Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us

When we start out in life, we have amazing clarity on what we want to be. Perhaps we want to be a nurse, or a vet, or a firefighter. These simple needs or aspirations that we feel as a child can be forgotten as we grow up, and we loose sight of our deepest sense of purpose. Not everyone can, should, or will be as an adult, the thing we wanted to be as a child. But it is worth exploring this early career ideal though, because it is often surprisingly close to what we want and need as an adult.

This is an old video now, and I first watched it when it came out several years ago.

The concepts explained in this video remain true, and there is a surprising truth about what motivates us.

So, the surprising thing about motivation, is that it is only loosely related to money. We need ‘enough’ money, and once we have enough, our motivation shifts to a different level.

I spend anywhere from 10 hours upwards working on writing in my spare time, many weeks it can be as high as 20 hours. I am not alone in this, and my previous survey confirmed that many of my blog readers, just like me, can spend many hours a week working on their writing projects, with little or no monetary reward.

So why do we do this? Why use our precious time on something that pays so poorly, if it pays at all?

It all comes down to the three pillars of motivation.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

These are the things we want and crave. These are the things that get us out of bed in the morning, and keep us tapping away at our keyboards late into the night.

Autonomy – This is about the freedom to choose within the bounds of interdependence. In other words, given a set goal or objective, having the freedom to decide for ourselves how best to achieve this can prove to be powerful both to our performance and our overall wellness.

Mastery – We want to improve. This really is the bottom line. Find me a writer who has just written a great book, who doesn’t want to write an even better one next time – enough said.

Purpose – This is our energy, and is derived by connecting our conquest to our higher purpose. I have blogged before about living your life purpose. It sounds like a cliche, but if we know what our life purpose is, and we can find a way to make it a part of our working or home life, then we are well on the way to living a happy, fulfilled life.

For more on the subject see The Three Pillars of Motivation

For more on finding your life purpose see How to find your life purpose

I will leave you with a thought and a question. What did you want to be when you were a child, and does it relate at all to what you are doing now? Can you see any connection between what you love doing now, and what your childhood aspirations were?

15 questions to reveal your ultimate purpose in life

Mind-Reading Computer Writes Words with Brain Waves

This is a fascinating article about developments in mind-reading computers, and  science fiction is once more on the verge of becoming science fact.

Mind-Reading Computer Writes Words with Brain Waves | IFLScience.

So, what are our thoughts on this? The beginning of a vibrant new phase in story writing? Or the beginning of the end of story writing as we know it?

If you could draft a story in days instead of months it would transform the volume of books available, and potentially open up writing careers to great swathes of people who have previously been unable to participate.

The repercussions, particularly for people with a disability, are profound. To provide them with an opportunity to express themselves is miraculous, and would undoubtedly improve their quality of life.

It would completely change the dynamics of writing for everyone. You could write while driving, walking, gardening, or any other task that does not require your creative thoughts to be elsewhere.

As the article indicates, they are a long way from perfecting this, but the early results are encouraging and suggest it is only a matter of time before writing words from brain waves becomes possible.

If you could use this, would you? Or is the act of typing or writing a vital part of the creative process? Perhaps we simply need to have time to adjust and adapt, and in the future all writing will be done this way.

And maybe one day we will no longer call ourselves story writers, but instead, become story thinkers.

Social Media – Are you keeping up to date?

If you are anything like me you have an array of social media. Among them a few favourites, and a few that have fizzled out.  Personally, I love social media, but it can be exhausting trying to keep pace. My personal favourites would be Facebook, twitter and blogs, but I also enjoy reddit for the best place to find new news articles.

I first saw this video on a lunch box session on social media, and it really demonstrates the frenzy of excitement that can go along with social media. It is, of course, an advert. I am, of course, falling under the spell of their clever marketing by sharing it 😉

Thus, the allure of social media is the attention it generates, and this comes as much by using it effectively as by using it at all.

Hashtags are important, especially on tweets, but again are you using them as effectively as you can? Using the right hashtag will get you the right audience.

Using keywords in your post/Pintrest article/Youtube video is a relatively new one for me. Against any subject there will be keywords people use frequently. These should be used in both your post title and in your first paragraph to help you posts get the right and relevant attention. Care needs to be taken between too broad a word or phrase which will leave your post 200 search pages down, and too specific meaning no one will ever search for it!

Top 10 SEO tips

Knowing why you use Social media. For me, social media is about sharing and learning. I want to learn from other writers who are more experienced than me, and I also love sharing whatever is going on in my writerly life. I particularly love the sense of connection I get with like minded people who share my love of writing and empathise with the trials of writing and publishing a book.

I would love to hear your feedback on using social media.

The best and worst things about social media?

Your top tips for using it effectively?

Why do you use social media?

Which are your favourite social media accounts and why?

The life of a writer – renovations, colds and cats

Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks and months, and my writing progress has not been great.

My heath took a bit of a dip. I have suffered with anaemia and pernicious anaemia many times, but they still creep up on me again occasionally, and I had managed to get myself into a very bad state. A intensive course of B-vitamin injections and an iron infusion sorted it out and I was feeling pretty buoyant, and then I got the dreaded cold.

Thankfully it is clearing up, but with one thing and then the other I have spent very little time writing, much to my frustration.

On the positive side, not feeling great does encourage you to submerge yourself in a book, so I am currently tucking into this little gem.


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

About a third of the way through, but enjoying it so far. If I was to pick one thing out so far, it would be the power you have over your own thoughts, and the choice you have to experience life positively.

I am not the only one who has been feeling sorry for myself, my cat (Ted) believes he is the master of the entire neighbourhood and occasionally fails epically in his attempts to protect his perceived domain. The result was a trip to a vet and a cone on his head after a nasty scratch. I gave him a stern talking to and explained that he either needs to develop his fighting skills or learn to run…not sure how much good it will do 😉


We have also been doing some renovations on our little stone cottage, and after a considerable amount of procrastination about which kitchen units to get, we have finally had the new kitchen fitted. I am ridiculously excited about having a dishwasher again! I have even done a bit of cooking, much to my husbands delight. It’s the little things. . .


And some writing. . .

I have actually done a little writing. To ease myself back in, I have done some editing on book two. I brought some chapters forward to give book one a better rounded story. So having pillaged book two for book one, I pulled some of book three back to book two. I have settled on the content for book two now. There are a couple of chapters in this second book that still need a little work, and the whole thing needs self editing, but feeling pretty happy about it so far.

Happy writing everyone!

Amazon to start paying per pages read

I thought this an interesting change from Amazon, and for once it makes a lot of sense. In summary, from 1st July 2015 Amazon will be paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read

Some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:

  • The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
  • The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

From a personal perspective, this seems infinitely fair. I cannot help but wonder if it is time we started to apply this to all book royalties. I know from a personal point of view there plenty of times that I have bought a book, even after reading the free opening pages, only to be totally disappointed soon after hitting the ‘Buy’. At this point I either try and persevere, or give up, and tag it up as a never buy this author again.

A pages read perspective for all book royalties, would:

  • Mean good work and a well rounded story was rewarded.
  • People are less worried about giving a book a go, even from indie authors, because they only pay if they continue to read.

I know if I was given this option as a book reader I would take it, and as a future book seller, it would encourage me to produce a quality product.

Editing costs are on a word count, so perhaps it’s time to shake up the system, and apply the same principle to the way we pay for reading all book.

Full article here> Kindle Unlimited Pages Read

Why reading is good for your health

Sometimes a book is the only thing that can make the world right again.

As someone who writes, I think it is fair to say that I have a lot of time for books. I am going through some training at work at the moment, and there is an awful lot of talking and discussing involved in this training. But I have also been lucky to be provide with a recommended selection of books to choose from within my areas of focus, and I am actually loving the opportunity to graze these at my own pace in my own time.

I guess when we are in need of a boost in life, to reset our expectations, direction, expand our knowledge, or simply refresh ourselves by an escape from the hum-drum routine, a book is the only vice you need.

All books should come with a warning…Reading is seriously good for your health!