In this BIT: Author Marissa Meyer shares her motivation tips, story, and writing advice. Read below to discover more on how to be motivated.
Marissa Meyer is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author, whose work includes The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, The Renegades Trilogy, Instant Karma, and the graphic novel duology Wires and Nerve. In addition to her writing, Marissa is also the host of The Happy Writer Podcast, where she talks about bringing joy to her own writing process, as well as others. Marissa Meyer has always known writing was her calling – in fact, her favorite toy as an infant was a squishable book. Being a writer is a dream job for Marissa, but just like anything in life, still requires motivation and discipline. Below, Marissa Meyer shares her story and advice on how we can all find more motivation to do what we enjoy. Read on to discover Marissa Meyer’s motivation tips, writing advice, and more.
SBOH: Being an author means consistently writing and creating writing habits, as well as being really passionate about the habit of writing. We see happiness as a habit as well. What tips would you give to someone trying to form positive habits, in this case happiness habits?
Marissa Meyer: So much of our day-to-day happiness comes down to our perspective. Having a “silver lining” or “glass half full” perspective on most things in life can give us a huge leg up when it comes to feel regular contentment and joy! For people who struggle with this, I would recommend first trying to catch themselves whenever they find themselves having negative thoughts, and making a conscious effort to try to spin those thoughts in a more positive direction. For example, if you think, “Oh no, not rain again!” try to pause and change your thought to, “I enjoy how the world smells after a good rain.” Or, “Ugh, this next chapter has that big battle. I hate writing fight scenes!” could instead become, “I’m going to find a killer playlist to get me pumped up to write a killer fight scene!” It takes practice, but we can retrain our brains to be more positive, and it goes a long way toward our overall happiness.
Marissa: You know what… I don’t feel that I need to find motivation or inspiration! I really love what I do, and feel so lucky that I get to do this for my job. It’s both fun and fulfilling for me, and it’s more common for me to be looking for ways to sneak away from other responsibilities (like housework!) so I can squeeze in more writing time. So on those rare days when I am lacking in motivation, I figure there’s probably a good reason for it—maybe I’m stressed or distracted about something in my life? Maybe I just need a mental break? And I’m happy to give myself some time off to recuperate. I always come back to my writing feeling refreshed and enthusiastic again.
Want to know how to be motivated? In this BIT we break down celebrity author Marissa Meyer’s writing advice and motivation tips.
SBOH: At the beginning, what motivated you to become a writer? How has that motivation changed over the years?
Marissa: I was a storyteller from the time I was really little, always daydreaming about epic adventures. I started writing my first stories when I just three or four years old (I would tell them to my parents who wrote them down for me). At some point as I grew up, I realize that books were written by people, and I knew right away that was the job for me! I knew I was going to be writing anyway, because I loved it so much and had so many stories I wanted to tell, so to also get paid for it? Yes, please! My motivation hasn’t changed a whole lot—I still love writing, and have so many stories I want to tell. But now I’m also driven by deadlines. Nothing motivates quite like an editor and a publication schedule.
Marissa: It really varies. I also homeschool my 8-year-old twins, so a lot of my day revolves around them. I try to squeeze in an hour or two of writing in the morning, then we move onto school. If I have time, I might try to write a bit more in the afternoon, though a lot of times my afternoons are filled with exercise and reading for or recording my weekly podcast. I will often try to block out one full day a week to really focus on my current novel, and schedule two or three writing retreats throughout the year to be very, very productive, so that I can stay focused on my family while I’m at home.
1. Don’t worry about money or success. Think about why you love what you’re doing. Think about how you can improve your skills. There will come a time to think about publication and career and success – but when you’re first getting started, it’s so much more important to maintain your own enthusiasm.
2. Find people who share your interests. Join a writing group, in person or online. Go to writing conferences. Start a book club. Being around like-minded people is so inspiring and keeps us from feeling like we’re alone in this strange passion.
3. Write what you love. It’s such cliché advice, but that’s because it’s really important! Trying to chase trends or what you think other people want to read is a sure way to burn yourself out. It takes a long time to write a novel, even longer to revise, edit, and publish it. Make sure you’re spending your time on something you’re excited about.
Marissa Meyer’s hacks on how to be more motivated.
Marissa: The toughest book I’ve written to date was Renegades, which went through four or five complete rewrites over about a two-year period. By the time I got my editor’s notes back on that last attempt and realized it still wasn’t very good, I was so frustrated and discouraged I wanted to throw the whole thing away and move on to something entirely different. Luckily, I was able to have some great conversations with my agent and editor and we figured out what wasn’t working with the book and—most important—we got down to the heart of the story that I really wanted to tell. I went back to square one, but this time really asked myself what excited me about this story and these characters, and replanned the entire novel around that. The put me back on track, and really spurred me to tackle one more rewrite.
Marissa: I always start a new project by doing lots of research (which I love!) and creating a Pinterest inspiration board. Those two steps combined start to give me a strong idea of the story world, the vibe I’m going for, and give me lots of ideas for things to include in the story. By the time I’m done, I am usually eager to get started!
Marissa: My next novel – WITH A LITTLE LUCK – is coming out in February 2024, and I can’t wait for readers to have it! I have a number of other projects in the works that I can’t give much information about yet, including more graphic novels, fairy tale retellings, and even delving into new genres I haven’t tackled yet. More info coming soon!
Reading books with my kids.
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde
My mom’s chocolate chip cookies.
We hope that Marissa Meyer’s motivation tips and writing advice inspire you to keep going on whatever you’re working at, giving you a small bit of happiness.
Find Marissa here:
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.
Motivation tips, writing advice, and more on how to be motivated! Read this interview for a celebrity author’s top writing advice, motivation tips, as well as her hacks on how to be motivated.