The Write Attitude: Keep An Eye on the Prize

Jennifer Applin

By Jennifer Applin

Motivation comes in many forms and when you’re a busy writer mama you need all the help you can get. There may be times, especially when you’re starting out, that your efforts will garner deflating results. You may be putting in many long hours and exerting endless amounts of energy without reaping the rewards. It is during these times that you need to keep an eye on the prize. Here are some suggestions:

Keep a list of your writing goals front and center. It’s helpful to have a written record of all you hope to accomplish. This list should include both long-term and short-term goals. Your responses should be detailed (such as breaking into a specific magazine) and vague (such as selling a best-seller novel). This is where you get to dream, and you should dream big. Keep your list of goals handy and refer to it often. This can provide a real confidence boost right when you need it.

Get creative with motivational techniques. Clear a spot on your bookshelf and post a sign that says, “Reserved for My First Novel.” Assemble a poster board with pictures representing the ways your life will improve with a successful writing career; this may include pictures of your family you’ll see more often once you quit your day job, or the new house you’ll be able to afford. Tap into your other senses for inspiration; download tropical music to your iPod as a reminder of that Caribbean vacation you’d like to take and prepare meals from countries you’d like to visit once you land those assignments as a travel writer. Being reminded of the variety of rewards can help when you’re lacking motivation.

You are building a writing career for some sort of pay-off. This may be for financial reasons, a lifestyle change, or just to experience the pride that comes from seeing your name in print. Keeping an eye on the prize can help you move forward.

Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. She is a regular contributor to and writes for many regional publications. She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones, and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting, and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.


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