How To Motivate Yourself To Write
This was meant to provide motivation, but honestly, this is more of a list of ways to make sure you get it done, rather than make yourself “motivated”. Either way, this should benefit you somehow.
- In the words of Chuck Wendig, “do not fucking multitask”. Carve out a specific time to write and use it to write. Don’t try to simultaneously write and tweet and check your email. Whether it be 15 minutes or 2 hours, write, and only write.
- Take breaks occasionally. You can’t just sit there and fog up your creative lens. Go outside and go for a walk. Go to coffee with your friends for an hour. Do something to relax your brain for a while. It’s the same with studying. Don’t drive yourself up the wall because you feel you’re “on a roll”. Your ideas and plans will still be there when you get back. If you begin to get frustrated or your foot starts to fall asleep, take a break.
- Use a rewards system. Say, for every 100 words, you get a piece of chocolate. After eating a regular sized Hershey’s bar, you’ve got 1200 words. Go you! (I personally fine this incredibly useful.)
- Have people you trust hold you accountable. Have your best friend (or partner, if you’ve got one) check in when they know you should be writing to make sure you did.
- Read books like a writer. Read a shitty book and pick it apart to find what you don’t like about it. Read a good book to find what you do like. Use these reflections and apply them to your own work. Nothing helps quite like learning from other people’s mistakes and success.
- Don’t get stuck in the planning stages. You may get really excited while planning a story, that huge plot twist, a minor character’s backstory, etc, but keep in mind that at some point you’re going to have to sit down and hash it out. A lot of promising writers never get past the planning stages, so in the words of my very wise boyfriend: “Just write”.
- Write in places that make your creative juices flow. Get cozy in bed with your laptop open to a word document, light a few candles, make some tea, get that incense going, and write. Music really helps to get in the mood as well, and if you would like to take a look at my writing playlist, here it is, free for public consumption.
- Keep your mind open to new ideas and changes to your story. Your idea will develop and evolve over time, and the beauty of writing is that you can change anything you want and there are no consequences. If you decide to completely scrap a character, remove a subplot, add one in, or change the plot but keep the same characters, you’re totally free to do so. Nothing about writing is set in stone, so stay open minded to new concepts and changes and, most importantly, criticism. (I won’t elaborate on this because I might end up making a whole other post about this topic in the future.)
As always, this is just a compilation of the tips and tricks I’ve found the most useful in my own experience. They may not help, they may help a lot, it really could go either way or somewhere in between, but all the same, I hope this proves useful to you.