Third, aim high.
I think about Olympic athletes. None of the ones I heard interviewed said his life goal was to become high school champion. Or state champion.
Most of them said they knew they wanted to be Olympians from a very early age. That’s the goal they set their minds to. High school or state championships were just stepping stones to the real goal
Sometimes it’s our goals that are getting us stuck. We don’t set our sights high enough, so we only do what it takes to achieve them.
And our writing (or whatever it is we’re trying to do) never gets any better.
Sure, goals that are too ambitious can make us afraid to even try. But setting goals that challenge us just a little bit more can be the motivation we need to get moving. And to try just a little bit harder.
Another Olympics example. I was watching the women’s gymnastics individual finals. When it came to the vault, everyone knew that Simone Biles was going to win. The gold medal was hers to lose.
What did the other women do? They could have played it safe, and battled for the silver. Many of them rejected this path. They knew that their only hope of winning a gold was to do a much harder vault than they tried in the earlier competitions.
Several of them tried harder vaults, and failed. But had they succeeded, and Simone Biles not done her vaults perfectly, someone else could have gone away with the gold medal.
And that’s one way we can get ourselves motivated. To play for gold, not second best.
Fourth, celebrate your achievements.
Along the way to achieving those higher goals, you’ll hit many milestones. Celebrate each and every one.
And celebrate others. You finally come up with the perfect name for a character? Celebrate.
You manage to resolve a plot hole, or just edit a chapter or two.
Or you finally find a way to conquer your procrastination. (If that’s you, can you share your secret with me?)
Whatever the achievement, savor the moment. Remember that feeling. You’ll need that memory when things aren’t going quite so well.
But whatever you do, never give up!