Motivation Matters - 10 Tips for Writers

Often when writers get together talk turns to two things;

1. I can’t seem to get motivated
2. I can’t find time to write

When someone says this, I know exactly how they feel. This thing called life always seems to get in the way. Also, most writers have at least a first degree, or maybe even a PhD in procrastination. A writers house is never cleaner than when there is a fast approaching deadline.

So how do we overcome this and settle down to some actual writing. First let us consider this:

‘If you always do what you’ve always done, 
you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’

Henry Ford

Something has to change to help us to move forward. There are several ways we can do this.

1. Mindset matters - the way your brain thinks is going to happen is what will happen
2. It’s time to change your mind - tell yourself you can. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain
3. Do 5 minutes of free writing before you start writing for the day. This can be on any topic you choose, or something daft. How about the night life of a paper clip. Have fun.
4. Dare to be different. Change your morning routine. Wear different clothes. Have a different breakfast. This will tell your brain today is going to be different.
5. Step away from the phone. Okay a bit of a joke, but seriously switch off social media. Everywhere. Switch off notifications on any device you are using.
6. Change your location. This can be as simple as within the house. If you write on a desktop this can be more tricky, however do some planning using good old fashioned paper and pen.
7. Write anywhere and everywhere you can. Utilise spare ten minutes here and there. I have made a joke on social media of posting photos of places I am writing. In the last week it has been The Skoda Garage, first class on Virgin Trains, Harrods Tea Room and Foyles Tea Room. Not got a laptop. Download Evernote on your phone and write on that. You can copy and paste when you get to your computer
8. Change your location part 2. Go to a cafe, library, local park or anywhere where you don’t usually write. Again your brain will think in different ways. Also these places seem to think you’re a bit strange if you start cleaning.
9. Write in a different way, change from computer to paper and pen or vice versa. Use a different colour pen or font. Start at a different part of the book.i
10. When you finish for the day end in the middle of a sentence. Then complete it when you start again. Your brain will carry on naturally.

I have screeds more top tips, but let’s leave them for another day. You’ve writing to do, and now is the perfect time to start.

Wendy H Jones is the award winning author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers Choice Award. She is also an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, Motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival


Susan Price said…
I can vouch for changing your location, Wendy. My blog for December has been niggling away at me for weeks now, without a word being written. But a couple of days ago, I had to go and get my car's brake fluid changed. I holed up in the cafe opposite the garage and scribbled down my blog with pen and pad while I had a coffee.

Whenever I really need to get some writing done, I go to a pub or cafe. Changing location really works.

For me, so does setting a timer and saying I will write for an hour, or 30 minutes or even just ten minutes - however long seems bearable that day. Usually, once I've started, I go on and on for hours, even if it was only going to be ten minutes.

I mst try taking a timer to a cafe one day. I might break the time/space continumumumumum.
Wendy H. Jones said…
That’s another great tip, Susan. Thank you.
I have been trying to write on my 90-mile Cornish commute, except they're the sort of trains that have just two carriages and you end up sitting in someone's lap (if you get to sit down at all) so I'm not getting a whole lot done. However, it's good for people-watching. I thought the chap on the Falmouth branch line walking up and down the train with spray bottle and rag cleaning all the glass was a socially aware passenger... but after reading No 8, I'm wondering if he was actually a fellow writer with an attack of writer's block?
Wendy H. Jones said…
Katherine, you made me laugh. You’re probably right re the cleaning
Umberto Tosi said…
Thanks, Wendy. This is definitely a list for my fridge door!
Mari Howard said…
I have taken my laptop and typed in most rooms in our house, I have found that well tried and tested location, the bath/shower a place of inspiration. In warm weather I write outdoors or in the summerhouse. Can't encourage you'all enough to swap around location. My house is actually less clean when there is a deadline though ... unless it's the week the cleaners come! I hate to write when the ironing basket is overflowing ... it frowns as I go past on my way to the kettle ...I can't write when my grandson is here - he gets into everything! Thanks Wendy for alerting us to ideas ... I am about to consider the night life of the paperclips in my desk drawer ...
glitter noir said…
Great post, Wendy. Thanks for generously sharing.
Wendy H. Jones said…
Always a pleasure, Reb. Glad you enjoyed it
Anonymous said…
A really great post Wendy. I will for certain try out your tips.

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