No matter how happy we are with our writing, there are days in which we don’t feel like picking a pen or typing on a keyboard. What renders this lack of motivation frustrating, is that the solution appears to be so simple yet unattainable: what we need (as we tell ourselves) is more motivation.
So, we browse the web to get in the zone, look for pointers, reconnecting with the essence, regain values. Reminding ourselves to finish our novel, that the idea is fabulous, that we have reached a great beginning, or an excellent argument or some characters seem pretty interesting. But none of this seems to work.
There is a reason for these kinds of creative blocks: trying to remain a highly motivated, all the time, allows for the slightest loss of concentration to become worse until you abandon it all. The issue arises when you ought to be convinced on what to write before actually writing. Many motivational steps suggest on how to do things as opposed to letting us know what kind of attitude we should be having, which isn’t the same.
This wouldn’t be a problem if creating enthusiasm was achieved by repeating mantras in front of the mirror, or by placing post-its with optimistic messages on the monitor so you can read them from time to time. However, psychological research demonstrates that our efforts in managing our feelings by will power can be end up in self-sabotage. By insisting on the idea that you must “be motivated”, we’ve placed an obstacle between our aspirations and us, not only must we perform certain tasks to finish the novel, we have added the (difficult) task of wanting to do them.