Motivation is in short supply.
We know that motivation is a force that causes us to move toward a goal we’ve set. Reason, physical urge, and self-discipline are part of that force.
For many writers, motivation is difficult to find, to come by, to pin down.
Recently I received an email about an upcoming teleconference— Ellen Britt, an Internet Marketing Mentor, was offering a teleconference titled “The Big Why.” The subtitle was “Why Having a Bigger Purpose behind Your Business Matters.”
Having a purpose behind your work –feeling passionate about your work — is the key to productivity and well-being. That sounds great, but is it possible . . . for someone writing a dissertation? Is that a pie I’m seeing in that sky? What has to change in order that you feel passionate about your work?
Daniel Pink writes in Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us that human beings are “purpose seekers.” While making money is a huge motivation, Pink declares that an “equally powerful source of energy “ is the “purpose motive.”
According to Dan Pink , people in the work force are motivated far less by an extrinsic reward, such as money, than they are by the opportunity to do what they feel passionate about. They’ll volunteer their time to in order to feel they’re doing something meaningful.
Pink says that the 21st Century work place can’t function on the rules and systems from the past. The new system must be based on work being done because it matters. To be productive, people need autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Writing a dissertation seems as if it would be about autonomy and mastery and purpose.
But something doesn’t match up here.
Aren’t writers looking for the “big why”? Aren’t they supposed to be building expertise in their field? Aren’t they left to themselves to be autonomous? If so, shouldn’t they feel better about their process and their writing than they do?
For many ABD’s who contact me, the motivation seems based on fear—fear of failure or fear of what others will think.
The writing is something that has to be done. It’s a process made up of one deadline after another, and the deadlines become the motivating force.
What motivates you?
How would you like it to be?
How can you get motivated?
I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach