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Motivating yourself to write is not necessarily easy when you lead several lives at the same time, work, family, leisure … In this article, I give you all my advice to motivate yourself to write without cutting back on your work or sleep time .
Before I get into my motivation tips, there are two key points I’d like to touch on: priorities and time.
Manage your priorities
If you want to complete this writing project, you will have to make choices, for example between it and certain hobbies or outings. There, I would simply say that your project must be very high in your list of priorities. After eating, sleeping and earning a living, of course, but before your leisure time, for example. Because you are not a machine, you will not be able to do everything simultaneously.
On the other hand, you don’t start running for two hours a day if you’ve never run in your life! Writing is learning, and the beginnings are difficult. You might be disgusted and give up. I advise you to take it slowly but regularly. And use the advice in this article so that you don’t lose sight of this goal!
Manage your time
According to Memoir Ghostwriter, even if you’ve put your writing project as a top priority, you still need to fit it into your busy schedule. My number 1 advice would be to find yourself a reserved time during the day (or week). In the evening when you come home from work? In the morning during breakfast? On the lunch break? Find yourself the right niche and stick to it. You couldn’t yesterday? No problem, go back to it normally today. Don’t be too demanding of yourself!
Set a short term
Did you know that the average time that the brain can spend focused on a task without failing is 25 minutes? In other words, on a 45-minute time slot, there is a chance that you will start to get bored, to scatter yourself … So set yourself a short period at the beginning (for example 20 minutes) and concrete objectives to achieve (write a scene , finish a chapter, introduce a character…) . Here we go!
Personally, my twenty minute commute to work (2 times per day) while writing my first draft was often very productive, even after a busy day at work. Because my brain had integrated the idea that it was a niche reserved for writing!
One last tip for the road: during this time slot you have set for yourself, put your smartphone across the room and / or disconnect all your social networks. Your ability to concentrate will be increased tenfold. If you have a little trouble disconnecting, I recommend the Forest app.
How to motivate yourself
I’ll go there in the form of a big tote with all my advice. It won’t be very organized, but at least I’ll be sure not to forget anything!
1. Set concrete goals
I know that not everyone is an organization freak like me, but I honestly think that just saying to yourself “I would like to write / advance on my novel / etc.” Can be frustrating, because it all depends on this. That we mean by “to write”, “to advance”. Write a novel, a short story, a newspaper? Going forward means writing the synopsis, the entire first draft?
I am convinced that it is better to set concrete goals, that we will be 100% sure of being able to achieve. To write 10 chapters for example, even if it is very long, seems to me much more achievable than “to advance on my novel”.
2. Create a routine
Like many of the tips below, it sounds silly, and yet creating a routine is a huge help in getting into working order. For example, make your favorite tea, put on some music, and get straight to writing. The brain loves automatisms, which save energy: by putting you in “project routine” mode, you make your job much easier!
3. Rely on loved ones
The brain, always him, also likes a lot of rewards. The recognition of his relatives is one of them. Inform your relatives about your project, include them in the process. When you have informed all your friends that you are writing an SF novel … you no longer have a choice, you have to try!
Particularly when writing my first novel, where I spent several months chained to my computer, it did me a lot of good every time someone close to me asked me where I was in my book. I could see that they believed in me and that they supported me, and it was motivating to keep them informed of my progress!
4. Create a network
Unity is strength! If you have some writing skills, ask them questions, ask them to write together… you can also join the private group I’m writing a novel, that’s what it is for!
5. Give yourself rewards
Obviously, you can run on other types of rewards (but I find the use of relatives particularly effective). An evening off / relaxing after spending several evenings on your project. A good meal after writing down the word goal you set for yourself. A video game that you save for when you finish the first draft. Etc., etc.
6. Use the visual
Again a piece of advice that seems silly: post your goals at home, where you will see them several times a day. Ideally, I would advise you to reserve a space for your project at home (small office with PC, list of objectives, books… or sports business shelf, etc.). As this is not always possible, this space can be virtual (wallpaper for example!)
Motivation bonus if you display the list of your concrete objectives (typically the list of the chapters of your novel, the number of words to be reached) and cross them out as you go!
7. Create a vision board
While we’re at it, you can brighten up this list of goals a bit with photos, quotes, tips… whatever inspires you! Photos of the places where your novel takes place, inspirational quotes, objects that appear in your story… Seeing this every day can only help you get closer to your goals.
Desktop or smartphone wallpaper:
You see it quite a few times a day, what if you use it? Replace it with a background related to your project, a photo of one of the places you are telling, or an inspirational quote!
8. Track your goals and achieve them: the Bullet Journal
The Bullet Journal is a wonderful tool for getting organized in writing. I do not recommend going into a brand new Bullet Journal at all if you just want a little boost in your project, rather it will be a waste of time and a hassle.
On the other hand, trackers (like the photo above, to monitor your project on a daily basis), the integration of your objectives and to-do lists in your diary or favorite app, constitute an additional motivation shot! Crossing out each chapter written as you go, or ticking off the days when you wrote 1000 words, it’s really nice. But yes, think back to the last time you checked all the boxes in your to do list!
9. How to motivate yourself to write with the Miracle Morning
Again a powerful tool, or rather a panoply of tools: meditation, writing, affirmations… Unlike the Bullet Journal, I strongly recommend it and unconditionally to better understand your writing project and how to get started. And gain peace of mind, on top of that.
How to stay motivated to write
It all sounds radical to you. With your busy life, where to squeeze this time and energy?
Already, I advise to go there gradually. You can’t just start writing 3 hours a day overnight.
However, you can start to make choices. This outing which will cost you around thirty euros? What if you postpone until next week, to earn 30 € + a few hours to write? Ditto for those episodes of series and / or films, this evening at the bar, your time is precious, so try little by little to increase the one you allocate to your writing project and reduce the rest.
10. Be proud!
Making these choices, in addition to helping you with time and energy, shows the investment you have in your writing project. Even if you only spend 5 minutes on lunch break writing 2-3 sentences, when you were planning on doing a thousand things, you took the time, and should be proud of it! Your project is coming to fruition!
Small tips to motivate yourself to write
- If you don’t have room to write at home or are easily distracted there, think about public places! Libraries, co-working spaces, cool cafes near you, you can easily find a place far from the distractions of your apartment. (Well, during confinement, it’s a bit shabby)
- Create an account dedicated to your writing activity on a social network, to be updated from time to time to keep everyone informed. The time spent / recognition ratio is rather high!
- To boost the writing of the first draft.
- Do you need background sound to concentrate?
- Go to the library, borrow lots of books related to your universe, your them and put them everywhere in your home, in plain view!