How to Become Motivated to Write
All too often I hear from other writers of the difficulty they experience in getting and staying motivated to write. For me, freelance writing is a combination of art and science. There is no value in denying the creative side of our business and how it is difficult to write when you do not feel like it.
On the other hand, this is a business full of deadlines which are excuse free zones. Here are 6 simple ways I stay motivated to write:
1: Why are you doing this?
Every morning I remind myself of my love of working from home as a freelance writer. It is important for me to know the differences between working for myself and plugging away in a “normal” job. In our current economy, this keeps me highly motivated!
2: Eliminate the distractions
Most of the freelancers I know work from the comfort and convenience of home. However, when this sanctuary of artistic creativity is shattered by your children using your office as a playground, forcing you to use the dining room table as a desk while you wife does her cleaning, may dry out your creative juices.
Create an effective work environment. Be certain it works for you and the way you work. For example, many people I know play music softly in the background. For me this does not work at all.
Turn off the talk radio and television. Avoid surfing the internet and scanning the headlines of your favorite news site.
Rid your home office of the distractions which so easily ensnare you and you will not only write more but your writing will be better!
3: Make yourself an offer you cannot refuse
I believe that being a freelance writer is pretty rewarding in and of itself – like being able to earn a living from your own creative skills and efforts. But that does not mean that bribing yourself will not help you focused and working effectively. It works really well for me.
Consider giving yourself a reward as a form of motivation. Finish that article on time and take yourself out for an ice cream sundae. What works best for me are rewards for weekly accomplishments. Attain a particular level of performance and take the weekend off.
4: Take a hike!
A lot of writers enjoy walking. When you get to the point where you are lacking motivation, take a break and go for a walk. Even a brisk ten minute walk can alter your state of mind to the point where you are ready to get after your writing with enthusiasm.
In the winter here in New England, a hike is not always an option. Since we use a wood stove for heat, chopping wood for fifteen minutes is very effective. Again, find something that works well for you.
Find something you can do that will give you a change in your state of mind. This is generally what is keeping you from being motivated. Once you change your state of mind, you can return to your writing and move forward.
5: Go with the flow
Establish a routine and try to stay with it. For me, routine is essential. Without a schedule, my time gets wasted on well intentioned yet unproductive activities. There are many great programs to help you with your scheduling needs such as Evernote and Work Flowy. Many people use paper and pen to plan out their activities.
Your freelance writing business is your own. This means you must find the ways to keep your greatest asset (that would be you) focused and productive.
6: Do not give into writer’s block!
Writer’s block is the nemesis of many a writer. But it is not necessary to succumb to it. This year I set a goal to end writer’s block in my life. I simply refuse to allow getting stuck in my writing to be anything other than not staying focused on the job at hand and bringing my experience and creativity to bear on the job at hand.
If you are one of those freelancers whose knees knock and teeth chatter at the thought of writer’s block, take heart. You can overcome this and turn it into a stepping stone to success.
As freelance writers we write for a living. It is a competitive as well as a creative enterprise. Being motivated to write is the lifeblood of our business. Everyone gets stuck from time to time, but do not let it become an impediment to your success. Use these five techniques to be a more productive writer!