Sunday, February 4, 2018

When Your Motivation Takes a Nosedive

By Maureen L. Bonatch

Do you ever have one of those days when as soon as you wake up you know it’s going to be a fabulous day? You have a smile plastered on your face, and you’re showing your to-do list you’re
Photo courtesy Unsplash cc Abbie Bernet
the boss and you feel as if you can tackle anything that comes your way today. 

Then you go to bed and when you wake up the next day you wonder how in the world you can muster up the energy to get out of bed. 

What the heck happened to all that awesome from yesterday? Just imagine how much more we could accomplish if only we could bottle up all that feel-good energy .

Riding the Rollercoaster of Inspiration

This concept has fascinated me for some time but has been almost as elusive as the fountain of youth. (Still looking for that too! I could use a new back if you find it.) 
The way in which we can almost replica that day down to the amount of sleep, what we eat and do, yet feel completely different on the next day. On my ‘awesome day’, I’ll ride that invincible feeling to commit myself to a ton of projects, only to start another day struggling to get each word on the page and feeling as if I’m selling my soul 500 words at a time.

A Standoff with the Sloth

So far, I have not found the secret to avoiding the days that motivation seems to take a nosedive and spending the day in a sloth-like fashion seems like the most appealing, though unavailable, option. The closest I have come is by writing a character in one of my books (Hope, from DestinyCalling) with the ability to give, or take away, feelings of hope and happiness.

Instead, I just have to try methods to keep moving through those listless days and hope that the next day I wake it will be full of awesome so I can go forth and conquer.

Resuscitating Your Motivation

Sometimes it’s not immediately apparent that my motivation has taken an impromptu vacation. I might notice it when an hour has passed and I realize I’m still aimlessly surfing social media or when I can’t seem to escape from my emails. 

Once I do I try to implement one of these strategies to get the day's productivity back on track.

  • Take a break- Get up and move around, or attend to another task—just move.
  • Rewrite my To-Do List- Taking the tasks out of my thoughts to organize them on paper often makes them seem more manageable
  • Conquer the simplest tasks first- If I’m frozen with a major deadline sometimes it helps to stop glancing at my long To-Do list by doing a few easy tasks and then returning to the major one

  • Change track- If I’m working on my fiction, I change to my freelance writing, or vice versa. That way I’m still getting things done, but my mind gets a little break.
  • Do something else- Whether it’s reading a book, getting a snack, or closing my eyes for 5-10 minutes, often taking the time to stop thinking about what needs done is helpful when I'm feeling exhausted and/or overwhelmed.

How Do You Get Your Motivation Moving?

 Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil's spawn, or his exterminator. 

But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter


Victoria Craven said...

I know that feeling very well.

CJ Burright said...

I once had an entire weekend free (which in itself is a miracle) to write, and I was so excited. I planned to finish my WIP because I had all that TIME! Instead, I milled around doing other stuff, trying to get motivated to write. I had to force myself to write, and every word was slow and painful. But on Monday, you know, when I had to go to work, I was all fired up to write. If only motivation could be bottled... :)

Maureen said...

Isn't that how it always goes, CJ? When you don't have the time that's when the motivation is the best! lol

Jane Kindred said...

Yep, CJ, that happens to me every time. And then by the end of the day job on Monday, I'm too tired to write. But then there are the weeks--or even months--of no motivation that really hurt. Because I have to write anyway.

Diane Burton said...

Is it because of winter? Fighting the blahs. I've had no ambition for over 2 weeks. I barely muster up the energy to read email. I was a ball of fire for the 1st 2 weeks of Jan. Now, nothing. Maureen, I hope your energy returns.

Maureen said...

Thanks Diane. Sometimes winter gets me motivated because it's the perfect excuse to stay inside and write. I think some of the time I get stalled when I feel too overwhelmed. When there is so much to do that I do nothing, lol.

Lea Kirk said...

It's so nice to read blogs like this and realize that I'm not alone. Thank you, Maureen!

Maureen said...

Lea, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad it was helpful. Believe me, you are not alone :)

Helen Henderson said...

I like the idea of doing something simple to get back on the right track. I'll have to try it.

Maureen said...

I've found that when I'm stuck, despite all the advice to 'do the biggest task first to get it done for your day' that if I start with the easy stuff I can tackle the harder stuff better. Thanks for stopping by, Helen!

Nancy Gideon said...

When motivation fails me, I clean. The tedium and rote mechanics (and the fact that I hate cleaning) gets my thoughts moving to more exciting things, like what my hero and heroine are doing . . . Many a plot twist was conceived over vacuuming!

Maureen said...

Nancy I almost included cleaning. I often find that cleaning enables me to see some quick results and can revive my motivation. lol about vacuuming producing plot twists.

Victoria Marie Lees said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria Marie Lees said...

Gosh! Ambition is such a fickle friend. Oh and by the way ladies, cleaning helps me step away from the computer to do physical work, allowing my mind to think about other things--like hopefully my story. Thanks for sharing this, Maureen.

Maureen said...

Thanks Victoria! So glad you stopped by. Great to know that if our stories aren't done, that at least our houses will be clean, lol.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Motivation is fickle. I often get up from the computer and play the piano to sooth my spirit and thoughts. Then, I feel refreshed and rejuvinated.