Sunday, June 7, 2009

Motivation

What motivates you?

For me it all depends on what I'm doing. About a year ago I started an exercise program. I had given working out a couple half hearted tries in the past, never really sticking to any kind of program long enough to see any results. Then last summer I decided I really needed to get serious. I got a used treadmill from my sister-in-law and told myself I would faithfully use it. And I did. I ran three days a week. And while I was definitely getting in to a good routine, it really felt like a chore to hike down the stairs on hop on that thing on workout days. I lacked motivation.

Then around November I picked up a poster of my favorite teen-aged vampire (I think I've mentioned my "Twilight" obsession before?!), and hung it in front of my treadmill. And what do you know? I wanted to head downstairs and run ALL THE TIME. Then not only did I get to stare at the VERY hot Robert Pattinson portraying Edward Cullen, I started to see results. The numbers on the scale started to go down. My clothes were loose. Very motivating. Now, a year later, I've lost weight, toned up, and dropped 4 jean sizes. Not too shabby.

So for me, forget those expensive diet and exercise programs. For me a used treadmill and a five dollar poster did the trick. I also had the support of a good friend who also started running around the same time. We continue to find ways to encourage and motivate each other.

With writing, it's all about finding the right motivation as well. Sometimes it's a picture (like my poster) that is inspiring. Perhaps a magazine picture will bring to mind the look of a certain character. If that happens I clip it out and tack it to the board next to my computer.

Also tacked next to my computer in the cover art for my upcoming release, WILD WEDDING WEEKEND. Seeing that everyday motivates me to get writing so I can hang another cover on my board.

Holding a book I've already written in my hand is extremely motivating. Because I want more of them. I want a whole shelf full of Debra St. John books.

I've mentioned before that music motivates and inspires me. Sometimes there's a story in every song. Sometimes there's a story in just one line. But just in general, music gets me going. It puts a song in my head and a story in my heart.

I belong to a VERY supportive writers' group. Just attending meetings and hearing about fellow members' successes helps keep me motivated.

What really helps me is a deadline. Whether it's one set by my editor or a goal I've set for myself, having a definite time period to work with really helps to get me going. Saying I have all the time in the world to accomplish something is probably the best way to ensure that nothing will get done.

So, my goal for this summer is to finish my WIP, begin promotion for WILD WEDDING WEEKEND, take a serious look at another idea I have spinning around in my head, and of course, to visit Edward downstairs by the treadmill at least five times a week.

And at the moment, I am motivated to accomplish all of that and more. So, we'll see where I'm at with all of this at the end of the summer!

So how about you? If you get the chance, pop in and let me know what motivates you...

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra

www.debrastjohnromance.comcoming soon from The Wild Rose Press
WILD WEDDING WEEKEND

12 comments:

Susan Macatee said...

Unfortunately for me, it was a stroke that paralysed the left side of my body that motivated me to fix what was broke. I followed my therapy program, lost weight and, once I was fully functional again, started a regular exercise program to keep me on track. Now, ten years later, I exercise every morning, five days a week. I've maintained my ideal weight and look forward to my morning workout.

For my writing, I've become highly motivated by five fairly recent sales to The Wild Rose Press. Two for novels, three for short stories. One came out last year and the others will all be released this year. I'm working with editors on two of the stories, but am also working on a first draft for a brand new full-length and revisions on another. I want to keep those contracts coming and am looking forward to holding a print copy of my first full-length romance in my hands next month.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Deb-

Wow- you motivate me! :) great post. I look forward to your next release and reading more.

Cheers!

www.nancyjparra.blogspot.com

Bethanne said...

Wonderful and inspiring, Deb. Thanks for sharing. Love, life, family and God inspire me. :) Storeis of triumph...that's what I like to hear. Love your story, Susan.

Mary Ricksen said...

I have to be honest. I don't find motivation that way. I think I motivated by the results that I will get from what I do.
Sometimes fear motivates me. Fear of failing, fear of not being good at what I am trying to do. Things like that.
What motivates me to write is the need to accomplish. It's the results that do it for me.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I am big on 'to-do' lists, so if I put "write two hours" on my list, I will do it, because I love crossing things off my list. If I don't write it down, then I do not feel as compelled...

Music is very motivating and it helps me to complete scenes faster.
It also really helps on my treadmill. If I can set up a selection of good, fast-paced, heavy-beat songs, I can trot for hours!

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Debra St. John said...

Hi Mary, Bethanne, Nancy, Susan, and Diane: Thanks for checking in. Reading about what motivates others and hearing your stories is very inspiring to me. It amazes me what struggles people go through in life, but still remain strong.

Patricia said...

A participant at a workshop I was presenting once said to me, "I can't seem to do the writing I should or want to do. I want to write, but I don't. What can I do to change that?"

My response was, "Discover your motivation."

You are so right, we will write (or exercise, or...) only when we are sparked by the right motivation. For me, it has always been my need/desire to earn a living through my writing. And that's why assignments and deadlines motivate me; and why I am self-motivated, as well.

Are there any of you out there who can't not write?

Patricia Fry
Visit my informative blog www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

Morgan Mandel said...

I wish I could get more motivated to lose weight. Maybe I need to use a poster, too!

Among other things, when people ask me when my next book is coming out, that motivates me to finish.

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Deb Larson said...

I like using a "to do" list too. It helps me focus and accomplish small goals in order to reach the big ones.
Great post!!
DL Larson

Kelly Jamieson said...

Great blog Debra.
Patricia, I'm one of those who can't not write. I don't have any trouble finding motivation for writing, in fact it's almost like an obsession! Now it's hard to find motivation for other things, like grocery shopping, cooking meals, cleaning my house.... :-)

Debra St. John said...

Hey Kelky, Patricia, Morgan, and Deb! Thanks for checking in. Today I'm making my way through a check-list. I've crossed several things off already. It's been very motivating.

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