Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Motivate Yourself to Write

I've been waffling a lot lately about procrastination and losing/gaining the writing mojo. So I've decided; no more moaning from me - I am going to be positive! The bottom line is I want to fit writing into my day, so I will fit writing into my day.

Here's some tips I've put together to help you (and me!) to motivate ourselves to write. Some of these ideas should help with other things you may have been putting off too.

1. Declare it!

Whatever your writing goal is, make a public declaration. If you announce it to your friends, family or work colleagues, you will be much more likely to achieve it. You'll know that others are watching, or waiting for your updates, so it'll be a lot harder to wriggle out of it.

2. Plan Ahead

Instead of saying 'I'll try to fit some writing in today', you should be saying 'I am going to write this morning/after lunch/after tea/at work when I'm supposed to be doing other things,' (delete as applicable!). And then stick to it!

3. Break it Down

If your goal is a bit overwhelming, or if you haven't got as much time as you'd like, break the workload down into small achievable chunks. Ten minutes writing every day is better than nothing. As you move forward with your project, hopefully the momentum will build and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. What did that Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu, say? 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'  He was right, you know.

If you're really stuck for time, ten minutes brainstorming your plot on the way to work is better than nothing.

4. Read More

Reading is a great way to motivate yourself to write. Great books teach you about style and prose without you even realising. Books are also great sources of inspiration, and you may find you have to put that read down to carry on writing your own story.

5. Reward Yourself

Make a deal with yourself that once you've achieved a certain milestone, there will be a reward waiting. It could be a a meal out, a massage, a movie or a trip to the shops; whatever it is that floats your boat. Plan it in advance and let it motivate you to finish that chapter, section, or whatever!

So, in the spirit of practising what I preach, here's my declaration: I am going to do something to move forward with my WIP every day - Monday to Friday, and possibly the weekend as well. I'm not going to worry about the actual word count, all I'm aiming for is MOVING FORWARD.  

How about you? What will you publicly declare?


Miss Cole said...

...I am very, very fond of the "Reward Yourself" stage ;)

Heather said...

I declare that I will fly through editing my novel as soon as I'm done reading my friend's! Any time you need motivation just hop on Twitter and use the #writing or #WritersRoad hashtag and I'll be happy to cheer you on!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Miss Cole - Me too! Trouble is, I keep rewarding myself without actually achieving anything :o)

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Heather - Good luck and thanks for the tip - I'm still getting my head round Twitter and hashtags. I declare that I will give it a try!

Crystal said...

I'm actually working out a reward system for myself (and yes, it is hard to keep from rewarding yourself even though you haven't achieved anything)!! Positive reinforcement definitely helps.

Shannon Lawrence said...

That is an excellent goal! I may have to steal that goal, if you don't mind. Then after that go to writing something every day, which is the goal I keep not meeting.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

@Crystal - let me know what reward system you come up with - always looking for motivation ideas... thanks.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Of course you may use that goal - I would like to eventually end up at 'write something every day' - that would perfect!

Yusniar aak said...

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