6 Ways to motivate yourself to write
We all know how hard it is some days to get pen on paper (or letters on a screen). So how can we motivate ourselves as writers?
Give yourself a daily target
I read an amazing blog the other day about a mum of five who commits herself to writing in 10 minute slots during the day.
She just sits down, sets the timer and writes. When the buzzer goes she stops and does something else. If she does that six times in a day she’s written for an hour. (You can find her here)
Now that style might not work for you. Maybe you want to commit to 500 words a day or set aside a couple of hours in the evening to write.
Find out what works for you and commit yourself to it.
Rid yourself of distractions
I used to write at the kitchen table until I realised I never got any writing done.
The kitchen is the heart of our family home and full of distractions for me: dirty dishes, laundry, school letters to reply to. I was constantly getting up and doing anything BUT writing.
Now I have a little corner in our guest bedroom with a desk where I can finally concentrate and get on with some writing. The room is always tidy as it’s hardly ever used and I keep the clutter on my desk to a minimum. It’s much more conducive to writing.
Find yourself a little distraction-free writing bubble. Maybe a local coffee shop, the shed at the bottom of your garden or a table at your local library. Wherever it is, make a habit of making that your writing workplace.
Join a writing group/community
Spending time with other writers is a great way be spurred on to write more. You could find a local creative writing class to join or a friendly online community, being part of a writers group is key to motivating yourself to write.
If you join a class, then you’ll always be given writing tasks and maybe even weekly homework. Being accountable to someone like a tutor is a perfect way to ensure you’re writing every week (particularly if she/he is a bit scary!)
Writing communities are a great place where writers encourage each other, give critical feedback and spur each other on to write more. Some great online writing communities are:
Write as if no one is ever going to read it
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase ‘Dance as if no one’s watching you’. Now you can apply that to your writing.
This may sound a bit strange as we all want our work to be read and enjoyed by others, but sometimes the fear of getting it wrong is what prevents us from starting in the first place.
So, start with the attitude of ‘No one’s going to read it anyways so it doesn’t matter if it’s a load of rubbish’.
Then, once you’ve got something written down you can start editing it and perfecting it to a point that you’re happy for someone else to read it!
Start the day with a writing exercise
There are loads of books, blogs and websites that offer daily writing exercises for writers. Look at it as a chance to warm up your writing muscles before a long run!
This is the age old analogy of dangling a carrot on a stick.
What do you love to treat yourself with? Is it a long hot bath, a bar of chocolate, a glass of wine or a visit to your favourite book shop?
Whatever it is, make sure you allow yourself a treat once you’ve achieved your goal – whether it’s a daily, weekly or even monthly writing goal – reward yourself!