To be a writer you must write. And edit. In other words, you have to be productive. This is just a fact of life. But let’s face it, if you’ve ever written or edited anything, you know how hard it is to keep going and stay productive.
Motivation for continuing to write and edit is different for everyone. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. It’s easy to get stuck thinking we have to do all these things to make our writing lives better, when in reality we don’t.
So, here are five things–in no particular order– that help me. Perhaps it will help you break out of a writing rut or provide some inspiration to go go go!
1. Get a Deadline.
This is probably my number one. Deadlines. And it’s not just self imposed deadlines, but deadlines someone else is holding me accountable to. To be more specific, NaNoWriMo. (If you’re looking to get a novel written, try it) It gives you a place to keep your your writing stats, make friends, see what still needs written, pep talks and forums… *sigh*
Deadlines give you that healthy pressure to get your butt in the chair and write and get stuff done. There are websites like MyWriteClub where you can make goal trackers. NaNo themselves just came out with an awesome goal tracker feature I’ve been using:
2. Get something to sip or snack on:
This varies for everyone, and goes back to the age old discussion of “AM I A TEA PERSON OR A COFFEE PERSON?*” But I really love to have something to sip on while editing and writing… even if, you know, I sit down, sip on my drink for ten minutes until the cup is mostly empty and THEN start editing.
If you’re not a coffee latte mocha drinker and tea sounds gross, try a chai latte. Or a cup of earl grey with milk and honey and a drop of vanilla…mmmm…
*to answer the question, I am both. But I drink tea more often when writing than I do coffee. I drink coffee like once every two weeks. XD
3. Find something to listen to:
Music is a hit and a miss. It helps some and distracts others. I fall somewhere in the middle. There are times that I don’t want any sound, not even all the amazing soundtracks I’ve gathered on Spotify. But there are also times I crave it for background noise, inspiration, and getting in the mood.
Speaking of Spotify… here are all three playlists for the Cost of Truth series.
4. Find a time and a place:
I’ve found it helps to have a general time and general place to write. During NaNo I tend to write in the later afternoon and underneath a little blanket canopy I construct over my favorite chair. Yes, it was basically a pillow fort I kept up for thirty days 😉
I recently got a new desk (!!) and I LOVE it. It really fits what I was looking for, and gives me a specific “writing” spot.”
And finally the most important thing that I have to say is a quote from Mark Twain:
5. Swallow your frog.
It’s true. If you do that in the morning, nothing else worse will probably happen to you for the rest of the day.
The same goes for other things in life. If you just get the thing done that you don’t want to do, you can move on with your day. Editing, writing, exercising, you name it. As with anything, you have to choose to do it, if you want it to get done.