December 11, 2015

Building a Writer’s Motivation

By DiAnn Mills

Some days we writers feel like we’re Down for the Count—DFC Zone. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the ugly stepsister to creativity. When it hits, we call for a tow truck to get rid of our writing goals.
            We’re whipped.
            Wanna quit.   
            Hungry for the wrong reasons.          
            Family not cooperating.
            Not sleeping or sleeping all the time.
            Holidays have us stressed to the max.

Have I touched on your complaint yet?

When you’re struggling in the DFC Zone and are desperately attempting a crawl out—by your broken fingernails—think back to the time when your motivation for writing came from a single word: passion. By using this word as an acronym, you can repair your motivation engine and drive out of the DFC zone.

P is passion. That’s the most important tool on your craftsman belt. I could toss in purpose, productivity, perfection, perseverance, power, published, preparation, or even pancakes—if that inspires a writer.

But without passion, we have nothing to motivate us.

A is analyze. What are the leaks in your fuel tank? We writers have to be constantly educating ourselves to reach our destination called publication. Take an honest look at the craft. Is there a way to deepen the technique? A critique group or partner can make us accountable and point out our blunders, stretching us to become better writers. Online workshops and writing conferences are an opportunity to learn from the pros.

When writers analyze their careers and make positive steps toward excellence, it’s a win-win situation.

S is simplify. Writers who obsess about their careers and develop intricate means to hopefully get them on the NYT seldom arrive. Writing an outstanding novel isn’t rocket science but a determination to work hard toward writing the best book possible. Then doing it again.

A writer who keeps her goals simple reaches her destination sooner.

S is step on the gas. A writer who procrastinates and whines just spins her wheels. By taking affirmative action toward being a best selling writer by analyzing and simplifying the method in which we work means to step on the gas and get the job done now. Today is the best day to begin.

Push your motivation out of the garage, gas up, and get started.

I is Intimacy. Writer know thyself. The only way to become passionate about communicating through the written word is to have a thorough knowledge of ourselves. This means seeking out our strengths and using them to declare war on our flaws. I believe in keeping my body physically fit, nutritionally sound, mentally alert, and spiritually tuned to God. The truth is we writers can’t address a subject if we haven’t dealt with our weaknesses effectively.

No writer wants to become road kill on the highway to publication.

O is ownership. Our success is up to us. If we thrive as writers, then we’ve practiced the habits of professionals. If our dreams and goals hit a roadblock, it’s no one’s fault but our own. Reality can really stink. But it doesn’t have to be a reason to quit when we take ownership of the problem and choose to flourish.

Seize ownership of your writing and take charge of your career.

N is network. Social media is a means to communicate with any of the 7.2 billion people on the planet. On the highway of networking, explore the endless possibilities of social media. A victorious writer studies the map of online communities to investigate what works for our brand, genre, and readers. This isn’t about us; it’s about reaching out to others with something we believe in.

7.2 billion people in this world. Who can the writer reach?

Take a deep breath and leave the DFC vehicle at the junkyard. Motivate your writing with Passion.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational ReadersChoice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of Americas Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

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