If you aren’t motivated to write, you won’t get far as a writer. These tips for writing more words than you can stand to edit will ramp up your productivity and help you write more, better, longer, happier.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’ ” – Charles M. Schulz.
At the end of the day, don’t lie in bed wondering where your writing dreams and goals went, and why you never made it as a writer. Never let it be said that you were too lazy to write!
Here’s a great source of writing motivation: Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals.
And, here are ten tips for increasing your self-discipline to write…
Need Writing Motivation? 10 Tips for Increasing Your Self-Discipline
Create a need to write, find an agent, get published
One writer I know had to write to pay the bills. She was a single mom, desperate for income but unable to afford childcare. She was literally too hungry to be lazy — and she certainly didn’t need to increase her motivation to write! She needed to pay her bills and feed her kids. If you don’t have a need to write, create one. Do you need Starbucks frappucinos? Write 750 words first, then reward yourself with a coffee. Do you need to pay your car insurance or health care bills? Send three article pitches to editors that could result in an article assignment that will pay those bills.
Figure whether you’re internally or externally motivated
Do you write because it makes you feel good, accomplished, or creative (internal rewards)? Do you write for money or recognition (external rewards)? To increase your motivation to write, find your driving force and tap into it.
Pay now, play later
I love to write articles for my blogs, and don’t much care for pitching ideas to magazine editors. But, I like to write articles for print magazines. The solution? I have to find a new market or send a great query before I can blog. Today, for instance, I sent a Valentine’s Day pitch to Chatelaine….and my reward is writing this post about writing discipline! Hold off on what you love to do until you’ve achieved a writing goal.
Are you struggling under the weight of all your rejection slips? Read 5 Tips for Overcoming Discouragement and Rejection for Writers.
Confess your writerly sins
When darling hubby comes home from slaving away in the salt mines, it’s time for me to ‘fess up. How many queries did I send? Did I watch Oprah and The View? Sharing my accomplishments increases my discipline and motivation to write. If I wasn’t accountable to my husband, I’d find someone else. An “accountability partner” doesn’t have to be a fellow writer; it can be anyone with writing goals. To be a successful writer, you need to set goals, confess slothfulness, and celebrate your writing achievements.
Share your writing
Schedule weekly “writing drop off” dates with people who are willing to read your writing. When I know my friends, family, or editors will be reading my articles or blog posts, I’m motivated to start early and write well. Sharing your work is one of the top tips for increasing self-discipline and motivation to write because it (theoretically) gives you a reason to work.
Book a writer’s conference
I’m signed up for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in October, and this itself is motivation to write! Lazy writers don’t attend writing conferences – and they especially don’t meet the deadlines for writer’s contests. Acting as if you’re not a lazy writer increases your motivation and discipline to write.
Take a writing class
Maybe you’re struggling to write because you don’t feel good enough! To improve your writing skills, enroll in an online writing class or an editing class through your local community college. Join a writer’s group, or find books that motivate you to write.
If you can’t find the motivation to write – much less sign up for a writing class! – read 10 Steps for Writers Who Want to Earn More Than $15 Per Article.
Write in baby steps
When you don’t feel like writing, just work for 15 or 20 minutes. After your writing time is up, then you Tweet or FaceBook. Or, maybe you’ll want to keep writing for another 15 or 20 minutes….this tip will increase your writing discipline by establishing solid writing habits and, ultimately, publication.
Read books about writing
The more I read about freelance writing, the more I want to write! Find books about writing that inspire you; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is fantastic. Get in the writing mindset by reading a passage or chapter before you turn on your computer.
Create a writing ritual
Some writers do squats; others put on their special writing hats and galoshes. Me, I check my email, my blog stats, my writer’s forums, and my Suite101 particulars….and then I’m ready to write. Creating a writing ritual can prepare you mentally and physically to work, which will increase your writing productivity.
For more motivation, read Want to Make Money Writing? Build Relationships With Editors.
If you have any thoughts on finding the motivation to write, please comment below…