewards. They don’t have to cost a lot of money, but they do need to be things that will make getting that task done more appealing than Netflix.
Another huge mistake I’ve made in the past that killed my motivation was that I tried to make changes that were way too big, all at once.
When I felt behind, I would vow to be my very best self, and instead of trying to write a little bit every day, I would tell myself I had to write five times more words per day than ever before in order to catch up.
Trust me when I say this did not work. Not even a drop. Even if I got through one day of writing, I would quickly feel depressed and unmotivated all over again, and I’d be back to binge watching TV and feeling like a loser.
One way to set yourself up for success and build momentum and motivation slowly is to make small, incremental changes. Instead of changing your whole life overnight, set a small, realistic goal.
So, for example, if you want to finish your book, challenge yourself to just write for 10 minutes every morning after you make your coffee. 10 minutes is nothing, right? You can totally do that!
It’s easier to motivate yourself when it seems easy or possible.
Then, after a week of writing for 10 minutes every day, bump it up to 15 minutes.
I’m the type of person who used to panic at this suggestion, because 15 minutes was not going to get me to my big goals fast enough! But, in the end, when I tried to change too much too fast, I got literally nothing done at all. So, honestly, those 15 minutes were a major improvement, even though they seemed small and doable.
Practice the art of incremental, doable changes, and I promise that over time, those small changes will add up to big results.
If you enjoyed this video and post and want to go even deeper into learning how to live a motivated life where you truly work toward your dreams, I highly encourage you to join me in the HB90 Bootcamp.
This is my life-changing productivity course that has already helped hundreds of people figure out what they want in life, prioritize their to-do lists, and make huge strides toward achieving their dreams–all in a way that feels easy and aligned.
The course begins with a live kickoff call on June 20th, and after that, doors will close for several months. Join the HB90 Bootcamp or read more about it here.
You can also now pick up my Q3 HB90 Method Printable Planner here on Etsy! It’s 20% off for a limited time! (Bonus: You get a free copy of the planner when you take the HB90 Bootcamp.)
I also have a brand new course that will be offered for the first time this summer called Publish And Thrive. This is a detailed, 5-week, self-publishing course that will begin on July 8th!
The normal price of Publish And Thrive will be $399, but for founding members, I’m dropping the price of this first class to only $299. Find out more about Publish And Thrive here.
When you sign up for both courses at once, you’ll get an additional $50 off. Join the Summer Course Bundle here. This special pricing is only available until June 20th.
I hope to see you in the courses!
I have been self-publishing my books since 2010, and in that time, I've sold well over half a million copies of my books. I'm not a superstar or a huge bestseller, but I have built an amazing career that brings me great joy. Here at Heart Breathings, I hope to help you find that same level of success. Let's do this.