One of the top 3 posts on my blog is “Motivation in Writing the Dissertation–It’s All about Mental Toughness and Discipline.” Day after day, it stays in the top 3 posts. As yesterday turned into today, the first two hits of this new day again were on “Motivation in Writing the Dissertation–It’s All about Mental Toughness and Discipline.”
What is it that is drawing readers to that post? Is it because writers are looking for the secret of how to become motivated?
Are they putting off writing, but at the same time telling themselves that if only they could get motivated that they would then start writing?
In an email last night, a dissertation client suggested that he wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. Tonight—which is Monday– when he came to our call, he didn’t even mention a lack of motivation.
What he did say was that his week was off to a good start and that he felt like he had actually accomplished something today. He didn’t say how difficult it was to get started working. His focus was on how feelings of accomplishment had given him “a good start.” His use of the word start implies that more is to come.
He clearly capitalizes on whatever success he achieves to help him become motivated.
When he leaves his day job to come home, he says that he tries not to think about being tired. He focuses on what comes next. And what comes next isn’t a nap. He never takes a short nap after coming home because he knows that giving into the desire for a short nap would result in a 3-hour nap.
That’s being mentally tough. Motivation doesn’t come easily. It requires you to train yourself into thinking that you can have a day job and then come home at night and write toward your week’s writing goal. Or you can bathe your kids and put them to bed and either write then or get up early the next morning and write before going to work.
It means digging down to find the discipline to hold yourself accountable and to accomplish something.
You may be doing writing connected with your job or writing that you have chosen to do. It’s either something you choose to do or it’s thrust upon you. Either way, once you make some headway, then you’re ready to keep rolling. You will feel motivated. But mental toughness and discipline come first.
How are you doing with being mentally tough? I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love to send you my e-newsletter, Smart Tips. Go to www.nancywhichard.com and sign up.