It’s the ultimate problem – you love to write, and yet the motivation doesn’t love you. I know this problem all too well. There are ways to get back on the horse though, even when it feels impossible, so I’ve put together a list of ways to stay on top of the writing game – even when you don’t feel like playing.
In this post, we’ll look at some simple ways to stay motivated as a writer. Sometimes, the best way to regain your focus on writing is to actually step away from it altogether.
The key thing though is not to give up. Everyone goes through peaks and troughs when it comes to productivity. Even if you feel like you’ve lost your creative mojo, there’s usually always a way that you can get it back.
If you’ve got any suggestions to add to this list then please pop them in the comments at the end of this post.
Ways to stay motivated as a writer
It can be really difficult to regain your writing motivation. It’s often, for me, during the times that I need to be the most productive that I feel like the ideas just aren’t coming. Fortunately, there are some little tricks and tips that I use to help me regain momentum. It’s not always easy, and there are definitely times when the best thing to do is give yourself a break. Burnout is real in the creative professions, even if you work for yourself.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can stay motivated as a writer.
Make it a habit
You’ll hear this all the time, but it’s really true. If you pencil in a set time each day to write then you’re more likely to do something, as opposed to absolutely nothing. Try and make this set time one that you can stick to and won’t vary with the days and weeks.
For example, there’s no point setting an hour aside each day smack bang in the middle of the school run. First thing in the morning is usually my most productive time, but after I’ve dropped off my daughter at school – anything before that is just madness.
Find your most productive time and stick to it. Even if it’s only for half an hour a day.
Sometimes you might have the motivation to write but the ideas just aren’t coming. This is when you need to get inspired. Check out some art, look at the world around you; step away from the computer and start listing ideas. Even if you’re not writing your writing, collecting ideas for your content is time equally well spent.
I’d recommend carrying a notebook or journal with you as much as possible. That way, you can jot down or sketch out any ideas that hit you while you’re out and about getting inspired.
Don’t compare yourself to everyone else
Mostly because everyone else is probably winging it too, but also because it’ll de-motivate you to feel that you’re not as far on in your writing progression as others perhaps seem.
Remember though, it doesn’t matter that – if you’re only writing to gain followers, a book deal, or fame, then you’re always going to be motivated by the wrong things. Consequently, your writing will suffer. Comparisons will get you nowhere but small steps towards your own goals each day will pay off eventually.
Keep a vocabulary journal
Fill it with new words, every day. Writing is something you need to practice and improve every day, and the key to that is to build your vocabulary. No one likes a dullard, so don’t be one with your choice of words! I also think having a physical dictionary in the house is helpful. Skim through a page a day and learn a new word. Build that vocabulary and it will pay dividends in your writing.
One sentence is better than nothing
Really, it is. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re really struggling to get into it – you can’t force writing but you can cultivate a habit. Just writing one sentence is better than not writing anything at all. I recently came to the conclusion that even if you just do one thing, and do it well, then you’ve been more productive than you realised.
There’s a lot of pressure these days to ‘be productive‘. Make sure you’re actually doing just one thing. If you get more done that day, great. If you don’t, that’s ok too. Small steps, remember.
Remember your goal
What is your goal? Why are you writing in the first place? If it’s becoming a chore then you’re going to find it even harder to stay motivated. So, try and remember why you started to write in the first place and see if you can work your way back to that place of excitement.
Go old school
Use a book. Or a jotter, or notepad, or bullet journal – anything paper-based! Sometimes the feeling of putting a physical pen to paper is as cathartic as it is motivating. Step away from the keyboard and give it a go.
How do you stay motivated to write?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever struggled to pull yourself out of a creative slump? What are your ways to stay motivated as a writer? Do you have any tips that work well for you when you’re not feeling very productive? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’ve found this post helpful, I’d love it if you gave it a share. You might also like some of my Creative Writing Tips on Pinterest, as well as this post on developing engaging characters.