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Six Sure-fire Ways to Stay Motivated in 2009
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Some months ago, while browsing the WFD article database for creative inspiration, I was pleasantly surprised. I discovered that out of the top ten “most popular articles,” four of my pieces ranked in the top 10! Imagine that.

Well I was as proud as a peacock. I was as tall as the Empire State Building. I was… let’s just say I was totally geeked! So much so, that I quickly proceeded to print out a hardcopy of the webpage to include in my marketing materials to potential writing clients.

Three weeks later, in need of a little motivation and affirmation to get me going on new projects, I revisited the site to marvel at my magnificence.

Guess what? I had fallen off the list. That’s right, in that brief period of time, not even one of my pieces remained in the top ranking. Nada. I had lost my lofty standing and bragging rights.

Jennifer who? I laughed at the valuable lesson I learned: success is fleeting. So if you want to stay motivated, stay in the “black”, and enjoy the spoils of writing long-term, heed the following six pointers:

  1. Never rest on your laurels—If you want to experience longevity in this business, and go beyond being a one-hit wonder, keep going! Always keep your eye on the prize—amidst rejection and the rigors of everyday life. Though I don’t believe that it’s necessary to pen thoughts to paper each day, you should devote consistent effort to honing your craft and marketing your talents. Remember, complacency can kill cash flow and dreams.

  2. Set long and short term goals—Where would you like to be in five months? How about 5 years from now? Plan then pursue. Goals help to measure growth and guide our path. Remember to reward yourself for periodic victories along the way.

  3. Compete—Not in a dog-eat-dog kind of way, but in a way that allows you to use others’ success as a benchmark for your own. Do you have any writers whose work you admire? Be inspired to new heights.

  4. Count your blessings—Job dissatisfaction is at an all time high. Additionally, studies show that the average worker changes careers an average of four times in an employment span. What a joy it is to be a writer and to get paid for something we love to do. Wouldn’t you agree?

  5. Join a writer’s group—There’s nothing quite like the inspiration and support of other souls who enjoy and understand our life’s work. My involvement in Chicago Writers Association over the years has allowed me to form important alliances and avail myself to greater resources than I ever would have flying solo. And you can experience the same benefits too. Look online for listings in your area, or sign up for the many national organizations and bulletin boards available via the Internet.

  6. Keep a file of fan mail or success stories—Whether it’s in the form of YAHOO folders, file cabinet hard copies, or even letters that you pin to a bulletin board that you view each day in your office space. Remind yourself of all that you’ve achieved, and all that’s possible to those who dare to believe!

…Because when all is said and done, nothing succeeds like success!

© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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