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Thursday, March 28, 2013


Increasing the Motivation to Write

Lately I've been wanting to write, but I keep stacking my schedule against writing. And, for the first time, I can't blame a messy desk. (I usually claim that one...and then a cleaning frenzy follows, negating any desire to write creatively.)
For once, a messy desk isn't the scape goat.
I love this picture for its motivational
"Happy Day" card. Photo | Flickr: mrsdkrebs

Too many projects. Too many kids' school events. Too much life. As many of us do, I plan and plan, but then something "better" gets in the way.

Admittedly, my writing is in a rut.

For April, I am making a pact with myself to sit down, take the time, and write more. I'm testing what has worked in the past when my motivation seems lacking, such as starting on a creative endeavor means I buy a new notebook. Lately, that hasn't worked because most of my writing is done on the computer. So I guess I'll have to throw out the concept as a motivational technique.

This time I need more substantive motivation.

I have some ideas of how to accomplish it (see below), but I'd enjoy hearing from readers—what do you do to find more time to write? How do you shake up your routine to bring your writing to the forefront of your day?

Here are my top ideas:

  • Wake up fifteen minutes earlier (I'm fresher in the morning, but do others stay up later to get their writing done?)
  • Write in the bedroom, before I enter the family zone and kids make their daily demands
  • Schedule time with myself, maybe every Friday morning for an hour of solid writing
  • Pack a lunch and use a lunch hour to write in a different setting
  • Pack all my time into a mini-retreat, which I have found gets me moving forward on a story
  • Front-load my desk with books on craft or books that inspire me so that my desk screams "Write!" ... and I feel obligated to comply.
That's what I've tried before and what I plan to do start...uh, in April. (Maybe I should add "Stop procrastinating!" to my list?)

What is your plan for re-motivating your writing? What has worked for you? Or, are you someone who needs no help staying motivated? (If so, what is your secret?)

Elizabeth King Humphrey, MFA, edits and, when not motivationally challenged, writes. She is also looking for book recommendations for an upcoming vacation...but only to support her writing challenge. :) 


Blogger Renee Roberson said...

Ugh, I so feel your pain! I have "paying work" deadlines to meet first, a messy desk, then a messy house, volunteer obligations, kid stuff, etc. that always seem to keep me from my "fun" writing projects! I'm working on a grant application right now, which actually reignited my passion for a children's book project. Competition deadlines also kick me in gear, too. I suggest you find some sort of contest you want to enter, with an upcoming deadline, and let that inspire and motivate you. It always works for me. Good luck!

6:07 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Your list sounds like mine. :) The messy house--how does that happen? Sometimes, I look up from my computer and I see a trail of toys that I just picked up 5 minutes earlier. Sometimes, I just try to ignore it.

Elizabeth: these are great tips and ideas figuring out what works for you.

That's the key--trying something new until you figure out what works for you!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Sioux said...

Elizabeth--I agree with Margo. You have to find what works for you.

I once read about a writer (one I had not heard of) who wrote one page in the morning before his first trip to the bathroom. He said sometimes, due to a brimming over bladder, it was a fast page, but he DID stick to it and it worked for him.

I try to carve out time, here and there, and it may only be 15 minutes at a time, and it's not consistent, but neither is my life.

I like the idea of a "mini retreat."

Thanks for the post, Elizabeth.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Cloistervoices said...

I've recently revamped the physical nature of my writing journal with Microsoft OneNote which allows for typed copy, photos, videos, audio files, handwriting and all so neatly organized inside OneNote. Before this the journal was scattered between handwritten notebooks, computer files, photo albums, etc.

This means that at any moment I can toss an entry into the writing journal from any source I'm near. Phone, laptop, electronic pen, camera, you name it, it works and all goes to OneNote.

Also, probably the best thing I've done is allow myself to just have a goal of 5 minutes a day, bottom line. No matter what my day is like, I can ALWAYS squeeze in 5 minutes for a journal entry and 99.999% of the time that 5 minutes will stretch 20 minutes, an hour, several hours.

Thanks for your post and let's remember to keep on writing and breathing and loving.

11:39 AM  

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