Most writers - not all, but most! - struggle
to find the time, energy, and motivation to
keep writing. Different people come up with
different strategies to keep themselves going.
Here are a few strategies (off the top
of my head and in no particular order) that I
have employed at one time or another:
1) created a special space or, if you will, a "room of my own" (or nook or desk or corner of the basement) for writing
2) read motivational books for writers
3) chose to work at jobs that required fewer hours and less effort, so that I had more time and energy left over for writing (or better yet, worked at jobs where I could sneak in some writing, i.e. when I worked as a clerk in a tiny bookstore that hardly ever had any customers
4) learned better time management skills (this first happened after I had a child and began to better understand the value of just one minute)
5) found a writing partner
6) joined a writer's group
7) submitted my work to publications and/or contests that had deadlines
8) got undergrad and graduate degrees in creative writing
9) took writing classes AFTER graduate school, and also hired a private tutor for a short time
10) established different life priorities, i.e. became more of a recluse and less of a social butterfly, or opted to write instead of watching more TV
11) started a personal blog site
12) participated in readings
13) hired a housecleaner
14) hired a professional organizer (see #4)
Things I've thought of doing and still might
do at some point:
1) hire a writing coach
2) participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)
3) can't remember but I'm sure there's more, because there's always more...
That's seventeen strategies, and eleven of these strategies have one thing in common: They force you to meet a deadline. I was reminded of the colossal value of deadlines when I was reading the book, No Plot? No Problem!, by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo.
Says Baty: "A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most ass-kicking form. It's a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits. . . . The problem, as those of us who are forever grumbling about our uncreative lives know, is that rock-solid, dream-fostering deadlines are hard to come by in the arts world. It's a sad irony that deadlines are given so freely at work (where we want them least), and are in such short supply in the extracurricular activities where we need them most.
Outside of writing classes, we never quite get the professional-grade push we need to tackle big, juicy creative projects. . ."
Baty is, of course, leading up to explaining why NaNoWriMo works so well. But I'm using his quote simply as a way to remind you that writing classes exist for many more reasons that just to help you learn craft. They also help to keep you writing!
So... don't stop now. Keep your momentum going (or GET it going!). A bunch of our summer session classes are starting between July 14th-19th, and most of them still have openings (if they don't, it will say so in bold red letters at the top of the course description).