Saturday, November 14, 2015

How Writers Can Motivate Themselves in 7 Easy Steps

Whether you are just getting started on your writing career or you’ve been at this for quite some time, there are days when you can’t seem to get yourself motivated. Here are seven easy steps you can take to give yourself the daily motivations that you need.

1. Put a Plan in Place


What actions will you need to take in order to reach your goal? Write those actions down, break them into daily work bites, and make a list. Making a realistic, daily to do list is a very popular method for motivation.

2. Never Plan Your Day Down to the Exact Minute


One thing I learned while scheduling my time is to never schedule the day by the hour. Instead, write out what you need to do and for how long. For example, if I need to write a blog post tomorrow and work on my book, I will write on my to-do list blog - 1 hr and book - 4 hrs. I’ve found that if I schedule that hour blog for 11 am and then I miss it because my toddler needed extra care I will feel guilty for missing out on that hour and I can’t seem to rework my day’s schedule to fit that hour in. Here is how my to-do list looks for tomorrow:


  • 1 hr blog post
  • 1 hr blog post
  • 4 hrs book
  • 1 hr article
  • laundry
  • grocery store - grab list


I allow myself to do these tasks in whatever order I wish, knowing that as soon as the list is done I can kick back and watch an episode of a favorite show.

Of course, you will have to create a schedule that works best for you. If that means planning out ever minute of the day works best for you, then do it. It is always about what works best for you, the individual.

3. Create Routine Markers


At the start of your writing session, start doing something that triggers your brain into understanding that this is writing time. Athletes do this, as well as many famous writers. For example, you could sit down with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper each morning before you go into your office to write. You could on a hat, your magical thinking cap, right before you prepare to write. Create a prewriting routine and you will soon find it easier to get into your writing schedule.

4. Not in One Sitting


You don’t have to do all of your writing in one sitting. In fact, for some people working in short blocks of time and taking breaks works best. For example, you can sit down and work for 25 minutes and the give yourself a 10 minute break to do something else, like a quick spin on the exercise bike or you can fold the laundry.

5. Eat the Best Foods


What you put into your body affects your energy levels and even your mood. If you are a junk food addict, slowly make the changeover to healthier foods and test out different diets to see what works best for you. In my home, we’ve changed to a mashup of vegan and paleo since my youngest child was diagnosed as being allergic to both eggs and milk. Removing dairy from my diet has really elevated my energy levels.

6. Reward Yourself


I am big on rewarding myself for doing my work. They are huge rewards, just simple things that I enjoy. For example, if I finish all of my work, I allow myself to watch a television show on Netflix or Hulu. Sometimes I will bribe myself with gummy bears to do smaller tasks. Use whatever works for you.

7. Get Positive


When all else fails or as part of your morning ritual, go to YouTube and watch a motivational video or two. They can really help you change your life around.

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