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10 Ways to Motivate Yourself To Write

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10 ways to motivate yourself to write

Even the most well-disciplined writer can struggle with motivation to finish a story or writing assignment.

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to keep writing after you start a project, we’ve put together a list of 10 ways to motivate yourself to write. 

It’s not easy to want to keep writing when you’re cranking out word after word, but hopefully these tips will help you get back on track with your writing project.


1. Meet with a writing friend.

Having a friend you meet with regularly to talk about writing can help you stay motivated. Find a friend who loves to write, or just likes to read. Schedule a regular time every week or every two weeks to talk about what new things you are writing.

When you do this, it can motivate you to make sure you have some new material for when you meet. This person can make for an excellent accountability partner!


motivate to write


2. Join a writing group.

Meeting with a writing group is a great way to find new ideas and inspiration for your writing craft. It can be very motivating to talk to other writers who share the same struggles as you.

Check sites like Craigslist or Meetup to see if there are any writing groups near you to meet with. This again can help fuel your motivation to write, as you’ll want to have something new to present to the group.


3. Set a timer.

Start small by setting a timer for 5 or 10 minutes to write, working up to 30 minutes or more. When you have a timer set, this helps you break it down into small increments of time instead of thinking you need to do the entire project in one sitting.

Best of all, when you write with a timer, you write from a completely free stream of consciousness. You just write whatever you think. The secret is to get as many words on a page as you can. It doesn’t even matter what you write or what you write about.

The funny thing is, that writing you cranked out in 5 or 10 minutes might be the best thing you write all day. 

There are some writers who like to use the web app Write Or Die. This is a diabolical app that will delete everything you wrote if you do not meet your goal when the timer ends. Talk about motivation!

While I’m not brave enough to use this tool myself, it definitely gives you a different kind of perspective. Some writers swear by it!


4. Set a goal.

You always need a goal when writing. This can be a number of pages. This can be a certain number of words. This can be to simply finish a chapter. Or finish an outline. 

Setting a goal is also one of my best tips for writing more words in less time.

Whatever your goal is, it should be measurable. How will you know you met the goal? 

You should also create a deadline to go along with this goal. When do you need to complete the work by? 

Having a goal and deadline can help you write more efficiently, especially when you are working on a long project. Again, this helps break your project into more manageable sections.

5. Reward Yourself.

The rewards don’t have to be big, but do something to pat yourself on the back when you meet a writing goal or deadline.

Maybe you’ll treat yourself to a new book or a cup of your favorite coffee. You could give yourself some time to browse the internet and catch up on reading your favorite blogs or do something else you enjoy.

Some writers like to make their rewards related to writing tools. Maybe when you finally finish that book and publish it, you will be able to upgrade to an ergonomic desk chair!

6. Create Visual Aids.

fail better

A motivational poster might sound cheesy, but surprisingly it can help you to have many visual aids while writing that can keep you motivated.

For example, you can create a vision board of what you’ll do when you finish your writing project.

Maybe you want to keep a picture of a place you want to travel to after you finish writing.

You can also hang up inspiring words or other visual aids at your desk that can remind you to keep writing.

At my desk, I have a picture of a sheep. Yes, really, a sheep. I write with the goal of being able to afford enough land to have my own flock of sheep.

#willwriteforsheep

While I tend to be picky about what type of freelance clients I will work with, I know I would write almost anything and everything if it meant getting my own farm with sheep!

Everybody has their own writing goals, dreams, and aspirations. Writing may not be your ultimate #1 goal, but it can be the means to help you get there!

7. Shut Off the Inner Critic.

It’s so easy to be critical of what we write while writing. Turn off your inner critic and remember the revising and editing comes later – just write for now.

It doesn’t have to be perfect when writing your first draft.

Heck, you can publish something and it doesn’t have to be perfect. I make mistakes all of the time. But I know people appreciate that I wrote anything at all much more than never writing anything!

8. Minimize Distractions.

Something I do once in awhile is completely disconnect the internet so it’s just me and the laptop for typing. Most laptops and phones have what is called “airplane mode”. With this, all you have to do is turn it on – your internet access will be temporarily disabled.

It’s easy to want to check your favorite blogs, get caught up in research for what you’re writing or to check in on your social networks.

By turning off these distractions, it will be much easier for you to actually finish writing. Use the internet as a reward for when you have completed the writing goal for the day.

While it’s impossible to completely get rid of distractions, it’s a very important part in being able to successfully focus and finish your work.

9. Don’t Beat Yourself Up.

Everybody makes mistakes. I usually think making the mistake itself is bad enough. You don’t need to feel more bad about it. Especially when your mistake is improper grammar on a writing website. {Ha, do you see what I did there?}

Guilt can be a big problem with writers. Maybe you went a few days without writing and now you feel like you should just give up entirely.

It’s common to have a few slumps as a writer – the important thing is you don’t give up and let that stop you from starting again.

10. Get Excited!

Remember the excitement you felt when you first started the writing project? It’s time to get fired up again and feel that same excitement!

I don’t always feel excited when I write. If you’ve ever written a 7,000 word article about green beans, you know there’s not a whole lot to get excited about, even if you really, really, really like green beans.

Listen to some of your favorite songs that motivate you, review your outline, and remember that writing is a passion. The more excited you are about the project, the easier it gets to motivate yourself to keep on writing.

My favorite way to get in the mood for writing is using an app on my phone called 8tracks. There are so many great writing playlists there!


What do you do when you don’t feel motivated to write? Share your favorite tips and techniques in the comments section below!

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