Being a writer comes with all kinds of Hemingway-esque romantic notions of whiling away the hours in coffee shops or working in your pajamas at your own unconventional hours, sipping tea or maybe gin, doing your own thing perhaps even with the proverbial pencil stuck behind your ear. But what happens when you lose your umph? You’ve been away from your computer and you just can’t bring yourself back, whether it’s to work on a new article, the next chapter of your novel or a new post to your blog. You’re finding everything else to do but write. When that happens, and it will, try some of these tips to get your motivation back:
- Take away some of the freedoms you as a writer have. “What?!” you may say, “but that’s the best part!” But it also can lead to procrastination and lack of motivation. Set a real schedule, in whatever timeframe works for you. For some of us, we need to do it day by day. Others can make a weekly schedule and set aside their structured writing time. Whatever works for you, just make it. Then stick to it. Physically put it in your calendar just like an appointment, and whether you look forward to it or dread it, you know you have to do it. You may have to say no to something else. Don’t clean the bathroom during that time, talk on the phone or think about what you need to do at your other job, just write.
- Along those same lines, take away even more of the liberties you have. Close Facebook and your email. No browsing for new shoes on Nordstroms.com, and you can go a few hours without checking the weather. Focus on getting down some quality content. During your set writing time, write, or at least work on writing. Once you get those distractions out of the way, you may find your motivation buried underneath.
- Notice the world around you. Always keep your writer’s eyes open even when you’re not writing, and think how you could apply it. When you notice something that would work for a post, make a note of it, email or text it to yourself. You’ll be excited to get to your computer and motivated to work on it. Nothing beats sitting down with an idea already in mind. And it may even spur more ideas.
- Read other related blogs. Better yet, comment on them. Writing can become very solitary, but with all the social facets to it now, it doesn’t have to be. Once you start commenting and including your blog address, you may find others writing back on your blog. What’s more motivating than seeing comments from another experienced writer on your own blog? Plus, you may even be asked to guest post and other blogs may start promoting you! Don’t think of other blogs as competition, but instead as a community and good promotional platforms.
- Challenge yourself. Maybe write something that doesn’t fit your usual blog topic, but that’s been on your mind. Give a snippet from your day. Write about your dog. Share something you’ve read. If you are getting bored writing, your readers may be getting bored reading (oh, the horrors!), and they may enjoy something new, too.
- Don’t let perfection stand in your way. You can always come back later to edit, but if we edit as we write, we edit instead of write, and that takes the fun out of it. Focus on your content. Write from your heart, and nothing will motivate you more.