No self-acclaimed author wakes up with a writing motivation –the inspiration to write. Yet, there are days when you completely lose the feel of flipping through the pages of even a blank notebook.
I’ve been there, and here’s the best advice I can give: strive and push through to the end. Write anyway, no matter how or what you feel.
Just do it even when you don’t feel like giving it a shot. If you don’t, you’ll slide into procrastination.
A day of not writing can turn into two days, three days, and ten…until you lose hope and give up.
I’ve seen plenty of authors give up on the first attempt to write a book, some at the second and even the third attempt – and that’s because they lost their writing motivation and succumbed to fear or procrastination.
If you want to publish a write-up, be it a book or a blog, it is up to you to dig deep and get that writing motivation every day, no matter how terrible or how much you hate it. There’s no better way to become a great writer than to write, finish your book, and move on to the next. You get better as you move.
Here are ten practical tips to stir up writing motivation, even when there’s no need to.
1. Understand the Difference Between Passion and Motivation
Unlearn everything you’ve ever learned about passion for writing. If you write out of passion, then you may never finish writing.
Passion is highly unreliable. It is not stable. It comes and goes quickly. It is practically impossible to feel passionate every day.
The same applies to writing inspiration. You rarely experience that bolt of lightning that triggers the flow of words.
Writing is not an easy task. That explains why many authors give up even before they finish their first draft.
Motivation does not necessarily mean loving what you are doing. Sometimes, it means digging your heels in and doing just what you must do.
For instance, I’m not fond of the gym, but I have to do it, and I do it anyway. And I’m always excited about the results in the end.
Learn to distinguish between passion and motivation.
There’s nothing wrong with the writing, even when you don’t feel the writing motivation.
You don’t have to be stoked about writing. Start doing it; if the passion is there, that’s fine. But never expect more of yourself than you should.
Once you begin writing, then you’re motivated. And that’s it!
2. Set Writing Goals
Let’s say you want to complete a book but are not so enthusiastic about churning out 70,000 words. The best way to get things done is by setting goals that are easier to tackle. Assign a minimum word count that you need to reach daily.
After each writing session, document your word count in a journal or a diary. If it’s a blog, set an analytical goal of the number of people you want to reach with your next article. Goal setting helps you accomplish things on your to-do list.
3. Write Daily
If you want to make massive progress with your writing, you must make writing a habit. One way to achieve this is by writing every day, almost around the same time, even when you don’t feel that writing motivation.
To develop the habit of writing, start by identifying your most productive times of the day. For example, if you love working in the morning, why not commit 3 – 4 hours daily as you sip from your mug in the morning.
Not everyone can be a full-time writer, so if you can dedicate 30 minutes of your time before bed each night, that’s fine. But, most importantly, you find your groove and adhere strictly to your schedule.
4. Create an Outline Before You Start Writing
Writing is a form of communicating ideas. It is as simple as that.
Yes, you’ll want to capture relevant ideas for your book. And the best way to achieve this is by creating an outline first – that way, you’ll be able to capture every concept in a specific section before proceeding to the next. Then, by the time you sit down to write, you will have gathered all the relevant ideas. That makes the whole process easier.
An outline serves as a defense against writer’s block. You’ll hardly get stuck when a roadmap guides you.
Once you see the outline of your book, writing will become easier. The idea is that you aren’t writing a whole book anymore. Instead, you’re simply looking at a collection of stories and ideas, and you’ve already got a lot of these in your brain.
You’ll feel the writing motivation once you’ve created an outline for your book – breaking the book into pieces that can be managed.
5. Set Deadlines
Deadlines are one of the best writing motivators. Consult your calendar and set a due date for every article or chapter of your book. This will trigger the force that will put you to work every day. Of course, you could also pretend you’re doing this for a client – that’s if it helps.
6. Write Now, Then Edit Later
One of the biggest mistakes that a writer can make is editing while writing. Editing as you write will block your creativity and slow your productivity significantly.
Switch off your editor while working on your first draft. Juggling between writing and editing will not help you kill two birds with a stone. Instead, you’ll only end up interrupting that smooth flow of creativity.
Allow your ideas to flow onto the page naturally. Never worry about what may or may not work. Never worry about achieving that perfect sound – you can fix these in the editing phase.
7. Find a Perfect Space for Your Work
Having a perfect writing space is a unique writing motivation on its own. Ensure that your writing space is far away from distractions. Put away your phone and turn off the TV.
8. Stick to a Regular Writing Time
It is easier to develop a writing habit when you adopt time management skills and have a specific time to write daily. Therefore, please stick to your writing appointment like any other, and be at your computer desk once it is time, no matter what.
9. Talk Out Your Writing
If you find writing hard, write as if you are conversing with a friend. This is another compelling writing motivation.
Conversating with your book is a unique way of discussing your pending problems, whether you’re having difficulty with the characters, the plot, or the book’s layout.
Note that you shouldn’t just pen down words as if you are talking to a friend – you can call a buddy over for lunch and ask them to review what you’ve done so far.
10. Reward Yourself
You can use bribery as a bit of writing motivation now and then. It won’t hurt, I assure you. So promise yourself a cup of coffee, some sweet treat, or any other reward for achieving a writing milestone.