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Commit to staying the course

Monday Focus: “Commit to staying the course.”

Your commitment to writing your memoir must be ongoing. It’s easy, as most of us know, to start to write with a burst of energy, but over the months and perhaps years it takes to write a memoir, your energy almost invariably wanes—at least to some extent.

Commit to staying the course

What to do to get yourself enthused again?

Today, I’m offering tactics you can implement to help sustain your motivation and see you to the end. Of course, there’s always willpower, but willpower is known to weaken gradually until it is ineffective. Learning how to get—and stay—motivated is easier.

Motivation is both intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation comes from inside of you: you like to think of yourself as a writer; you enjoy the introspection of memoir writing; making sense of the past is fun for you. When you want to motivate yourself intrinsically, you call upon these (and many other) reasons.

Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside: you have a family reunion coming up and you want to share your memoir; you want to publish a book to show off your accomplishments to your detractors; a publisher wants your book by a certain time; you tell friends and family that the book will be ready by a given date. Lining up many extrinsic motivators is usually helpful.

The best motivation is, of course, personal, and it is often a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic. For instance: you love to write and enjoy reminiscing about your past. This sort of motivation could see you through years and years of seemingly never-ending writing! When you add to this extrinsic motivation—for example, you are having a class reunion next year and want to have your book available to show off, you are on a course to have written your book in a reasonable time.

By the way, it need not take you forever to write a memoir. In fact, it should take you only 12 to 24 months.

Here is a link to a YouTube playlist to steep yourself in more thoughts about commitment and motivation.

Why not bookmark The Memoir Network’s YouTube channel to acquire skills for consistently better memoir writing?

And remember: “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch; yard by yard, it’s hard.”

Good luck writing your stories! And commit to staying the course!

Keep writing. Your memoir is important.

Best,

Denis

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