Motivation. Literally, that which impels us to move. That’s how we use the word: the feeling that makes us act—in that order: feeling, then action.
Motivation is also created by action. Ask anyone who has grudgingly started a project only to discover that going through the motions ends in motivation.
You’ve felt it yourself when taking on some new business, relationship, spirituality, or personal development challenge. Eventually you hit what Seth Godin calls the dip. We all have days where it’s hard to get going, to stay focused. Often it just takes a little push to get through the dip. Sometimes though, that off day turns into an off week or an off month. Instead of the upward spiral of motivation and action, we’re stuck. We need motivation to create action but need action to create motivation and we get nowhere.
… more … “Emotions, Motivation, and Your Unconscious Mind”
I should turn that into a song, eh?
Comes up sometimes in discussion boards: write for yourself and find artistic fulfillment, or write for your audience and sell books?
Here’s what comes up in the research of Chip and Dan Heath, experts in the brain science of decision-making: avoid either/or thinking when making decisions. Consider more than two opposing options.
Today, consider taking a page from CompSci (that’s computer science for the 99.9% of you who’ve managed to elude its evil grasp.)
But first, let’s make soup. … more … “Who Are You Writing For? (It Isn’t Really Either/Or)”
The world would not be complete without Jeeves and Wooster.
Most of you know Hugh Laurie as the irascible Gregory House, doctor extraordinaire, human being just barely. But years ago he and his best bud and comedy partner Stephen Fry played the leads in A&E’s televisation of some of P. G. Wodehouse‘s Jeeves and Wooster stories. Track them down if you like a good story and some 1930s English wit.
In one adventure, Bertie (that is, Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, whose last name was, in the mists of the distant past spelled “Worcester” like the shired sauce you put on your burger) and his greatest detractor, Sir Roderick Glossop, are both in black face (as in, we were going minstrelling down the pub with Al Jolson) hiding in the shrubbery outside Glossop’s own house, tearing and dirtying their formal dinnerwear (that would be tuxedos.)
How in blazes did they get there? … more … “Back Into Your Ending”
Emotional writing connects with readers. But you’re not going to produce it simply by trying harder or longer. You can’t will yourself to an emotional outpouring. I’d like to chat more about ways to increase the amperage in our writing, but I’d like to be sure you understand that “trying harder” isn’t one of them.
Here’s your homework: read any or all of these fine articles on the limitations of willpower, and understand that this is how your brain is wired, not some failure on your part. While these articles are, in general, talking about persistence, problem-solving, and self-control, the principles affect your efforts to produce emotionally evocative prose.
… more … “Willpower Won’t Power Emotional Writing”
A new question is coming up with some regularity.
“Why wouldn’t a confident marketing expert promote my book for a portion of the profit instead of charging me up front?”
… more … “Would You Like Someone to Sell Your Books for You?”