1. Just 5 Minutes
This is one of my favorite tricks to get myself out of a lazy funk and back into writing. Tell yourself that all you have to do is write for 5 minutes and, when you are done, you can do something else. What usually happens is you get yourself started and you don’t want to stop writing. You will continue to write until you actually do need a break.
If this trick doesn’t work the first time, then allow yourself to get up and do something else for another 10 minutes. Plant your butt back in the chair and force another 5 minutes out of yourself. It’s like a match that doesn’t catch light on the first strike. Strike it again and again until it’s burning bright.
2. Brief Burst of Exercise
Taking walks are my thing, but I also like to bounce like a nut on my exercise ball. Both activities help release tension and let my mind wander off.
A brief burst of exercise will get you pumped up, or psyched, to sit down and begin your day’s work. Also, if you ever find yourself stuck on a sentence or plot, stop and exercise for a few minutes. It helps joggle the brain for fresh ideas.
3. For Your Eyes Only
Some writers suffer from insecurities or are just too “bashful” to write what they really want to say. Tell yourself that no one else will read what you are writing. If that fails, give yourself permission to use a pen name. I write a lot of books and articles under pen names. It’s a freeing experience.
4. Set the Mood
Set the mood for your writing. Put on some classical music, light some candles, and burn some incense. Setting the mood for your novel gives a burst to your creativity and helps you create scenes, not only in your mind, but in your surroundings.
5. Break It Down Into Tiny Steps
Another great way to get yourself motivated to write is to break the writing process down into steps. Create a list of all the steps you need to take to write your book. Don’t know what those steps are? The internet is full of blogs and articles about the steps of writing nonfiction and fiction. Print off a list of steps and use it as a checklist. Get the momentum going.
6. Offer Yourself a Reward
If I write 2,000 words today, I will allow myself to watch an episode of Rosemary and Thyme.
Offering a reward is a great way to motivate yourself to get your writing done. It can be chocolate, a piece of cake, a bowl of popcorn smothered in butter, or whatever gives you a little thrill.
Avoid offering yourself punishments. Never associate writing with a negative experience or you will lose all hope in getting motivated. Simply offer yourself a reward upon completion.
7. Put on Your Thinking Cap, For Real
This used to be one of my favorite tricks to put myself in the mood for writing. Over a decade ago (actually, closer to 2 decades ago), in the early years of the internet, I ran the second largest Pagan website online. One of my tricks to get myself writing as much content as I did was to put on my witch hat. Each time I put it on, it triggered my mind into knowing that now was the time to write.
There are other little things you can do to mark the start of writing, such as putting on a writing sweater or putting on a favorite piece of music. Make it a ritual and, in a short amount of time, your mind will associate that object or action with writing.
8. Pretend You are One of Your Favorite Authors
I wrote a short horror story a few years ago and the entire time I pretended I was Edgar Allen Poe. It was a great experience and one that I’ve enjoyed repeating when I was stumped on what to write about.
It doesn’t matter if you are pretending to be Jackie Collins or William Shakespeare. The entire point of this exercise it to get your brain thinking like a successful author and behaving like a successful author.