3 Ways to Find Motivation


We’re one week into Camp NaNoWriMo now, and the first excitement is wearing off. Writers are settling down into the rhythm of the daily word count. Maybe it’s getting slightly harder to sit down and write every single day. Or maybe you’re not doing Camp NaNoWriMo, but are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to write. While motivation doesn’t like to stick to a regular time table, sometimes it can be tricked into appearing. Here are three way I have found help me get into the writing zone.

1. Bribe yourself

Often I feel like doing something else instead of writing when I have free time, such as watching Youtube videos, or reading a book. However, I’ve found that it is possible to use these distractions as a bribe to make myself write. I bargain with myself. If I write two hundred words, I can watch a Youtube video. If I write five hundred words, I can read a chapter of that book. Once I’ve watched that video, or read that chapter, it’s back to the novel to write another few hundred words before I can reward myself with another video or chapter. Sometimes this bribery is enough to get a decent amount of words written.

2. Set a timer

Sometimes I don’t have anything I want to bribe myself with. I just don’t feel like writing at all. In situations like these, sometimes forcing myself to write helps. I get a timer, (E.ggtimer is a good online one) and set it for a short period of time, generally ten to fifteen minutes. I make myself write for the entirety of the time, then take a short break before setting the timer again. Often, by the time I’ve finished a couple of writing stints, I feel like writing more.

3. Do a word war

In my opinion, word wars are the best things ever invented. If you’ve never done a word war, then rules are simple. Find another writer who would like to war with you, decide on an amount of time to write for, and then write as much as you can before the time runs out. The person who wrote the most words ‘wins’. It’s very similar to using a timer, but there is the added motivation of trying to write more words than another person. (Elizabeth Liberty Lewis’s Word War group on Facebook is a great place to find warring partners.)

During Camp NaNoWriMo, nothing is worse to the success of your month than running out of motivation to write. With a daily word count to hit, having even one slow day can put you behind for a week. And if you’re not doing Camp NaNoWriMo, not feeling like writing, especially for several days at a time, can be frustrating. But often getting started writing is enough to make me feel like writing again. As Louis L'Amour said, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

How do you find motivation to start writing? If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, how are you going? Did any of these suggestions work for you?

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