Newsflash: Writers don't make a lot of money. Best piece of advice I heard when starting this gig was to not quit my day job. That was over ten years ago, but here I am, still pounding away on the keyboard, writing word after word after word. What makes me do it? What is the motivation that keeps anyone working at any job for any length of time?
It's not money, contrary to popular belief. Oh, not that anyone in their right mind would turn down a cool million -- or even a tepid one -- but there truly are other motivating factors that cause you to stay with a profession even without huge monetary incentive.
5 Motivating Factors Other Than Money 1. Seeing tangible results of your work.
I'm not gonna lie...holding a published book in your hand with your name on it is as satisfying as a triple chocolate brownie fresh out of the oven with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce--or even more. When you've worked hard at a project, the finished result is uber motivating to make you want to do it again.
2. The more difficult a project, the more pride you'll feel when it's finished.
Pride is like crack. It's super addicting. All those endorphins and whatnot floating through your bloodstream. And there's no better way to pump up your ego than to finish a super challenging task.
3. Knowing that your work makes a difference in someone's life.
We are wired to help others. Mostly. Except for maybe narcissists and random terrorist organizations. The point is that when your work actually betters someone else's life in some way, you're going to want to continue doing that same thing so that you can effect someone else's life as well.
4. Positive reinforcement.
No one can take a continual brutal beating of criticism. It's the small bits of praise that put wind in our sails. Appreciation is a huge motivator.
A study at Hiroshima University researched two control groups, each performing the same task, but one group was surrounded with photos of cute baby animals. The other had to look at adult animals. The group in the environment with the sweet little babies outperformed the other. Your surroundings matter.
Next time you want to motivate someone, either a team member at work or your kid at home, use some of these motivators to get them going.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?