7 Ways Authors Can Stay Motivated
I absolutely love getting to know authors, hearing their stories, and helping them market their books. Even though book marketing and social media are my specialties, I also listen to the struggles authors have with their overall career.
One thing that I see over and over again is the need for motivation.
Now, I have to be honest, when I see motivational speakers doing their, “Ra! Ra! Ra! You can do it!” spiels I tend to roll my eyes and think, “That’s it?”
That type of motivation that just amps up our feelings quickly fades. Without any new practical methods to deploy, we end up just going back to our old ways and getting stuck again, looking for our next pep rally. Motivation that actually changes our thinking incorporates action steps that lead to achievable goals.
Solid advice that actually applies to us and which we can put into practice gives us a handrail to hold on to as we work at moving our careers forward. Hope is the fuel that powers us to keep going because we see promise in what those new methods hold.
So I have seven strategies for you to put into practice to stay motivated as you work on your book marketing campaigns:
Create a Community
This is by far one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Having a group of people that you can turn to for advice and support - whether online or in person (or both!) - will do you so much good.
If you’re thinking, “But Jenn, I’m so introverted, I don’t know where to start and I’m afraid of putting myself out there.” I can totally relate. Why not start with an online group? You can join our free Facebook Group, The Mixtus Meet-Up - it’s an incredible group of writers who are just like you.
If you prefer in-person interactions, take a look at MeetUp.com. You can search your area for local writing groups, book clubs, and so much more.
Establish a Routine
When our son, Isaac, was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, we learned that setting up a routine was essential for him. The schedule we share with him gives him peace of mind knowing what to expect, and gives each of us a roadmap for the day.
What I quickly learned was that a daily routine does wonders for me as well. It gives me structure, increases my productivity, and helps me feel more at ease. And it makes me be more intentional with every minute that I have to work with.
Granted, some days fall apart and our routine flies out the window, but that’s OK! Knowing that we can pick up where we left off makes it easier to get back on track.
One book that really helped me was Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by 99U and Jocelyn K. Glei. It’s fantastic!
Truth be told, I haven’t always been a goal-oriented gal. I was a “let’s see where this leads us and go with the flow” person who was frequently frustrated and quickly gave up when things didn’t meet my expectations.
I eventually got tired of operating that way and started setting some goals. And it made a massive difference!
There’s a principle called SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based goals. It gives you some structure to work with to set yourself (and your goals) up for success.
Here’s an article on the SMART goals concept. Give it a try!
As someone who often looks down at her watch and thinks, “Have I been sitting here typing for 3 hours straight?” I know how being stagnant for hours on end can be a motivation zapper.
One of the best things you can do for your body (and your motivation!) is to get moving - even for a few minutes. A quick walk, doing some jumping jacks, yoga - whatever tickles your fancy - will get the blood flowing and give you the kick in the pants you need. Movement is a huge motivator!
Listen to Podcasts
Hearing other people’s stories, experience, and guidance gets me out of my own head and can be a great motivator. There’s something about hearing someone talk about their own passions and struggles struggles with their voice’s inflections that makes podcasts so powerful.
If I need a pick-me-up or a fresh dose of inspiration, I turn to a podcast. I’m a big fan of This American Life, The Daily, How I Built This, Follinglo (which is a podcast my husband and I produce), or other business-oriented podcasts.
Podcasts are a great way to learn, be inspired, and give you the motivation you need.
Follow Other People Who Inspire You
I have a long list of people that I follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest who I admire that absolutely inspire me to do better. I watch what they are doing and it makes me want to keep going.
Read books by people that you admire and listen to them speak in videos or podcasts they have online, or by attending conferences that they lead. Finding a few people that inspire and motivate you to be the best person you can be can be the breath of fresh air you’re looking for.
Learn From Other’s Success and Failures
The other day I stumbled upon an interview with Sarah Blakely on YouTube. Sarah is the woman who invented Spanks and her story was fascinating to me. When Sarah was growing up, her father used to ask her and her brother, “What did you fail at today?” Because they wanted to please their dad, they always wanted to have something to share with him.
She said that simple question motivated her to try new things. And if she failed at something, he would give her a high five and congratulate her for trying.
Hearing how other people grew up, how they live their lives, and how they got to where they are can really motivate me. Listening to others’ stories through conversation, online interviews, watching documentaries, and reading memoirs is educational and highly motivating.
Motivation is so much more than a bunch of warm fuzzies - it’s action and hope! When you find what works for you, don’t be afraid to share it with others. You might just be the motivation they have been looking for!