We’ve all faced those days. The ones where you’d love nothing but to veg out with some Netflix all day long. And those days don’t always come at the most opportune time either–especially for writers.
As writers, we’re always facing deadlines or new projects. But there are ways to get motivated. You don’t have to accept unscheduled non-productive days. Let’s look at some ways that you can get motivated.
This is easier said than done, but getting your body moving is the best way to get your mind active.
Counteract your lack of mental energy by boosting it with physical energy. Instead of grudgingly heading to your in-house coffee pot, make your way outside and treat yourself to your local brewhouse. Not a coffee drinker? Even a quick stop to the convenience store works.
The real trick here is to just get moving. Get up off the couch or out of bed. So whether you play catch with the dog or go for a walk, getting your blood flowing is one of the absolute best ways to wake your creative side.
Get in the Zone
But what if you don’t have the liberty of leaving the house or getting active? Don’t fret because there are other ways to get your mind moving.
Look for things to do that require minimal brain power. Now, I didn’t say mindless tasks but minimal brain power. You want to warm up your creative mind. I find it handy to keep one of those crossword (or word search) puzzle books handy. Starting small can help your mind crave bigger tasks–like your writing.
Even some light reading can really help out here. Pick up an interesting magazine, turn on your favorite reading light, and thumb through it.
Develop a Writing Routine
Routines can actually trick your brain and body into doing something that they don’t necessarily feel like doing. For instance, my morning routine involves me waking up, putting on some sweats, and heading out for a run.
Now, do I always want to go running? Let’s be real–of course not! But if I skip my run, I definitely feel like something’s missing.
By developing a writing routine, you can get that same experience. Your body will actually force you to write. Whether you want to or not.
You can start creating a writing routine by doing a few things.
Establish your dedicated writing location.
This is crucial to establishing your writing routine. Find a place that you feel comfortable and productive. And always write there.
Try to write at the same time every day.
By doing this, you make sure that your brain’s internal schedule associates these hours with writing and nothing else.
Develop your style.
Now, I don’t mean your voice, tone, or genre. I’m talking about how you put words on paper. Are you a sprinter? Or do you prefer a more chilled out pace? Jumping back and forth won’t help you establish a routine. Find what works best for you, and stick with it!
Do It Anyway
You don’t have to be feeling in the zone to have a productive writing session. Sometimes, you just need to power through and start writing.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear. But if the above methods aren’t working… You might just have to tough it out. I’ve been down this path before, and it’s definitely not my favorite. But I’ve found that after the first few hundred words, my fingers are typing faster and my intention is clearer.
This is like the writing equivalent of just jumping into the pool. Sure, it may be cold at first but you’ll quickly acclimate.
If All Else Fails, It Might Be Time for a Break
Writing is not an easy job. While not too physically demanding–barring a bit of carpal tunnel–writing can be one of the most mentally exhausting professions out there. And the last thing you need is to start burning out.
Pushing too hard is one of the major leading causes of burnout. And if you’re a full-time writer, burnout can be a punishing reality. If you’ve been pumping out hard work day after day, you have a much higher chance of feeling the stress.
Take a day or two to recuperate. Write those days into your planner as personal days. The time off could be exactly what the doctor ordered. You often find that you’ll bounce back better and stronger than ever before.
If you just can’t find the strength inside to motivate you, put that Netflix or YouTube to work. Check out motivational speakers and podcasts. Some of these speakers can really get you pumped up and ready to work.
Motivational speakers not your thing? Talk to a family member or a trusted friend about what’s going on. They might just have the right words to boost your spirits. Or take an online course about writing or a class about self-publishing to inspire you with new ideas.
The number one thing is don’t give up because of a temporary feeling. Feelings will come and go. Make your writing decisions based on your biggest priorities and what you want your future to look like, not how you’re feeling in the moment.
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