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Good morning!

Please help me in welcoming my first guest, fellow blogger and paranormal romance author Traci Bell. Traci was gracious enough to host me on her blog on Monday as part of a blog hop we’re doing with our social networking class.

Traci’s going to talk about a topic that speaks to both writers and non-writers.


First, I’d like to thank Jen for having me on her blog today.  I must admit that reading her blog, she’s forced me to put Downton Abbey on my list of television shows to watch.

My list of shows to watch and books to read grows faster than I can keep up with it.  I’m currently reading Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink.  Drawing on four decades of scientific research, Pink claims that “humans have an inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise their capacities, to explore and to learn.”

Pink tells the story of how Mike Cannon-Brookes, the founder of a successful Australian software company named Atlassian, came up with an idea to ensure his programmers had fun at work.  He gave them permission to spend a day working on any problem they wanted, even if it wasn’t part of their regular job.  The day of freedom gave birth to several ideas for new products, as well as repairs and patches on existing ones.  It was so successful, Cannon-Brookes made the practice a permanent part of Atlassian culture.

Ever used a Post-It note?  The sticky little note pads most people can’t live without at work were created out of the fifteen percent time 3M’s Chairman William McKnight told employees they could spend on projects of their choosing.

Now I don’t know about you, but the organization I work for isn’t that in tune with motivating employees, which means I only have the choice for where to spend my free time.

And where do I spend it?  Writing.

I love to write.  The world falls away when I write, and I swear time speeds up.  So why is it so hard on some days to motivate myself to do what I love?  There are days that after taking care of my family and working full-time, I need motivation to write, simply because I’m so tired.

Pink has several suggestions for how individuals can motivate themselves.  Some of the ways are:

  • Ask yourself at the end of every day whether you were better today than yesterday.  The act of looking at small measures on a daily basis will ensure that by day three thousand, you’ll be closer to mastery.
  • Make a ‘to don’t’ list.  Do you have trouble spending time on your passion because you’re too busy taking care of other things?  Make a ‘to don’t’ list at the same time you make a ‘to do’ list.  A ‘to don’t’ list can help you identify the things you want to stop wasting your time and energy on, so you can better spend them on your passion.
  • Create your own motivational posters.  This idea is fun.  The websites http://bighugelabs.com/motivator.php and http://wigflip.com/automotivator allow you to create your own motivational posters.  You can be as silly or as serious as you want.  Only you know what words or images have meaning for you.

I’m about four to six thousand words away from the end of my current work in progress, and I’m struggling to finish it.  I find what works best for me is to push through whatever I’m struggling with.  For example, if I’m exhausted, I move my focus from how tired I am, how heavy my feet are, and how much my head hurts, to concentrate on just doing it.  Even if I only get one hundred words on paper, it puts me one hundred words closer to my goal of finishing my work in progress.

And I’m currently brainstorming what to put on my own motivational poster.

So what passion do you follow during your free time?  How do you motivate yourself to do it when the daily grind wears you down?


Traci’s first book, ENTANGLED, is available in paperback and Kindle formats.

Alexos de Werner, exiled prince of a land now under Republican rule, is searching for the woman that can help stop the disasters devastating his home province of Ennis, in his world of Caedmon.

Alex will do anything to save his people, even if they don’t want his help.

Unnerved by the connection she feels with Alex and the new abilities awakening inside her, Cassie refuses Alex’s request for help as ludicrous. A demonstration of his otherworldly abilities convinces Cassie her only choice is to help him.

Once on Caedmon, Cassie must learn to trust Alex and accept her gift before Ennis is lost. Can she open her heart and mind and become the student instead of the teacher?

You can contact Traci via her website:  http://tracibell.net/