Motivation is a fickle thing. When you have it, you can accomplish great things. When you don’t, well… you know. The problem is, you never know when you’ll have motivation and when you won’t. For a blogger, that can be quite a bit problematic.
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You see, if you’re going to blog successfully, you’ve got to make a commitment to posting regular, frequent, high quality content. When you’d rather hang upside down by your toenails than write one more word, however, chances are fairly good that you’re not going to meet any of these three criteria.
Fortunately, while you can’t force true inspiration, there are some things you can try when motivation seems like a mythical creature. Try some or all of the following suggestions to get your mojo flowing again.
1. Go for a Walk
Take a hike, soak in a bath, go fishing, or wash the dishes — do pretty much anything except try to make yourself work. Yes, there are times in which we all have to push through to accomplish something we don’t want to do. If you’re finding yourself feeling like that every time you try to blog, though, there’s something wrong.
Rather than spend 6 aimless hours staring at a blank screen and flipping through the Internet, just walk away. Take ten to twenty minutes to do something that you truly enjoy or that doesn’t require you to think. Just exist, breathe, and relax. Sometimes, it’s when you allow yourself to stop stressing the situation that your best ideas will come to you. When that great idea hits you, you’ll have all the motivation you need.
2. Change Your Scenery
If you work in the same place day after day, it could be staleness that’s stealing your motivation. Try moving to a different room, the coffee shop around the corner, or take your work outdoors if possible. If you can’t do that, try simply rearranging the layout of the room you work in. You might be surprised at just how powerful changing your surroundings can be for your motivation and productivity.
3. Remind Yourself Why You’re Blogging
Are you trying to tell your story? Are you blogging for money? Do you want to help people find help for meth addiction, or with their monthly bills, or in discovering their spirituality? Whatever your original reason was for starting your blog in the first place, go back to that place and think about it. How are you going to meet those goals and accomplish your dream if you give up now?
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Any time you do something on a constant basis, no matter how much you love what you do, it becomes work. When it becomes work, it can become tedious. Before you allow a lack of motivation to turn something you love into something you despise, stand back and reflect on your purpose — and why it means so much to you.
4. Come to Terms with the Reality of Blogging
If your lag in motivation stems from an underwhelming response by visitors, try to remember that no blog was ever successful overnight. It typically takes most blogs a minimum of one year to really see growth, and some can take twice or three times as long. It’s a hard fact, but one you must accept if you’re going to keep blogging.
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Blogging is not a one-time commitment. After the initial inspiration wears off, you may find yourself feeling like you’re working for nothing. Unfortunately, it’s during this critical time when you must press forward that motivation seems to be elusive. Your breakthrough could be just days away, or it could be months more, but you won’t know if you quit.
5. Have Fun
When you blog in your own voice and style about something you love, you’re much more likely to recover motivation quickly after a dry spell. Readers don’t like stuffy, formal writing anyway, so don’t be afraid to have fun and show your personality.
6. Get Silly
If you simply cannot bring yourself to write about what you’re supposed to be writing about, don’t. Open a blank document and write whatever you want — whether it’s a silly poem, quirky story, or a rant to a family member who has been annoying you. When you’re done, save it to your personal files or drop it in the recycle bin. That’s the beauty of writing: until you share it with someone, it’s like it never existed. No one has to know, but you’ll feel much better.
7. Buckle Down and Focus
After you try one of the other tactics, make an agreement with yourself that it’s time to get some work done. Promise yourself that you’ll put in an honest 30 minutes of effort and then you’ll take a break. Oftentimes, it’s just that first sentence that’s so hard to start. Once you get that out of the way, the rest of the words may start to pour out. Then you’ll wonder what had you so down about it in the first place.
What do you think? Do you have tried and true tricks for busting through a lack of motivation? Have you tried the above suggestions? How did they work?