"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Six Sure-fire Ways to Stay Motivated in 2011!

Some months ago, while browsing the Writing For Dollars database for creative inspiration, I was pleasantly surprised. I discovered that out of the top ten “most popular articles,” four of my pieces ranked in the top 10! Imagine that.

Well I was as proud as a peacock. I was as tall as the Empire State Building.
I was…let’s just say I was totally geeked!

So much so, that I quickly proceeded to print out a hardcopy of the webpage to include in my marketing materials to potential writing clients.

Three weeks later, in need of a little motivation and affirmation to get me going on new projects, I revisited the site to marvel at my magnificence.

Guess what? I had fallen off the list.
That’s right, in that brief period of time, not even one of my pieces remained in the top ranking. Nada. I had lost my lofty standing and bragging rights.

Jennifer who? I laughed at the valuable lesson I learned: success is fleeting.
So if you want to stay motivated, stay in the “black”, and enjoy the spoils of writing long-term, heed the following six pointers:

NEVER REST ON YOUR LAURELS---If you want to experience longevity in this business, and go beyond being a one-hit wonder, keep going! Always keep your eye on the prize—amidst rejection and the rigors of everyday life. Though I don’t believe that it’s necessary to pen thoughts to paper each day, you should devote consistent effort to honing your craft and marketing your talents. Remember, complacency can kill cash flow and dreams.

SET LONG AND SHORT TERM GOALS--- Where would you like to be in five months? How about 5 years from now? Plan then pursue. Goals help to measure growth and guide our path. Remember to reward yourself for periodic victories along the way.

COMPETE---Not in a dog-eat-dog kind of way, but in a way that allows you to use others’ success as a benchmark for your own. Do you have any writers whose work you admire? Be inspired to new heights.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS---Job dissatisfaction is at an all time high. Additionally, studies show that the average worker changes careers an average of four times in an employment span. What a joy it is to be a writer and to get paid for something we love to do. Wouldn’t you agree?

JOIN A WRITERS’ GROUP---There’s nothing quite like the inspiration and support of other souls who enjoy and understand our life’s work.

My involvement in various arts organizations over the years has allowed me to form important alliances and avail myself to greater resources than I ever would have flying solo. And you can experience the same benefits too. Look online for listings in your area, or sign up for the many national organizations and bulletin boards available via the Internet.

KEEP A FILE OF FAN MAIL OR SUCCESS STORIES---Whether it’s in the form of YAHOO folders, file cabinet hard copies, or even letters that you pin to a bulletin board that you view each day in your office space. Remind yourself of all that you’ve achieved, and all that’s possible to those who dare to believe!

…Because when all is said and done, nothing succeeds like success!

How do you stay motivated amidst the madness? Do you agree or disagree with these pointers?

IMAGE: Photographer dan


  1. helo jennifer
    how are you?
    one thing thats constantly on my mind is to avoid being a one hit wonder lol!!! as much as i want to provide value to anyone reading my blog
    thanks for sharing this because i certainly can relate with this post and you have given valuable tips
    i guess one thing i need to look into is a writers group if i can free up some time because i have never really thought about it.
    take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 24, 2011 at 1:05 PM


    What a pleasant surprise! How wonderful to hear from you. Happy Easter. Glad you found some useful tips here. By all means, you should definitely hook-up with a writers' group either in your local area or online. It's definitely worth the time and effort. Be well.

  3. Great tips, I agree! I also agree with Ayo - one goal I keep before me is to offer something of value that readers can take away with them. Not just on my blog but with everything I write.

    Was just reviewing some of my long and short term goals this morning, so this is timely. I respect and appreciate your input. Thanks!

    Happy Monday to you!

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 25, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Thanks, Karen. As always, it's a pleasure to get your input and support. Wishing you a great writing week!

  5. Great advice! Sometimes I get distracted with my everyday life and my writing suffers. But it takes reading posts such as yours, to slap me in the face of reality, once again! If I don't write it, it won't come to life and it if doesn't come to life, I won't publish.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 25, 2011 at 5:42 PM


    Juggling and distractions are a constant for every successful blogger/writer. Hang in there--you can do it girl! Thanks for weighing in today.

  7. Thanks for sharing this insightful post Jen. It gave me the wake-up call I needed.
    I haven’t thought about my long term goals in a while – too busy keeping up with the daily tasks I guess. As for short-term goals – I’m making it a point to join the local writers group in my town this week!

  8. Andrea,

    So glad to hear this. Keep me posted on your progress! Thanks for taking time to stop by.

  9. I find that even my own writing can fall in or out of favor with me! One day it feels brilliant and the next I ask myself, "what was I thinking??". Perseverance is the key here. Even literary giant, Neil Gaiman has talk about this phenomenon. Staying motivated is essential for any goal.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM


    Welcome! How true! Through the good and bad we must keep keeping on. Just like a "9 to 5" gig does not afford us the luxury of throwing in the towel on bad days, neither should writing. I appreciate your time and feedback.

  11. Another way to stay motivated is to enter contests. I'm doing this more often these days for two reasons. One, to start something I've wanted to do. Second, the possibility of winning. You have to be in it to win it. And you just never know what could happen with a little effort.

    Another thing entering contests do for you. It tends to either enhance the idea you have, give you a different way of seeing your idea or spring new ideas. Either way, you're a winner!

  12. Good suggestion. Another benefit is that it gets your name "out there."

    Thanks for this.