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  • Writer's pictureMicki Bare

Motivation to recommit to writing

Micki Bare about writing on TikTok

A family vacation followed by an illness that had me in bed the better part of a week conspired to stall progress on edits to a manuscript that's due to my editor this fall. My writing motivation wavered.

If I'd already completed the manuscript and edited it at least once, I wouldn't have been concerned. However, what I currently have of the third book in my series, slated to be published May 2024, is an almost finished raw first draft.

No worries, I said to myself a month or so ago when the school year ended. Yes, I have graduate classes this summer, but I had graduate classes all year while teaching. I wallowed in the confidence I'd be able to get the manuscript into shape during the long break from school.

During the first couple of weeks, my manuscript progressed as planned. I worked on my coursework and then the manuscript each weekday. I hung out with Hubby on weeknights. We had family time at the pool on weekends.

Then came our family vacation. I still had to keep up with coursework. While I did, we fit in putt putt, pier fishing, surf fishing, exploring, eating, and beach time. I never once opened my manuscript.

Not to worry. I'd pick back up at home.

Remember the eating part of vacation? I may have ingested something toxic to my system. At one point, doctors were concerned I had pancreatitis. I did not. After multiple tests at the hospital—and fluid to treat dehydration—the diagnosis was enterocolitis. The probable cause? Tainted or raw food.

For the next five days, I was in bed. I barely kept up with my coursework. My manuscript sat untouched as it slept in its digital file on my laptop.

When the strong medications finally kicked in, I realized my summer vacation days were melting away along with everything else in this global heatwave. I had to get back to my manuscript.

Back in May, I also envisioned using the summer break to get into a blogging and social media routine. Instead, my monthly newsletters are late, I haven't added a blog in six months, and I struggle to post regularly on any social media platform.

I had to find the motivation to recommit to the full gamut of author life. If there's time in the day to passively binge-watch Frankie and Grace, there's time to write, edit, and promote!

I paused to reflect. What does commitment need to be successful? In the quiet of meditation, food popped into my head. Not eating it, but rather controlling how much I eat. Any success I've had changing eating habits for the better included a component of oversight—food journal, Fitbit—to keep me motivated and on track. I needed a way to incorporate a version of oversight into my writing life.

That's when I realized the answer was in the palm of my hands. TikTok!

I came up with a plan to verbally commit to my TikTok audience of mostly strangers. I decided to post a video of me talking honestly to my social media audiences (plural, because I repost to my Facebook reels) every day about my writing progress, then invite them to comment with insights or encouragement.

My plan worked! Like making out a list that nags at the psyche like a little brother poking you on a road trip from New Jersey to Massachusetts, promising to post every day pushes me to 1) post every day, and 2) make time for my manuscript and other writing goals every day.

The one-sided (until someone drops a comment) conversations are cathartic. They're real, raw, and easier to keep up than I originally thought. I hope the easy part continues. Although, if it doesn't, I can always brainstorm another way to stay motivated. I have to. My commitment to writing, although sometimes shaky, is among my list of lifelong commitments that includes my marriage, my children, and my fur babies.

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