Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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How do you motivate yourself to write?

During the session on goals and goal setting for writers at the GSHW meeting on Saturday, we all had to write down three things which stop us from writing. Later, we were invited to tell the group what we'd put down.

It was interesting listening to the various reasons people gave. Some folks cited specific events, or their current personal situation, others gave more general reasons eg: busy at work, lack of time etc.

Events and personal situations can certainly slow us down, but if you ask me, for most of us, there are really only two things standing between ourselves and that polished, final draft: 

1:  We let ourselves get distracted too easily.

2:  We're just not excited enough about our current WiP (or whatever story idea we have rattling around our head) to actually sit down and work on it.

It's not hard to figure out how to deal with the first one. I've found a fixed work routine helps a lot. But not being excited about what you're working on is a harder nut to crack.

Here are a few things which I find help me to write.

1: No internet until the day's writing goal is reached. 
If I've been meeting my writing goals, I allow myself to answer emails and catch up a little online before the kids go to school, but if I fall behind, then I won't let myself go online until after the day's writing goal is met.

2: Read some of your good writing
We all have work we're proud of. Take some time to read what you can do. If you managed it once, there's no reason you can't do it again. 

3: Read some positive reviews
If you have positive reviews of past books or stories, read them too. It's amazing how much motivation you can get from a pat on the back, even years after it was given.

4: Rewrite the outline
Lack of motivation could be your sub-conscious mind telling you it doesn't like where your story's going. I know for some folks the outline is their entire first draft, but if you can write out a rough synopsis, you may spot the odd plot hole or even find some inspiration.

5: Consider trunking the WiP
If there's one thing I learned from my days as lead singer in a local (legend in our own lunchtime) rock band, it's to keep moving around on stage, so you're a harder target. The other important thing I learned is that not every song idea turns out to be a good one. Is it possible your WiP just isn't turning out the way you had in mind?

It's a last resort to be sure, but sometimes you just have to move on to the shiny new idea.

How about you?

How do you motivate yourself to write?

Tags: fiction, motivation, writing

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