How to stay motivated to write

It’s ok, you can admit it. We’ve all been there.

Sometimes we just don’t want to write.

We look at the screen, we look at our to-do list, and we just want nothing to do with it. But we can’t not work—deadlines are creeping up on us!

So, what is a writer to do?

Luckily, I’ve got some pretty awesome fellow writers in the Twitterverse who had some golden advice on how to stay motivated to write and I am going to break each of them down. They completely nailed it!

Before we get into it, I want to remind you of my free guide on how to build, boost, and/or diversify your portfolio! Whether you’re a pro or just starting your content writing career, this guide will help you show off your work to impress your prospects. Sound good? Check it out!

Allow me to present to you the wisdom from Twitter.

The question: How do you get yourself motivated to write?

The answers:

  1. Tap into your natural urge to write (Ash)
  2. Setting the ambiance with music and candles (Megan Taylor)
  3. Check the bank account (Michelle Wright)
  4. Make it a habit (Nichole Talbot)
  5. Research first (Johnaé Writes)
  6. Find the time of day you write the best (Cam Baxter)
  7. Take it one word at a time (Antwan Crump)
  8. Start by scribbling (bad surveys)

Let’s take a deeper dive into each one—these are all genius.

Tap into your natural urge to write

I really like this one even though it may not apply to everyone, but when you got it, you got it. Sometimes writing is just a part of who you are and you don’t know what else to do other than write! 

So if you’re feeling the urge to write, don’t fight it—embrace it. Even if you don’t think what you’re writing sounds great at the moment or may not be worth publishing or sharing publicly, that is completely fine. If you don’t start with something to work with, you can’t make something great. 

Writing is such a beautiful thing because we can do it anywhere, any time, and nobody can ever take it away from us. Embrace it 🙂

Setting the ambiance with music and candles

I don’t know about you, but most days my mind will go in a million directions at once if I’m not listening to music while I write. And adding candles is a fabulous idea.

You could also set the scene by writing outside, in a different room of your house, in a coffee shop, or anywhere else to change it up a little. I know I definitely benefit from writing in different places of the house—I am currently sitting at my living room table, but you can also find me writing on the couch, on my deck, or in my office depending on my mood and what I’m working on.

I don’t know what it is, but your environment definitely has a significant impact on your mindset. Don’t you agree?

Check the bank account

Okay, so if you rely on writing for your income, you can probably relate to this one. You have to pay the bills somehow! 

Make it a habit

I love this one, mostly because it is so much easier to do anything once you make it a habit. We are creatures of habit and our minds don’t like to work harder than they have to. But if something becomes habitual and you find a groove, your body and mind naturally fall into a pattern over time and your habit becomes just as normal as brushing your teeth. If you can make writing a part of your everyday habits, then I’d call that a success.

SciShow Psych has an awesome video explaining the science behind forming a habit and some tips on how to do it!

Research first

It can be very hard to start writing if you’re staring at a blank screen. In order to keep yourself motivated to write and prevent yourself from getting stuck, take time to conduct some research and/or make an outline for what you’re writing first. That way, you’ll have a guide on exactly what you need to write instead of trying to write on the fly and it will be easier to stay motivated to complete your task.

Find the time of day you write the best

Despite being either a night owl or an early bird, you may be surprised what time of day you write the best. I’ve heard of some writers who write better when they’re sleepy, and some need to be full of caffeine in order to accomplish anything. Whatever works for you is good enough! Just try different times of day and you may surprise yourself.

Take it one word at a time

You may have a 1,000-word blog post or a 5,000-word ebook waiting to be written. That can feel daunting for sure, especially when you focus on all of the work you have in front of you before you even begin.

What’s better is to take your assignment in chunks. Instead of thinking about the 5,000 words you have to write in total, tell yourself that you’ll write 500 words per day for the next ten days (or whatever works for your deadline) and start from there. Heck, break it down even more: tell yourself that you’ll write 250 words in the morning and 250 words at night. 

All of a sudden, 5,000 words feels way more attainable when you focus on a little bit at a time. 

I did this when I wrote my first novels—and I was aiming for 50,000 words per manuscript. At first, I was freaking out a little bit and sometimes felt intimidated by the hefty project ahead of me. But once I broke up my writing into about 500 to 1,000 words per day, it became so much more manageable. If I hadn’t done this, I feel like I never would have finished my drafts!

Start by scribbling

Sometimes, kicking your motivation into gear doesn’t even start with words! Maybe visualizing what you’re going to write and preparing your mind involves scribbling or sketching.

There are also other non-writing related activities that can help prepare your mind to write, like taking a walk, doing laundry (I should do this more often), cooking, or cleaning. Now—don’t confuse this with procrastination (hahaaa…); instead, use these activities as a way to actively work through your thoughts and think about what you want to write before you crack open your computer or notebook. 

I don’t know about you, but I plan on keeping all of these tips in my back pocket at all times! Thanks to my fellow Twitter writers, we will never have an excuse for not being motivated to write.

One side note that I think is important to mention, though, is also to be mindful of when you just need to take a break. Sometimes you may need to completely disconnect and NOT write so that you feel more motivated and driven when you return to your writing. No shame in taking that break when your mind and body really need it 🙂

Happy writing, my friend.

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