Let’s be realistic.
The hardest part of writing is just getting started. Like me, you find yourself lacking the motivation to write. Sometimes I spend hours sitting in front of my computer having barely typed a single paragraph. You’re mentally exhausted and can’t come up with any ideas. Then, you spend the rest of the night watching Netflix or browsing the internet until you fall asleep.
We need to understand that motivation isn’t a one-day thing to reach our goals. We have to know that we have to work on a plan on a regular basis if we want to achieve the things we want in our life. Writing is no exception. When I’m writing a novel or a short story, I try my absolute hardest to stay motivated.
And what I found was that the more you get motivated, the more you stay motivated. Understand that a project doesn’t usually get finished in one day. Nor do results. Here are some of the rules I remind myself to stay motivated every day.
#1. Stay around the right people.
For me, this is perhaps the most important rule. Find people who can relate to what you’re going through. Be it in a friend, family member, or even an online community, finding people who support and are positive about what you’re doing can make motivate you to keep writing.
#2. Use the resources of the internet.
Have a problem? Use the internet. Obviously, you probably wouldn’t be here if you didn’t know that but I just want to remind you that if you’re having problems finding the perfect synonym or words, googling for more information can be extremely beneficial to your writing.
Sometimes when I write, I want to do a bit of research on the topic before I start. It’s pretty silly to write a story about sailing when you have no idea what to do.
Whenever I read up on something, I usually find something new or interesting that I pick up and use for my writing. Maybe it’s just me but the more I learn about something the more motivated I become to write about it.
#3. Use notes to remind yourself later.
When you think of an interesting idea or plotline, don’t hesitate to write it down immediately. Use post-its or even the notes app on your phone. Occasionally, I have even used a pen and wrote on my arm! A lot of times, I see something and I think to myself, wow I should write about that.
Other times, I get really great ideas or come up with a nice quote that I want to use in my story. Don’t rely on your brain to memorize it. Just write it down now! When you’re staring at a blank screen then pull out your phone with your notes on it, you’ll thank me!
#4. Eat healthy as much as you can.
Find a way to eat as healthy as possible, even if you think you’re wasting time by spending an hour cooking. This isn’t a fitness blog by any means, but the food is truly the base of your body. Your body won’t perform well if you load yourself with sugar and burgers all the time. This is apparent, especially in writing.
#5. Set up a routine.
Plan your day. Tell yourself exactly what you’ll be doing for today. For me, I like to ask myself, “What are my goals today?”
Usually, it’s exactly what you’d expect. I’d say to myself: “Today, I’m going to prepare meals for me and my family. I’m going to go to the grocery store. I’m going to do my laundry. I’m going to write at least 5,000 words today.”
I know it might seem silly, but if you develop a routine, you’ll turn it into a habit. Do you know why people don’t mind waking up every morning at 6 a.m. just to go to work? It’s because they’ve done it so many times (whether through school or through work), that it becomes a routine that they do regularly.
Do the same thing with your writing. Tell yourself you’ll write 1,000 words today. Then once it gets easier, challenge yourself to write 2,000, then 3,000, etc.
#6. Rid yourself of distractions.
Imagine how much work we’d get done if we didn’t have social media, Netflix, or our smartphones. Sounds crazy right?
Maybe spending that 15 minutes browsing Youtube for cat videos might make you happy in the short-term, but getting that novel completed will make you happy in the long-term.
Understand that those distractions will still be there when we’re finished what we set out to do. That episode of Breaking Bad will still be there an hour from now, as can finding out the name Kylie’s new baby.
You need to develop your mindset for the long-term. How do you plan on becoming an author if you do not write? How do you plan on losing weight if you do not even workout? How do you plan on doing anything if you keep getting distracted?
#7. Remind yourself why you’re writing.
This is something I do all the time. I tell myself that I love writing and it’s been a hobby of mines ever since I was a child. Sometimes I’ve read something that I didn’t like, and I say to myself, “This was a great idea, but someone needs to write it better.”
There’s always a purpose to why I’m writing. I don’t write just to say, “I need to make money so I have to write.” You need to understand the reason why you’re writing to motivate yourself to continue.