Staying Motivated to Write in the Midst of Crisis


Frits Ahlefeldt PD, via Public Domain Pictures

Like most of you know, things have been pretty chaotic in my life. What I have found the most difficult about being a WAHM is staying motivated and being able to write when things get really bad. For example:

  • The threat of eviction really doesn’t do much for helping me get past writer’s block.
  • Having to write for content mills just to keep the lights on has a tendency to rob one of their creativity.
  • Having to clean the house, and purge clutter doesn’t leave much time for writing or anything else.
  • Trying to find time to homeschool, write, clean and fit in some down-time can quickly lead to a cluttered mind.

It’s not easy to stay motivated. In fact, I’ve awoken some mornings to find that I’m completely devoid of any motivation to do anything. All I want to do is sit on the couch and veg all day. That’s probably my brain telling me I need a rest.

Listen brain, I don’t have time to rest. I need to write.

Mind Over Matter

Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper

I found this somewhere online, but unfortunately it wasn’t properly attributed. If you are the artist, or happen to know who the artist is, please send me a message. I’d like to properly attribute this gorgeous piece of art.

My motivation tends to wax and wane in most areas of my life. However, I’m a firm believer in the power of the mind. “Mind over matter” is my motto. Many of you may already know about my “alternative” spirituality (I’m a “Tree Hugging Dirt Worshipper”), but meditation and the power of the mind are a huge part of it.

I believe if we focus our minds, we can do just about anything. But having the willpower to do that requires a very strong mind. Essentially, we must exert our own authority over our own authority (no that’s not a typo). Talk about a mind game, huh?

Unfortunately, even for a strong mind this isn’t easy. It depends on your mindset and your perception of life. Like Rich Rumple said yesterday in a comment, our perceptions are our reality. I’d add that our perceptions have a huge impact on our mindset. In order to change our mindset, we need to alter our perceptions. Of course, it works both ways. In order to change our perceptions, we need to alter our mindset.

That may sound a bit confusing, but our minds and our consciousness are so complicated that they are inherently difficult to understand. Fortunately, you don’t have to fully understand the nature of consciousness to motivate yourself.

I can’t tell you how to motivate yourself. What works for me, may not work for you. And there may be a number of different methods that work for a particular individual, but only one that works for another. But I hope that telling you how I stay motivated may inspire you to come up with your own ideas.

So How Do I Stay Motivated?

I yell at myself. I’m like a drill sergeant. I mentioned this in another post where I bitched about my inability to keep myself motivated to exercise. Most of the time it works quite well, other times it doesn’t work at all.

I generally yell things such as:

  • WTF is wrong with you?
  • You loser, you can’t even (insert activity)
  • Come on, don’t be a wuss. Just fucking do it.
  • What are you going to do? Give up? WTF are you, a quitter?

I tend to use profanity a lot…. especially when yelling at myself. My dad was a sailor, what can I say?

Most of the time yelling at myself works, and when it doesn’t, it’s usually because my mind is cluttered or anxious. When this happens, I do have another method I can try.

Depending on the reason for why yelling isn’t working, I’ll try planning my day (or week, month whatever). This will almost always get me back on track because I feel like I’ve taken back some control of my life. This tends to work the best when my mind is really anxious. I’m very analytical in nature. I’m also a creature of habit, so planning helps me step back, allowing me to change my perspective and look at the problem or situation more objectively. Ultimately, I’m changing my perspective in an effort to alter my perception of the problem in order to find a solution. For me, planning allows my higher mind to work on the problem in the background. I’m literally distracting my conscious self, allowing my unconscious mind to find the solution.

Having a candle and a few stones really makes my work area less stressful.

Having a candle and a few stones really makes my work area less stressful.

The other thing that works is organizing something. When my mind is cluttered and I can’t write, I tend to reorganize my desk. Again, it changes my perception by shifting my perspective. Cleaning also works well for a cluttered mind, in my case anyway.

I also light candles at times. Right now I have an intuition candle lit on my desk. It smells divine, and the fire has a tendency to motivate me. I also have a few stones like bloodstone, carnelian, lapis lazuli etc on my desk in front of a picture of Greg. I did this purposefully to add a bit of my spirituality which calms me, to my work area which causes me a lot of anxiety. Sometimes I’ll light some incense as well.

Obviously, you don’t have to use candles, incense and rocks, you should use whatever works for you. But I find having something in my work area that makes it less like a work area and more like my home has a huge impact on my motivation.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated? Let me know in the comments below!

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8 comments on “Staying Motivated to Write in the Midst of Crisis

  1. I love the spiritual approach. It makes me feel so centered. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I am one that cleans when I feel like I am not motivated, because like you I hate clutter and it usually takes all my frustrations out when I do this on the dirt and such. There is nothing like vacuuming when I am ticked off to burn off some energy and steam. Probably sounds crazy, but it does seem to help.

    • OMG, I LOVE to vacuum. I don’t know what it is, but I find it very soothing!! So no, doesn’t sound crazy at all! There’s just something about watching all the dust and hair etc get sucked up into it and swirl around!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Debbie says:

    I also light candles but I like yoga and meditation that really helps me.
    Great article I always like reading your pieces:)

    • I didn’t know you meditated! I’ve been so bad about working out, but I did find that when I was working out ending a session with some yoga was SO relaxing. But the meditation is something that I just can’t skip. I do it just before bed and I usually get a good 15 minutes in before I fall asleep and I actually try to fall asleep while meditating because the quality of my slumber just seems to be better. When did you start meditating??

  4. I’m with you there Melissa! Whenever I find myself becoming stressed (and it happens often…just creeps up when you don’t expect it), my “safe” place to bring me back to sanity is 5 minutes of meditation. It does wonders. For longer ones, I light incense sticks and candles. I do this when I bath as well, or when I just feel like relaxing. Being spiritual and in touch with who I am is very important to me….keeps me focused and grounded. It’s really amazing, isn’t it?! Enjoyed your post today ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s funny that you say that Melanie because some days I’m just fine, and then all of a sudden the stress will hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m really not fond of baths, but I have lit candles and incense during a bath in an effort to get rid of a migraine. The warm water and ambient light is so very relaxing. I’m with you on the spirituality and being touch with who I am. I find quite a bit of comfort in my spirituality. Sometimes I wonder why I get away from it, or get a bit lackadaisical about it because it is so comforting! So glad you enjoyed the post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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