We’ve all been there…The kids are in bed, the lights are dimmed, and the Word document is open. But so is your browser.
And you’re like, I suppose I should work on this…thing…but there are so many more interesting things to look at instead. And no matter how guilty you feel about it, writing ends up being the last thing you care to do that night.
You come up every excuse possible to avoid writing: “Research” “Marketing” and “Networking.”
Yeah right. Nothing more than code words for mindless browsing, scrolling, and facebooking.
So what do you do? You’re supposed to be writing, but you just can’t do it. And if you’re anything like me, you barely have a second to spare, so throwing away an opportunity to write is like throwing away a solid gold coin. So no matter how much you don’t want to write, you have to.
Five Ways to Make Yourself Write When You’re Not Motivated
Put things in perspective and prioritize
Time is short and you don’t have a lot of it. As painful as it may be, you can’t waste a second of it. You’re not motivated? Tough. The writers who make it are the ones who pushed through especially when they weren’t motivated.
Ask yourself what’s the most important thing to do. Seriously, make a list of everything you should do, and everything want to do. Put them in order of most important to least important. “Eat that frog” as the kids say, and do the most important thing on that list first.
Afterwards, reward yourself by doing something a little lower on the priority list.
Set a very small goal
I know it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re intimidated. And looking at that screen with 288 words on it knowing that you need 79,712 more to finish your novel can be very intimidating. Fear can often motivate us to run away instead of push forward, so one of the ways to overcome that is to set a bunch of small benchmarks.
If daily word counts don’t work for you, look at other daily or weekly goals that you could shoot for to help get you closer to the end of your novel. Something like “finish a chapter this weekend” or “plot out a scene tonight.”
And if you’re not feeling motivated to write at the moment, keep the goals really small. Like three paragraphs tonight small. As soon as you reach one, it will be easier to keep writing.
Find the right music
Getting in the proper mood is a must when you’re not feeling motivated to write. And nothing can help you get in the right mood to write better than music. Everybody has certain songs or bands they listen to when they write certain genres. I have mine. So find yours and get those words written.
If you’re struggling with your attention span, set some small “rewards.” Five minutes of web surfing for every twenty-five minutes writing for example. Or a glass of your favorite beverage or a scoop of ice cream if you reach a word count goal. Be creative, but don’t cheat.
Just for fun, I use this one with blog posts sometimes. Finish a post–have a glass of Clan MacGregor 🙂
Get Inspired by others
We’ve all got our writing heroes who inspire us. Put up a picture of yours and spend a minute or two thinking about how he or she reached the level of success that you are currently hoping to achieve. Nobody is an overnight success and every writer you love had spent decades working on their craft before making it big. Remember–the writers who make it are the ones who didn’t give up.
And that’s that for this post. I know it’s hard to write when you’re not “into it”, but it has to be done. And no matter how desperate you are to come up with ways to avoid writing, in the end, those words have to be written. So I hope this post can help push you along.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any other ideas to share on how to write when you’re not motivated, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!