Monday, May 14, 2012

But I don't wanna write!

This is what I look like some days when I sit down at the computer to write:

Photo by Petr Kratochvil
Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

I don't know about you, but writing is sometimes the last thing I want to do, so on those days, I need to find extra motivation. Since today is Blog Me MAYbe's "May I tell you something about writing?" day, I thought I'd share some of the things I do when I'm looking for the motivation to blog or work on other writing. I hope some of these tips work for you.

• Make a commitment to write every day. The acronym BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) applies here. Force yourself to write something, even if it's only 100 words. That's 100 words more than you had when you sat down, right?

Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero
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• Give yourself a firm deadline for whatever you happen to be writing: a blog post, a chapter, poem, whatever. If deadlines don't inspire you, try finding an accountability partner. She can check in with you at agreed-upon times to make sure you're staying on track--and you can do the same for her.

Image courtesy of Pedro Simao
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• Track your word counts. Seeing the total increase is a real motivator for me. Even if I write only 100 words, I can see from the graph that I'm moving closer to my goal.

Image courtesy of Tomislav Alajbeg
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• Start a writing ritual. Rituals can help get our minds in gear for writing and signal to them that it's time to work. When I sit down at the computer each morning, I check my e-mails and blog comments and read a bit of news. Then I head out into the kitchen for a big cup of coffee. My mind has learned that when I sit down with that coffee, it's time to start writing.

Image courtesy of John De Boer
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• Give yourself permission to write rubbish. Sometimes it helps for me to tell myself to write whatever is going through my mind, no matter how bad or unrelated to the topic, just to get the words flowing. I often do this type of writing using a pad of paper and a pen so I feel more connected to the words. Give it a try. Who knows? You just might end up with something you can use!

Photo by Anna Langova
Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures


• Step away from the computer for a while (but not too long!). Take a walk, read a newspaper or magazine, watch some TV. If you're so inclined, take a few moments to read from a book on the writing craft, such as Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. This book is filled with writing prompts and other inspiration, and I've turned to it many times since I was introduced to it in college.

• Try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a writing event held every November. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month--and they don't have to be "good" words. NaNoWriMo provides writers with a great opportunity just to sit down and write--and have fun doing it! In addition, I've found the accountability on the site's forums to be very motivating.

You can also try doing your own personal novel writing month any time of the year, but if you prefer having the support of others, search writing forums like Absolute Write, where you'll find people undertaking the challenge nearly every month.

• Check out these sites. I haven't used them yet, but I've heard great things about their ability to motivate writers:

Written? Kitten! On this site, for every 100 words you write, you're rewarded with a cute picture of a kitten. I've heard people rave about the motivation factor!

Write or Die is "a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing." As long as you keep typing into the box, you're fine, but if you stop for more than a few seconds, consequences are enforced, and they range from a gentle reminder to keep writing to the erasure of your words. It can be tough love, but many swear by it!

Finally, I think the greatest motivator for me is aging. The older I get, the more I realize that if there's something I really want to do--like write--the time to do it is today. After all, who knows how many tomorrows any of us have?


Image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero
rgbstock.com



What do you do when you need writing motivation?

14 comments:

  1. These are all great motivational tips for keeping one's focus on writing :) I would imagine it would be hard if one's focus was to write and then not have the motivation to do so. I think like so much in life it takes discipline and it seems like you got the steps in place to be disciplined to write even when you don't feel like it. Good planning I do believe!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty! Some days are harder than others, to be sure, but usually at least one of these tips helps me to get going. :)

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  2. This is a great post. I agree on the aging motivation. I like to perpetually think I'm 22 (which I'm not). My little sister turned 22 this year, so I can't keep lying to myself about being 22.

    I like the idea of doing some sort of reward for every 1,000 words. Maybe a chocolate or something.

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    1. Thanks, Liz.

      Rewards are a great idea--although I promised myself that after pigging out this past weekend, I'd cut out the chocolate for a while. LOL

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  3. I totally understand about the motivation to write. When I com e close to the end of a book I find myself dreading writing the review. I am not a writer's writer (novels and such) but these are some great tips!

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  4. Aging is such a good motivator! I don't have forever!

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    1. It's certainly a scary motivator!

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  5. BICHOK - emails and blog comments don't count...though writing your own blog does.

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  6. And this is why I don't want to be a writer. My blogging is simple and utilitarian.

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    1. I love your style. Your blog is one of the ones I most look forward to reading.

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  7. These are great tips. and thanks for dropping by my site. domesticbubblewriter, wordpress

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