Your head is swimming with ideas. Your imagination is drowning in inspiration. Your story is begging to be written but remains incomplete and severely neglected when real life steps in and deflates your motivated action to write a story you need to share with the world.
Discouraged and uninspired, you need to reactivate the spark that ignited your idea or complete an unfinished story that has lost its luster.
Aspirant writers and beginners, and also professionals may become disheartened, resulting in many great stories becoming buried without mercy.
Before you get ready to erect a tombstone for your beloved story, take a deep breath and resurrect it with the same conviction you had when inspiration first struck like a bolt of lightning.
It’s time to stop staring at the white page and pay homage to your story.
Don’t Confuse Motivation with Passion
Forget everything you’ve ever learned about writing “out of passion.” If you wait to feel passionate about what you’re writing, you’ll never finish writing your novel or screenplay. Don’t rely on passion or inspiration. It ebbs and flows and is unpredictable. You’re not going to feel passionate every day. Writing is difficult. Motivation doesn’t always mean loving what you’re doing. Sometimes it means sitting down and crafting your story.
Find a space where you do your best writing
Find a spot where you do your best writing. Make sure it’s away from distractions. Turn off the TV. Some people find music helps their state of mind when they write. Try it, but if it’s more distraction than inspiration, keep it off.
Changing where you work can also release you from a creative rut, give you a new perspective, and kickstart your writing motivation. Get out of the house, away from your desk, and sit in a coffee shop or a library every once in a while. Changing your environment may be all you need to jumpstart your motivation.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Get rid of distractions when you write. Writing requires all of your attention. Create a space where there are few if any outside distractions. Put your phone on silent or turn it off. Leave a do not disturb sign on your door. Filter outside noise with a white noise machine. Your goal is to eliminate all distractions and get into a state of flow.
Get Your Blood Pumping
If you’re really struggling to get motivated to write or are crippled by writer’s block, step away from your writing routine. Go for a walk or a jog. Sometimes just getting exercise helps to open the creative floodgates.
Remember that the journey is the destination.
The thought of writing a novel, novella, or screenplay can be daunting. Focus on the writing process rather than your ultimate goal. Be in the present and enjoy the experience.
Commit to regular writing time.
Getting into a writing habit is easier when you use time management skills and schedule a specific time to write every day. Honour the appointment like you would any other meeting, and show up at your computer or notebook at the allocated time, no matter what.
Write Every Day
Make a habit of the time that you sit down to write each day. Even when you don’t want to type a single word, be daring. Just write. It triggers something in your brain so that the pathway between your daily routine and your creative side is easier to locate. Find what stories work best when writing at a specific time. Some stories are more comfortable to be written during early morning hours while others demand candlelight late at night, and then there are stories that are best written in crowded restaurants or when traveling by train. A writing routine gives you the fuel to keep going, even when you think your tank is running low. When writing becomes an automatic part of your day, it’s a lot harder to procrastinate.
There’s no better motivator than a deadline. Look at your calendar and set a due date for each chapter of your book and a completed first draft. This will light the fire and force you to put the time in every day.
Set Writing Goals
A good writing goal will help you work towards some meaningful outcome like writing and self-publishing a best-seller or increasing your monthly income from freelance writing. Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and rewarding. If you want to complete a novel but are intimidated by the thought of writing 65,000 words or more, set small, attainable goals that are easier to tackle. It’s easy to get intimidated by ambitious goals.
Write now, edit later
An essential part of creative writing is to just get your story down. When the words are flowing, don’t stop to edit. You’ll forget your thoughts and ideas and you’ll lose momentum. Get the story down first. You can go back and edit later. One of the biggest mistakes I see with writers is trying to edit as they’re writing. Save editing for the very end. Switching back and forth between being creative and editing causes you to lose steam.
Change Your Inputs
As a creative, what you consume is almost as important as what you write. If you spend all day doom-scrolling on social media or the news, you’re likely to feel more anxious and despondent about creative work. Rather inspire yourself with some great literature, popular best-sellers, or a trip to your local art museum.
If you want to motivate yourself, you have to take care of yourself. If you’re super stressed out or exhausted, you’re not going to function well. And you’re definitely not going to feel motivated to write. Completing a book or screenplay will take an emotional, mental, and sometimes physical toll on you. If you don’t take care of yourself, it’s easy for stamina to wane. Get plenty of sleep. Eat well. Exercise. Take nature walks. Do things that will make your body and mind feel better. You want to develop good writing habits, not become a writing machine. Being refreshed will make you a better writer. Self-care will revitalise you so you can come back the next day, ready to meet your writing goals.
Recognize and Face Your Fear
Every person has a book in them. But one of the major things that hold people back from writing those books is fear. They’re afraid that their book won’t be good enough, original enough, or meaningful enough. They’re afraid of looking stupid or making people angry. Those kinds of fears are normal, but you shouldn’t let them get in the way. You have a story that’s worth telling. The only way to truly motivate yourself to tell it is to conquer your fear. In the words of Krishnamurti “When you confront your fear, it disappears.” If you allow those fears to stick around, they only lead to procrastination, frustration, and despair.
Variety is the Spice of Life
If you’ve cultivated an artistic temperament, your moods will fluctuate. Like a soldier preparing for battle, make sure your arsenal is well stocked. If you have a complete scene outline, the function of each scene will dictate your mood, allowing you to write frivolous scenes when you’re in a happy mood and morbid scenes when you’re sad; you don’t have to bother with structure as your story has been plotted. Also, if you have crafted stories in different genres, it will empower you to shift gears when one story needs to take a break and pay attention to another story.
If you find that you can easily write 20 pages a day, speed up the count to 30 or even 50 pages during your next writing or rewrite session. Turn a sprint into a marathon and increase your pace. It’s a race that will test your endurance to the limits and crown you a winner at the end of finishing a draft sooner rather than later.
If you’ve completed a chapter, overcome an obstacle in your writing you thought you’d never solve, met a deadline successfully, or found a way to make your characters come alive: reward yourself. Keep it to yourself. Don’t plaster it all over social media or share it with anyone. Harness your achievement and celebrate how well you’ve done, treat yourself to your favourite meal or slice of cake, or simply take the day off and rest. Respect your self-worth and be proud of who you are as a wordsmith and triumph!