A lack of motivation often leads to a writing slump, a writing slump leads to even less motivation, and downward our habits spiral. And when you’re in this spiral, the question of how to get motivated seems like an impossible thing to answer.
If you’re in this downward spiral, don’t worry, I’ve been there too. Multiple times, in fact. If you’re just starting to feel the slump, don’t worry, it’s preventable.
Here are 13 ways to find the motivation to write:
1. Find Your Why-Power
People say that if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Personally, I disagree, since will-power is usually very weak. We all have things that we want to do, but never get around to doing, because we don’t have any why-power.
Why-power is the reason, or reasons, we have for wanting to do something.
My why-powers for writing are:
- The ability to explore new worlds and possibilities
- A way to inspire and teach
- Being able to vocalize my thoughts and ambitions
Ask yourself why you want to write, and then write down the answers that come to mind. That way you won’t ever forget what your why-power is.
2. Give Yourself Concrete Goals and Aspirations
It can be difficult to write, or do anything really, if you don’t know exactly where you want to be. Giving yourself concrete goals will help with this.
Think about what you want to get done with your writing and when you want to accomplish those tasks. Concrete goals need two parts, a task and a deadline, so write those down.
3. Simplify Your Goals
If you already have some goals, but no motivation, it may be because you’re biting off more than you can chew. Try to focus on no more than just three goals at a time, even if it’s just for one day or one week.
For example, you may have several small writing goals to work on throughout the week. Instead of just trying to do them all at once and as quickly as possible, reserve each day for working on only two or three of those small goals.
This will prevent that feeling of being overwhelmed when you’re trying to work, and you’ll get more work done with less stress.
4. Use a Mantra
A mantra is a small saying or goal that helps make you motivated.
My mantras are:
The best way to get things done is to simply begin.
Practice makes progress.
Think about quotes or sayings that inspire you, and make them your mantras.
5. Remind Yourself Daily
What good are goals, why-powers, and mantras, if you’re forgetting them?
Reminding yourself daily of what you need to do, why you want to do it, and what inspires you to do it, will surely breed motivation.
6. Action Breeds Motivation
Often times, we need to put in hard work before we begin to feel motivated. When I first started blogging, I had barely any motivation to do it, and I had pushed it off for six months. If I hadn’t decided to just go ahead and do it, I probably would have pushed it off for another six months.
I thought to myself, “Why not just start? Sure, I feel nervous about it, and I don’t have any strong drive to do it, but I might as well try it out.”
So I did, and it didn’t take long for me to feel super excited to work on my blog. Now it’s something that I work on almost every day, in one way or another.
7. Consistently Write
Since action breeds motivation, consistent action breeds consistent motivation right? Well, not quite, but if you keep writing during those lulls in your motivation levels, it’ll be easier to continue writing once your motivation is back.
Part of problem with writer’s block is that once you take a break, you’re able to convince yourself to keep taking those breaks. And then the guilt and weight of what you still need to do makes it more difficult to start writing again.
Eventually you’ll be putting off writing just because of how difficult it would be to start writing again. So consistently write in order to prevent that.
8. Follow the Creative Patterns
Writing even though you’re out of motivation will prevent you from having to face those rough starts from long breaks. Be warned though, that you shouldn’t push yourself as hard when you’re out of motivation, or you’ll burn out. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way.
Instead of writing 75% – 100% of what you normally write when you are motivated, try to aim for around 50% if you’re feeling out of it.
We all have creative patterns, which lead us to needing three things:
- To write
- To gain inspiration
- To gain motivation
If you’re running out of inspiration or motivation, try to find them. Here’s a helpful blog post if you need inspiration: How to Find Writing Inspiration
Once you have a lot of inspiration and motivation, you’ll just be itching to write. So you’ll write a lot, and then you’ll need more inspiration and motivation. And so the patterns continue.
9. Rephrase Things
Sometimes all we need is a little shift in perspective to help us gain some motivation.
Maybe you’re thinking of writing as something you have to do. Instead, rephrase it as something you get to do.
You get to work on next week’s blog post.
You get to write the next chapter of your story.
You get to edit your manuscript.
You’ve done a bunch of things to get to the point where you are now, and because you’ve put in all that hard work in the past, you got to be where you are now. Embrace it!
10. Keep a To Do List
I find keeping a to do list is so much fun! It’s like a quest log in a video game, and because of that I find it almost intoxicating to get to work on and then cross things off of my to-do list.
Even if you don’t enjoy video games, keeping a to-do list might help motivate you! There’s nothing quite like that rush of excitement you get once you’ve accomplished a large task.
11. Keep an Accomplished List
Once you’ve completed things on your to do list, write about it, so that you won’t forget what you’ve done. One way to do this is by keeping an accomplishment list.
An accomplishment list is similar to a to do list, except instead of things you need to do, you keep track of the things you’ve accomplished.
It’s pretty simple, but you’ll feel really good when you look back at how much you’ve done.
12. Get Active
It’s hard to feel motivated in your mind if your body feels like it’s going to melt away or turn into a blob at any second. So get active!
It doesn’t have to be anything too heavy, even some light stretches feel great if you need just a little extra energy and motivation. Taking a walk and getting some fresh air can also helps clear your thoughts and spark new ideas.
So take just a couple of minutes to move your body and relax your mind.
13. Look to Others
Sometimes feeling inspired can lead to feeling motivated, so look to the people who inspire you to find motivation.
What do you do when you’re feeling like you’re in a slump? Let me know in a comment.
If you enjoyed this post, or found it helpful, please leave a like, or share it on social media. It really helps me out.
I blog about creative writing every Wednesday, so check back next week for some new content! If you’re interested in studying tips, tricks, and advice, check out my other blog: Study Buddy Blog