Yes, it is time for the obligatory writing blog ‘here’s how you stay motivated!’ article. You know how it goes. Floundering, trying to stay motivated when writing is starting to feel like a chore. You look on the internet for help and you find fifteen lists that tell you the same twenty things you’ve absolutely already thought of. I’m here to give you some new ideas.
1. Find a Writing Buddy
Whether it’s an editor, someone to write a story with, or someone to simply sit next to and bounce ideas off, including another person in your writing process can be extremely helpful. When you do this, you have someone else who can become invested in your work as well as someone you can draw ideas and inspiration from. Any creator can attest to the elated feeling that comes from someone seeing your work and enjoying it. It’s an affirmation, and it can do wonders for your motivation and self esteem alike.
2. Do Something Else You Love (Goof Off)
Taking a break to do something you love other than writing can have the two tiered effected of putting you in a great mood and giving you some inspiration to draw from. You love Game of Thrones? Watch some Game of Thrones! Get excited! Talk about it with someone! Write some fan fiction!
Personally, my favorite thing in the world (other than writing, eating, and my cats) is the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition. I thought I may able to go more than two posts without bringing it up, but alas, no. When I don’t feel like writing, I let myself stop thinking about it for a while and immerse myself in the world of Dragon Age. I always come out excited, in a great mood, and way more willing to do something productive.
3. Don’t Set Deadlines
Many people swear by deadlines. But for some people, setting deadlines for yourself just makes the whole thing so stressful that you end up avoiding it and getting nothing done. Alternately, if you’re a petulant little fucker like me the actual last thing you want to do is what you’re told. Don’t be afraid to be flaky with yourself. It could very turn ‘I should write tomorrow’ into ‘I want to write tomorrow’.
4. Be Kind to Future You
See, my least favorite person in the world is me from the past. Me from the past wants me to fail. Don’t be like me from the past. When you are motivated or inspired, take some time to jot down some ideas or strategies that can be used by the lazy and unmotivated future you. This can help you to draw on some old motivation, with the added benefit of building a strong relationship with you from the past. Win-win, I say.
5. Do Some Ridiculous Daydreaming
Sometimes, I like to take some time to consider what it would be like if my story had a fandom. What would be the most popular ships? How would they sort my characters into Hogwarts houses? How would they be sorted in the cinnamon bun/sinnamon bun posts on tumblr?
You could think about what kinds of stuff might pop up in interviews, or what crossovers might pop up in the fandom. This kind of thinking can sort of pull you out of your own head without the hassle of having to interact with another person., and can serve as a fun sort of way to engage without having to mindlessly gloss over the same thoughts you always have about your writing.
6. On that Note, Eat Some Food
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty motivated by food. I’m always happier after I’ve eaten something tasty and I’ve yet to meet someone who isn’t. Make your taste buds happy, and your whole brain space just might get happier, too. Putting yourself in a good mood is always helpful for any kind of productive activity.
7. Think: Why am I Motivated to Do Anything Ever?
Why do you exercise? Why do you maintain a blog? Why do you clean your entire house every Sunday? Why do you go to work? Why do you the dishes? Why do you dedicate seven hours at a time to completing missions in videos games?
At some point in your life, you had to justify spending time on these kinds of things. Writing really isn’t that much different. Treating it different could be part of why you’re having so much trouble maintaining motivation in the first place.
What are some strategies you’ve come up with to stay motivated? Please share them in the comments below!