Apr 19 2007
I can’t really answer his question, at least with respect to blogging. I haven’t felt any loss of motivation. Yet.
What I can share are two things:
- What motivates me to blog.
- How I keep motivated in other areas.
What motivates me to blog:
It all started with the typical mid-life crisis questions:
What is my purpose in life?
Is this all there is?
I’ve been asking these questions most of my life but when I hit age 41, I was also hit with the fact that I was running out of time and I’d better get a move on with finding my answers to those 2 very important questions.
You can read my About page about some of what I went through in order to acknowledge that my purpose in life is to write.
You would think that if your purpose in life were to write, then blogging would be easy. Well, the writing is not exactly easy and the technical aspects can be frustrating. Then there’s the lack of readers.
When I first started my blog, I wanted to learn if I had the discipline to write.
In the past, I couldn’t sustain writing regularly.
In the past, I hadn’t acknowledged that I was a writer. Therein lies the difference. Before I dabbled. Now I am passionate about writing. I am even obsessed with it. Now I manage to post almost daily (with Sunday off).
So now you’re thinking, Ms. Q is obsessed with writing, WRONG person to ask about blogging and how to remain motivated.
When first wrote for my blog, I didn’t know how to track how many readers I had. This was a good thing. When I finally figured out how (Google Analytics), seeing a visitor count of oh, 5 (including myself, an ex-boyfriend and several friends) wasn’t exactly encouraging.
I stayed focused because I realized that at that stage, it wasn’t my writing, it was my lack of marketing my blog.
So I stopped being shy, being a lurker, and started actively participating in the blogging community by reading more blogs and leaving comments. I was not only inspired by other blogs but I began to enjoy myself because I was “meeting” so many interesting people, learning new things, and expanding my world.
My positive experiences as well as words of encouragement from other bloggers has kept me motivated to continue writing. I remain passionate about writing and am lucky to find inspiration everywhere.
Everything’s great, right?
Yes and no. I still have doubts. I worry that I’ll give up because being a writer is so hard. I would love to write for a living but my blog isn’t going to pay the bills and I’m not sure if I really want it to. At least, I’m not sure if I want this particular blog to pay the bills.
What I do know is that I want to spend more time writing.
My blog does not have a lot of traffic. QMusings receives perhaps an average of 50 visitors a day, half of which are returning visitors, which is fantastic! Sometimes it’s a bummer to see how few my daily visitor count is. What I remind myself is that I now have TEN TIMES the visitors I started out with and that half are coming back for more.
How do I manage to remain motivated to blog? The same way I motivate myself in other areas in my life. “blogging” can be replaced with almost anything.
I ask myself questions. Questions help me to focus.
- What inspired me to start blogging?
- What is the driving desire behind blogging?
- What result do I want to achieve by blogging?
- What are the positive effects of blogging?
- What would happen if I stopped blogging?
How would you answer those questions?
Sometimes I don’t feel all that motivated. I’m tired. I don’t feel inspired. During those times I have to have faith in myself - I have to trust that I took my first step on this particular path for a very good reason. When this happens I let momentum carry me along; I just keep moving even if I’m listless.
What if momentum isn’t enough? What if you can’t regain your motivation?
At this point, you might:
Take a break. Do something that grounds you, returns you to self. Then ask yourself those questions again. Your lack of motivation may be related to some unresolved issue in another area of your life.
Look at your former passion from another angle. Maybe you’re no longer motivated and inspired because you’ve grown but it hasn’t.
Start talking to people who are still passionate and motivated - they may inspire and motivate you!
I’d like the share one of my favorite quotes:
You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5
When I have doubts about my writing, I recall this quote. I know that my driving desire is to write.
What is your deep, driving desire?