Writing motivation is fickle. It comes and goes but the feeling of wanting to give up might linger even longer.
So how do you persevere in writing if you feel like giving up?
Contrary to popular belief, writers and authors don’t just want to write all day every day. Maybe the very rare person does, but that’s not the norm…
Here’s how to keep your writing motivation high:
- Learn how perseverance in writing works
- Forming a writing habit
- Gather the right writing tools
- Increase writing motivation through dedication
- Keep your writing dates
- Keep the document visible
- Do writing sprints
- Connect with other authors
- Be kind to yourself
How Perseverance Works, Even in Writing
I’m going to start with showing you an image of my nine-year-old’s perseverance that can be applied to anyone.
Every week she climbs a 16 ft rope at her gymnastics class. She decided that she was going to make it to the bell about 2 months ago and she has steadily climbed further up the rope each week.
Her hands slide up the rope with precision, her knees are out like a butterfly and she uses her whole body to climb up the rope. Every week I shoot a Facebook live video of her.
And every week the time it takes her to climb the rope decreases.
Preserving in writing is a lot like my 9-year-old’s determination to squirm her way up the rope.
It is climbing, hand over hand, using all the resources you have to keep your eye on the finished target. In my daughter’s case, it is the bell at the top of the gymnastics rope. In my case, it is finishing my second book this year.
When my family and friends ask me about my first book, how much time it took, and what keeps me going, I shrug and say, “I started working on it consistently in November.” I went from idea to self-published in 6 months. Of course, that was with intentional, uninterrupted writing times and the determination to keep going – even when it was hard.
You can write a book too. You just have to make the most of every second and continue on your journey, even when it is hard.
How to Form a Writing Habit to Maintain Writing Motivation
It is not always easy to consistently write. In fact, there are days when it is downright HARD, but we all have the same 86,400 seconds in every single day.
How we choose to use our time is one of the things that sets apart those who persevere in writing against those that don’t.
And forming a writing routine and habit is the best way to make that happen.
I don’t have a lot of time for writing during the day—so I have to create time. The absolute best time for me is to wake before the sun and spend the first two hours of my day writing and creating.
I do find small chunks of time during a break at school to pull up the google doc app on my phone and write a few words. However, as you can see by Chandler’s video about burnout, it is super important to create hard and fast boundaries about your life and your writing routine, so that you don’t burnout and you’re able to continue writing.
Gather the Writing Tools to Help Writing Motivation
Sometimes those boundaries include using the right tools for writing, which will also help you persevere and keep you motivated to keep going. The right tool or writing software is generally not your phone.
That’s not to say that you can’t have your phone as an occasional tool; however, it is equally as important to understand that if you pull your computer out and go to your dedicated writing space, you will likely accomplish a lot more.
There are different people and people who do things in different ways. In the writing community, we call them plotters and pansters, or discovery writers.
The plotters plan every single detail out and they are then able to compile their narratives. The pansters go with the flow and get things moving by simply putting one word in front of the other.
Here are some of the best tools for writing:
- A word processing program (like Microsoft Word or Google Docs)
- A journal
- A blank piece of paper
- A notebook
- A pen/pencil
- A keyboard
Keep in mind that the word processor you use can make a huge difference in writing motivation.
For example, using something like Scrivener to track your word count and goal line can keep you pushing to reach the end.
Check out our Scrivener Tutorial below if you’re curious to learn more.
Keep Writing Motivation Through Determination
When I am most likely to want to throw in the towel, I usually get some inspiration from someone that I’ve allowed to read my work to help me keep going. If that’s not possible, I reach out to the #writingcommunity on Twitter and someone there will give me some sage advice—like go for a walk.
So many writers dream of having the ability to work from home, never get dressed if they don’t have to, and being an authorpreneur. However, it takes a lot of perseverance to get there.
It takes the dedication of finding the one time in your day to keep an appointment with the most important VIP in your life: yourself.
How to Maintain Writing Motivation Even When it Gets Tough
My writing coach, R.E. Vance, told me that the worst thing I can do is not to look at my writing for a few days. He said that when you aren’t engaged with it, it takes longer to move to the creation part because you have to re-read, figure out where you are, and you lose momentum.
So follow these steps for persevering in your writing journey every day.
#1 – Keep a Writing Date With Yourself
You are a very important person in this blank page to published process. So, find a time that works for you, whether that is early in the morning or after your family is in bed for the night, and dedicate five, ten, twenty-five minutes, or an hour to working on your book.
“But I am tired.”
Guess what? You’re making the most of those 86,400 seconds in a day by finding a few minutes to commit to writing. Personally, I am a morning writer. I know that I am a lot less likely to be interrupted in the morning than at any other time.
#2 – Keep the Document Open and Visible
When you open your work in progress document, you’re setting yourself up for success.
You know that you want to add more words to the page and you can do this by simply putting one word down and following it with the next.
You can edit bad writing, but you can’t edit a blank page.
That’s why keeping the doc open, no matter what writing software you use, can help keep it top of mind. Think of it like keeping a sticky note out reminding you.
Whenever you log on to your computer, you’ll have a reminder to write right in front of you.
#3 – Do Writing Sprints
For those of you who don’t know, writing sprints are when you set a timer and simply write as much as you can during that time. You don’t go back and read, you don’t edit, you just write and keep writing until the time is up.
Set a timer for a few minutes. It can be one minute, it can be two minutes, or it can twenty minutes.
You get to decide how many minutes you want for a sprint and then during that time period, you simply write.
You write as many words as you can in that sprint and perhaps it will inspire you to do another sprint.
If you want to have more accountability do this, hop on Twitter and search the hashtag #writingsprints to find people who are currently looking for sprinting buddies.
This can help you stick with it and then be accountable for it at the same time, since many post their word counts after (usually followed by more sprints).
#4 – Connect With Other Authors
Sometimes we need a little motivation to keep us going. Most other authors are more than willing to help you when you’re feeling down.
Reach out to the author communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
They often have advice for you, whether it is on their blogs or through direct messages.
If you’re not sure where to go to find other writers, here are some hashtags you can use to search and find people writing in your genre![table “21” not found /]
#5 – Be Kind to Yourself
The research from writer Joseph Epstein says that more than 81% of Americans believe that they have a book in them, but very few will put n the work to do it.
You, however, are doing it and this deserves recognition.
Often times we get down on ourselves, but in these times, you need to remember to speak to yourself like you would a friend.
When I talk to a friend about my writing, they give me kudos and credit for the things I am doing. You should speak to yourself as you would speak to a friend.
Writing Motivation from other Authors
Any author will tell you that there will be days that you simply do not want to write, but many have tricks to help overcome the writing void.
Here are a few of my favorite blog posts on finding the perseverance in your writing routine:
- Guide to Making Time to Write: 100+ Time & Productivity Management Tips for Textbook and Academic Authors
- 7 Common Writing Mistakes that Will Stop You Finishing Your Book
- How to Write Every Day (and why you should)
- 9 Steps to Set Writing Goals and Commit to Your Book Writing Plan
- Just Write Every Day Of Your Life How to develop a daily writing habit, and why you should
- Make Time for Writing: Create a Writing Schedule That Works for You
Remember that there will always be times that you lose writing motivation and struggle to produce excellent content, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write.
Even the best writers struggle.
They keep moving forward, by putting one word in front of the other and finding writing motivation that works for them, and you can too.
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