It happens to all of us. Some call it writer’s block, some call it procrastination, and some simply call it lack of motivation. Whatever you call it, you know what it is, that lull in your work, those times, when you are stumped on how to continue writing what needs to be written.
At a recent Way North Writers, NH meeting (writers who are interested in the business of writing) members ranging from new writers to professional published writers offered the following suggestions to keep motivated when the writer’s muse has temporarily left the building.
- Embrace the saying: If the desire to write is not followed by the act of writing then the desire is not to write. If you want to write, then “just do it.” Sometimes tough love is the way to success.
- Write a To-Do list each morning before you start work. It helps to clearly identify the steps of each task you need to accomplish (and what better feeling is there than crossing off a list item?).
- Get together with like minds, a discussion with a group of others interested in your topic could spark ideas that are lying just under your mind’s surface.
- Take a quick walk or break from your desk to clear the mind cobwebs. A good dose of oxygen to the brain can help clarify even the toughest idea.
- Keep a notebook with you at all times and write down story ideas as they come. Elevators, stoplights - good ideas don’t normally wait for a convenient time to arrive.
- Read other articles and comment on them. Use them to think about comparing or contrasting your experiences to what is being discussed.
- Try using What if? to get an idea. What if this article were aimed at a different audience, how would it change?
- Use a little bit of your bravado, after reading something ask yourself, if I had written this, how could I have made the message stronger? How could I have made this article better?
- Create a mini-boot camp. Dedicate a specified amount of time to write, declare your goal and then report your progress to someone else. Accountability is a great procrastination smasher.
- Lastly, if you find yourself procrastinating, think of what a $500,000 writer would be doing. You can bet she would be sitting butt in chair and fingers on keyboard. So get to it.