I love a good challenge. By challenge I mean something like NaNoWriMo or the fitness challenges my Y holds in the spring. I love committing to do something with a group of people and reaching a goal.
I've probably talked about doing the 12x12 Picture Book Challenge this year. I did it last year and it was very motivating. So far this year has been even more motivating. See, this year I paid for the Gold Membership so every month I've been able to submit a finished picture book manuscript to an agent.
That commitment is a lot of fun. I've been reading stacks and stacks of picture books. Writing new ideas that pop into my head. Researching topics for nonfiction picture book ideas.
This challenge is the one thing that is getting me to the page on a regular basis, writing-wise. I've been spending a lot of time worrying about having less work this year than I've had the last couple years and adjusting to the reality of that. Thinking about picture books, reading picture books, and revising picture books, is about as far away from worrying about bills that you can get.
One day, maybe, I will be at a place in my writing career where I won't be as worried when I have 6 weeks off from my day job because I'll be able to use the time to write instead of scrambling to find work to fill up huge chunks of time.