Maintaining your motivation to write


Few writers could claim that they haven’t been beset by writer’s block at some point or other. Once it sets in the hardest thing in the world is to turn your attention back to the screen. Often the motivation to write diminishes when you are faced with a rewrite or you come to a particular point in the story where you haven’t sorted out what happens next. Getting that motivation back is often the toughest hurdle you will overcome.

There are other motivation conflicts such as lack of energy or low confidence levels – these are easier to diagnose and often easier to overcome. Revisiting why you wanted to write in the first place is often a good place to start. The discipline of writing will only return if you capture that enthusiasm and determination which set you on the road to writing that particular story or novel in the first place. For some the motivation is financial – and there is nothing wrong in that. For others it’s the desire to see your name in print – often its because you believe that you have the ability to write and you want to prove to yourself that you can achieve success. Some writers say that the strongest motivation often comes from the self doubters around them. They remember a tutor or a friend or relation who put them down and belittled their attempts at writing. Proving someone wrong can be a strong determinant to writing successfully.

Nonetheless if you are in a period of procrastination you have to get out of it by taking baby-steps. Breaking down the components of the problem is a useful starting point. If the story line is the problem then revisit the original outline and work through the plot to the sticking point. By focussing on the bigger picture the details often become clearer. If its about energy and tiredness then take a break from writing and focus on something completely different. There is nothing more demotivating that staring at a blank screen. Switch off the computer and go for a brisk walk – it will clear your head and may clear you thinking. But don’t avoid switching it back on for too long – people who work for themselves often give themselves deadlines and plan rewards for achieving set goals. It could