Even the King of Just-Do-It, Tony Robbins, must have days where he feels unmotivated. It’s only natural to find yourself in a slump, every now and then — suffering through days where you just don’t feel like doing anything productive. If you find yourself feeling this way, take heart. You’re not alone. I’ve felt the same way. I have found that, if I allow one day to pass where I don’t write, it easily turns into two, and then three. But I have found a few ways to kick-start my motivation. I hope these suggestions help you get off your duff and get moving in the right direction.
1. Stir Your Inspiration – The best way I have found to find inspiration as a writer is to read good books. When I get lost in a great story, I always find myself wanting to create stories and characters of my own. Reading good books is never a waste of time for writers.
2. Daydream – As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my head, visiting my characters, my plot, my story location. Daydreaming about your book is a wonderful way to churn up the kind of excitement you need to finish that first draft.
3. Make Lists – I don’t know about you, but I am always more productive when I make a To-Do List and check off the items as I accomplish each goal.
4. Find Support – Finding a group of like-minded authors that you trust is important when you’re in need of motivation. Challenge each other to reach the day’s goals and hold each other accountable. Taking a razzing from your author friends might be the push you need to get those pages written.
5. Keep Your Duff in the Chair – I have found this is half the battle. If I force myself to sit at my desk, even if I’m not feeling motivated, I will eventually begin to write. Persistence really is key to being productive.
6. Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time – Break any chore down into small jobs. Don’t say, “I’m going to write a chapter.” Don’t even say, “I’m going to write a scene.” Do say, “I’m going to write one page.” Once you write that one page, you can build on that small success and confidently dive into the second.
7. Focus on the Goal, not the Difficulty – Become very aware of your thoughts. Do not allow yourself to think negatively. This is so hard! I’ll never finish this book! These thoughts will only further squash your creativity and your motivation. Instead, ponder how good you’ll feel when you finish that one page, that one scene, that one chapter. Think about how wonderful it will be when you complete that book, when you upload it for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks. Think about how great it will be to read those 5-star reviews.
8. Celebrate Your Creativity – Writing is hard work, there’s no doubt about it. Give yourself a pat on the back when you reach a goal. You’ve earned the right to feel good about what you’ve accomplished. But don’t party too hard or too long. Remember, there are always more pages to be written.
Motivation is like the great ocean tide; it swells and ebbs. Take full advantage of those times when your excitement to work is strong. Get those pages written! But when the inclination to create seems nowhere to be found, I hope you’ll re-read the list above, get off your duff, and kick-start your motivation!
USA TODAY bestselling author Donna Fasano has written over 30 women’s fiction and romance novels. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide. Find out more about her at her blog and check her out on Amazon Author Central.