It’s hardly a secret that a crucial key to success in travel writing is staying motivated. Motivation isn’t magical, though. You can’t wave a wand and make it appear. But, there are definitely some vital strategies I’ve found helpful in my two years of writing – resulting in 170 published stories.
Use inspirational quotes
Inspirational quotes do just that: They inspire. Each Monday I find a quote, print it out, and hang it in my workspace. When I need a little extra “lift” throughout the week, there it is, right in front of me, reminding me that I can do this!
Remind yourself of your goals
In the beginning of my writing career, I wrote daily goals. As I became busier with writing, I realized weekly goals worked better, allowing me to be flexible when priorities suddenly change.
An email from an editor asking if I could complete an article by week’s end to fill an editorial gap takes precedence over working on a new query. At the end of each week, I reassess my progress.
Make writing fun
Fortunately, freelance writing allows us the freedom to write about what we love the most. Be it food, wine, history, or exotic travel, it’s easier to stay motivated when we’re reliving a phenomenal experience or pitching a story about something we’re really interested in.
Procrastination is a silent killer. To stay motivated and achieve our dreams, we have to rid ourselves of any tendency to put things off for another day.
I did this early in my writing career, relating to my trepidation in writing queries. All this procrastination did was sap my creative energy. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s necessary.
Establish a reputation for excellence
Nothing feels better than an editor telling me she loved the story I just submitted or thanking me for being ahead of schedule on my article submission.
What does this have to do with motivation? Praise is a powerful motivator, because once we’ve established a reputation for excellence, we’re inspired to sustain and maintain that status. It becomes a driving force in our writing.
Find a writing partner
Early in my second year of travel writing, I met a writer through the Great Escape Publishing network who seemed to share many of my same desires and professional goals.
Though working from home is convenient, there can be a sense of isolation that accompanies that independence. Finding another writer or group of writers with whom to share successes, ideas, and even frustrations is invaluable. On so many occasions, this strategy has kept me from reinventing the wheel, saving tremendous time and energy.
Famous racecar driver Mario Andretti once said “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” And not so unlike the winning racecar driver, each time we take that victory lap, it leaves us yearning for more.