Finding Motivation to Write.
by Alexander Grant
Hey everyone! Today, I’m talking about managing motivation while writing. If you’re anything like me, motivation to write seems to leave your body the second you have a great idea and actually want it down on paper. If you relate to the above, here are some tips and tricks that work for me to force some motivation and get me writing!
**First, before I dive into some tips, I want to state very clearly that there’s a fine line between forcing motivation and destroying your mental health to get some words down. You know your mind and emotions best and you need to judge for yourself whether you’re just avoiding writing or whether you need a break.**
Take a break. This is really simple, but really important and one I need to utilize more. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve pushed myself to my breaking point to get to a chapter or word goal. It’s not a super healthy habit to have and can lead to extreme burnout which is the last thing you want to happen. That can leave you in a weeks, sometimes months long slump. Instead, take a couple days off once in a while. It does wonders for me and by the time the two or three days are up, I’m always itching to write again. It pains me to “miss” time I could have spent writing, but often times, I make up for the missed days with higher quality writing that I wouldn’t have gotten had I not taken some time off.
Writing sprints. Splitting up writing time into shorter sprints really helps your writing. It also makes it easier to start if you know you’re only going to have to write for fifteen or twenty minutes. This is another super basic tool, but one that is often overlooked. Also try hosting or joining an Instagram/YouTube/Tik Tok live where you can do sprints with others. It really helps when others are checking in on your progress!
Alright, the first two were pretty basic and most people should know about them, but here’s one that’s a little out there. Trust me, it works wonders though. We’re actually going to use a Psychology principle you’ve probably heard of. This is Pavlov’s Law. It basically means if you repeat the same act or ritual every time you’re about to do something else, your brain will learn to tie it to the other thing. So what we’re going to do is tie in something on this list to writing so whenever you do one of these things, you trick your brain into thinking it’s writing time! So before you write, try doing one or all of the items in this list. It can really help to get your brain into “writing mode”.
Listen to the same song every single time before you write. (Bonus points if it reminds you of your world or characters)
Drink the same kind of tea or coffee
If you have LED lights, set them to the same color every time. (You can also just do this with normal lights like a lamp or overhead)
Eat the same snack before or while you write.
Write in the same spot every time. (Could be a desk, writing nook, your bed, etc.)
Have the same thing to fidget with. (If you’re like me, you like to have something for your hands to play with when you’re thinking through what to write next or new ideas.)
You get the idea. You don’t have to do these every time you write. But I will say, listening to the same song has helped me tremendously! Most of the time I pick the song after I’ve written a few chapters of whatever WIP I’m working on to really get the grasp of what my characters/worlds/vibes are like before I’m sure, but once I select that song, I try to listen to it every single time before I start writing! It really does make a difference and if the song I chose ever comes up in a playlist or shuffle I notice my brain urging me to go sit down and type out a few words, so if you give no other thing a try, at least try this one!
Find what inspires you. This one is also something pretty simple but easily overlooked. For me, good writing and seeing other author’s success really motivates me. So I usually feel like writing after reading a good book or watching a well-written tv show. Or, after I see a debut or long-time author being interviewed about their book. Basically, find something that makes you want to rise to the occasion. Stalk your favorite author’s social medias, listen to writing podcasts, watch good shows and read good books… you get the idea.
Well, I hope some of these tips helped you guys find some motivation to write! I know it can be really hard to force yourself to sit down and write if you don’t feel like it, but nothing worth doing is ever easy! Don’t be afraid to take a break if you need it, no one is disappointed or mad at you for taking care of yourself and prioritizing your mental health first, I promise!
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