When it comes to motivating people there are all sorts of styles one can employ. My father, a former Army drill sergeant and Air force flight line supervisor, had no trouble at all motivating three children to keep their rooms spotless. His cry of “Police your area!” sent all three of us scrambling like hungry Rottweilers after the last pork chop in the garbage can. Anything he found out of place during his inspections was thrown immediately into the trash. Clothes, books, toys – he didn’t care. If you didn’t respect it enough to keep it in its place, you didn’t deserve it. Tough? You bet. Motivating. Absolutely.
However, as a writer, I have discovered there are times I simply cannot be motivated to write. I have all sorts of excuses. I’m a writer. I can create excuses out of thin air. I’m too tired. I need to do the dishes. I need to do more research. My muse has gone to Jamaica and taken my motivation and my brain to carry her luggage.
I'm not certain what motivates me to write, what gets me back on the horse after I have slid off the side like my Great Aunt Icie's jello mold at a Fourth of July picnic. But I have come to know what doesn't work. Berating me doesn't work. Yelling at me doesn't work. Telling me to give it up because I will never be able to write fast enough to be a success in this business doesn't work. Denigrating me and making me feel small, and dumb, and unworthy doesn't work.
I don't need a cheerleader. And I certainly don't need a "yes" man (or woman) telling me everything I write is perfect and not a letter needs to be changed. Most days I'm not sure what I need, but I do know what I don't need. Which isn't very helpful, is it? SIGH ! I didn't think so!
What motivates you to write when you have been brought as low as Billy Bob's blue jeans on a Saturday night? What motivates you to write when you think the whole world sees you as wasting your time on a dream you will never achieve? What motivates you to write when you think you are completely unworthy of even the smallest bit of success?
Or if you like, tell us what DOESN'T work when it comes to motivating you. Do those perky cheerleader types work for you or do you just want to smack 'em and say "Crawl back under your pom poms and leave me to wallow in my writerly misery?"