In general, I’m a self-motivated and disciplined person. I can set a schedule and stick to it. It’s one of the reason I can work from home. This also works well for my writing, which currently doesn’t pay the bills and so can easily take a back seat to other things.
I try to write about an hour every day (I actually write to a 700-word target). While doing this requires discipline, it’s made easier if I’m motivated to do it, which generally I am, especially when I have a story idea . When my motivation dips a little, however, it’s nice to have extra motivation, and a writing challenge is just the thing to get me back to the keyboard. Last weekend, fellow Hopefull Monster, Annette Bowman, threw down a challenge to write a story in two days. Annette made it, but I only got about 2,000 words into my story before life intervened.
Even though I didn’t finish, the challenge motivated me to start a short story, and I’ve nearly finished the first draft of it. I like the story, too—I think it will be a competitive submission once it’s finished, and it could become a nice publication. I know those are big words for a story that’s not even done, but a writer has to have confidence in his work, or all that motivation and discipline won’t add up to much, now will it?