I’m that type of person that I need structure and a plan in order to feel productive. If I don’t have a to do list then I feel as if I don’t have anything to do. This is specially true when I need to set aside time for writing. I realize that if I don’t plan it then it won’t happen. I also realize that if I don’t motivate myself to do it then it won’t happen either.
Below I share the top 10 tips that I use to motivate myself to keep writing or to start writing. Try these tips and let me know in the comment if they work or share which other tips have worked for you.
1. Give yourself a break
Many of us including myself, when we have a long list of errands we tend to over work ourselves until everything is done. Although, you will feel accomplished at the end, but at what cost. By the end, you’re probably drained and burned out. When we get to that point we don’t want to do anything and then we go into this downward spiral of laziness.
SOLUTION: Take a break and if you feel as if you’ll forget to take a break then take timed breaks. Writing shouldn’t feel as a chore or feel as a hobby that you pick up once in a while or feel like a job where you’re forced to go. Writing should be a career goal in which you enjoy to do and can’t wait to get into.
Don’t feel guilty about taking a break and don’t feel bad that you have over worked yourself and can’t continue. Pause, reflect, and keep moving forward.
2. Instead of writing jot down plot points
I do this a lot specially when I’m reading other books in my genre. It sparks ideas for my writing and it helps me when I get stuck with a scene. When I jot down plot points I take it as a writing sprint session where I envision the scene and just list ideas about who is in the scene, what the conversation should be about, why the MC’s are in this situation, how the MC’s are going to resolve this issue, and when the MC’s are going to solve the issue. Regardless of how big or small the issue may be, asking these questions will help you see the big picture. It also helps in breaking down scenes because I found that each scene should have a beginning, a climax, and an ending even if the ending continues into another chapter or scene.
3. Reread your manuscript
If you find yourself wondering about what to write next or you’re stuck then rereading your manuscript or your work in progress (WIP) will help in getting your creative gears moving. I read somewhere that stated that your first draft is written for you the second is written for revising, the third for self-editing, the fourth for betas, and the fifth for professional editing.
If you’re a pantser (or someone who writes their story with light planning and does mostly all of their planning as they write then this will work for you. If you have an outline of your WIP before you write your book then this tip may not be of value unless you need to do some major rewrites and even then you would probably go back to your outline and fix it there.
However, rereading your WIP is not a bad idea if you want to make sure that your storyline is cohesive, or you want to insert fine details that you missed, or you want to delete details that are inconsistent or redundant, or you just want to remember if your character was wearing a red or a blue blouse.
4. Read other indie books in your niche
I know this tip is redundant and if I had a dime for every time I heard it or suggested to someone I would probably make a living out of this one tip alone.
This is the most helpful and easiest tip that you can follow and provide to any writer. This not only helps with your writing but it also lets you stay up to date with current trends within your genre. It also gives you an idea about what you should, shouldn’t, or want to include in your book.
I do this a lot and it helps me to also expand my vocabulary because as I’m reading, I’m seeing how to put those words into context.
5. Beta Read books in your genre
Helping others and giving back motivates you and helps you increase your creativity. Giving feedback not only helps another author but it also helps boost your writing confidence. I call that a win-win writing tip all around.
6. Get on your social media
Blog if you have a blog or tweet if you have Twitter or get on your social media. Some people call that a distraction but I call it inspirational. Since many authors are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, updating their followers about what they’re doing on their WIP I use that as my motivation to keep writing. Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t have to be about materialistic things it can also be about uplifting and positivity.
If other writers are writing and tweeting about their writing, so should you. So get back in front of your computer, write, and brag about your word count too.
7. Read your WIP before going to bed
The last thing that you remember before sleeping usually appears somewhere in your dreams. This is your subconscious speaking to you. Reading also allows you to relax and helps you to sleep better and reduces stress. You’ll wake up refresh and you’ll have a better take on your WIP when you get back to reading and writing it.
If it’s scientifically proven that reading relaxes you, then obviously, it must be true.
8. Watch Booktubers on YouTube
There are many channels on YouTube catered specifically to the writing community where you can find tips and tricks to writing. If you’re not following any booktubers now is your chance to get acquainted with some and support their page.
9. Chat with your fans
Go on your writing social media accounts and chat with your followers, reply and heart their tweets if you’re on Twitter, comment and like their picture if you’re on Instagram, follow new potential fans, and engage with them on Facebook if you have a writer account on Facebook. Stay motivated in your writing even if you’re not actively writing your WIP.
10. The not so finish line
Although, you’re not finished with your WIP, it isn’t too early to start thinking about the cover, the book trailer, blurb, or query letter. Think about how you would like your book trailer to look like, sketch it out or script it out. Research other book trailers to get an idea of what you want yours to look like. You can also get an idea of what you what your cover to look like as well. Research other book covers in your genre and see what those look like so that you’ll be prepared come time to hire a graphic design artist for your book cover. By now you should already know what your book is about so that a preliminary blurb or a query letter rough draft could also be started, therefore, by the time you’re done writing and sending your work off to editing, you’ll be able to have something to work on while your book is in edit mode.
Hope these tips helps you as it had helped me. Comment, like, and share with your fellow indie authors.