Saturday, 2 October 2010

Motivation and Habit

I heard this on the radio the other day, can't remember where or in what context, but it struck me as being very true for writing. 

"Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going."

We all need motivation to get any project going, whether it's learning Italian or going to the gym, but after the first flush of enthusiasm dies down, a lot of us drop out or give up.  Same with writing.  We get motivated to write a novel or a short story because we have a great idea, or some characters or a place we feel compelled to write about, but even the shortest of short stories will take more than ten minutes to write.  

We'll have to come back to it, and that's where habit comes in.  Sometimes I find I'm at the gym before I've almost realised it, my subconscious habits having propelled me along. (If I thought about it, I wouldn't go.) It's really important to develop good habits if you want to write.  

- Come in from work, and instead of sitting down in front of the TV with a cup of tea, take the tea to the computer.  
- The alarm goes off and instead of hanging on to every last second of sleep, you roll over, grab your pen and notebook and start to write. 
- Sunday morning, and while the rest of the household sits down with the papers, you're off writing.  

Whatever your writing style, develop a habit around it, and it will help you to finish your writing  projects.  

No comments: