To tell you the truth, there are few things that I find impossible, when I want to do them. [Scapin, I, ii]
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. [Rudyard Kipling]
Unhappiness has comic aspects one should never underestimate. [Elmire Jourdain, Molière (2007)]
I thought I'd make a section for these, to share when one actually comes to mind. Of course writing is a very personal, unique experience and what works varies greatly from person to person. Here's a brief list of things that I have found work for me:
*Never be caught without pen and paper. I almost always carry a small notepad and pen in my pocket, no matter where I'm going. I've jotted ideas down in a pitch-black movie theater and at a rodeo. When the plot bunnies bite, start writing.
*Don't be lazy about it. If you're serious about getting something published, be dedicated. Make it a job. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a great little kick in the pants if you have trouble with self-motivation. It challenges you to hit a daily word count goal - and for me, I can't resist a challenge!
*On the subject of academic writing, well, it's gross. Still, when I had to write papers for school I made a point of incorporating a touch of novelist flair to the words I was putting down. Simple things like not starting every sentence with the same word, and switching up the sentence structure. When I would edit other people's papers I found that their sentences all seemed the same. How boring to read! For years my teachers were less-than-thrilled about my unique touch, but finally in college I got my longed-for reward for going out of the box. The assignment was to write a ten-page paper for an accounting project. How on earth was I to make that tolerable to read?! I managed to apply my technique and submitted the paper, expecting the worst. To my shock I got a high mark and the professor even put a note on the paper complimenting my style. Just keep trying to make the assignment tolerable for you to write, and for someone else to read. You might be surprised at the results.
*Don't judge yourself. As many writers know, your inner editor can be your worst enemy. The reason I took so long to publish my first book is that all throughout high school and college, even though I was writing prolifically, I thought none of it was good enough for anyone else to read. I feared being judged, feared being told I was inadequate. Which is all rubbish, as I entered a few things into some contests in high school and did very well, even taking second place in a national playwriting competition. So I guess the moral of this one is to have confidence in your abilities, to believe in yourself, but never get cocky.