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5 Ways to Find the Motivation to Write

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Set a goal—the more specific, the better.

Most people have problems with motivation from time to time.

Whether we’re trying to exercise consistently (guilty!), doing homework, or starting a book, sometimes we just don’t feel like doing it.

Here are a few tips when you’re struggling to find the motivation to write.

1. Set Goals

What are you hoping to accomplish with your writing project?

For many of us, it helps to get motivated when we’re aiming for something. The more specific your goals, the better.

But be sensible. If your goals are unrealistic, this could backfire and cause unnecessary stress.

2. Use Deadlines (Even if They’re Self-Imposed)

If there’s no deadline, create one. If there is a deadline and it’s far away, create mini-deadlines for yourself.

The goal is to prevent procrastination because it’s one of the easiest ways to lose momentum and motivation.

For example, let’s say you want to self-publish a book and are aiming for 180 pages:

  • You could set a deadline of completing the first draft in six months.
  • Then you could further break up the project into 18 chapters, each with around 10 pages.
  • If you can commit to three chapters per month, which is about one page per day, then you’re well on your way to reaching your end goal.

You’re only human, so sometimes you’ll miss these deadlines, especially when they’re self-imposed. That’s OK—just try to get back on track as soon as possible. It’s too easy to let one day off turn into a week of procrastination.

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3. Remind Yourself: Why Am I Writing?

What made you want to be a writer in the first place? What made you want to start this project?

Maybe you were inspired by someone you look up to, or maybe it was simply an idea you had. Either way, it can be helpful to remind yourself of this when you need motivation.

Some writers even put this reminder on a sticky note and post it on their computer or desk. That way, they can be reminded of it every time they work.

Image of a quote that says: "You're only human. Sometimes you'll miss deadlines, especially self-imposed ones. That's OK—just try to get back on track as soon as possible.

4. Address Burnout

Burnout happens to all of us from time to time. So if you’re worn out, take a break. That might be:

  • Reading a book
  • Watching a movie
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting together with friends
  • Taking a vacation
  • Or doing anything else that rejuvenates you

Taking a break can help you be more motivated when you come back to your project.

5. When All Else Fails, Just Write

Some people fool themselves into thinking they always need to be motivated before they can write.

But plenty of successful writers force themselves to sit down and just start writing. They realize it’s unrealistic to think they’ll always be motivated. Don’t let a lack of motivation become an excuse to avoid writing.

Someone once asked a famous writer whether he wrote on a schedule or when he was inspired. His answer: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

The point is that getting to work is sometimes the best solution to a lack of motivation.

Beyond these five tips, there’s not a whole lot more I can offer to help you get motivated to tackle your writing project. But my team and I can certainly take some of the work off your hands by handling all of the proofreading and copy editing. If you’re interested in learning more about the expert services we offer here at Super Copy Editors, check out this page.

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Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I’m Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than 25 years of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes. At Super Copy Editors, we’re passionate about helping agencies, marketing teams, and education companies refine and polish their text to give them confidence and ensure success. Learn more here.

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