Finding motivation to write
Maybe you know it, you always lack the motivation to write on your novel. Almost every author comes to the point where he has doubts about his book. The story, which convinced you at the beginning, now seems flat and unoriginal. In addition, your characters don’t really show depth and are actually stereotypical. Considering the progress you are making with your novel, you will finish sometime before your retirement age. Such self-doubt is a real motivation killer and leads to reluctance to write. But doubts about your own work are not the only reason for a lack of motivation to write. It can be due to a lack of self-discipline or time management, for example.
The tips are aimed at authors who regularly feel no desire to write, although there is no lack of time. Not all of the advice should be suitable for every author. The goal is to get back into a regular writing flow with one or more of the tips and finish your novel.
Just start writing
If you lack motivation to write on your novel, it can help to just start writing. Sounds kind of illogical? But this can work if you make a deal with your inner bastard. I write for half an hour on my book and then turn to other things again. Alternatively, you can negotiate one to two pages. The idea behind it: Once you’re in the flow of writing, your reluctance to write may be gone and you’ll have the right motivation to write. You should then also write on your novel with full concentration in the set time and use it effectively. Popular distractions from your smartphone and social media are taboo during this time.
Even if you only write a page or two of your book each day, you will see your novel progress and the page count grow. Progress in writing is often motivation to keep writing.
Set fixed writing times
The first tip showed it: If you write regularly on your book, you should have an easier time with motivation than authors who pick up their pen once in a blue moon. It is advisable to make regular writing a habit. Set fixed writing times. For example, work on your novel for an hour three times a week. If, over time, you really get into the habit of writing, you can extend these writing times to four days or set a time slot of more than an hour. The big goal here is to make writing on your novel a natural routine that is part of your weekly routine.
Set regular writing times to work on your novel.
If you have set writing times, feel free to share this with family and friends. For example, you write on your book on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 to 7 pm. You also make no exceptions to meet friends at the café. After 7 p.m. you are then fully available to your friends and acquaintances again.
Finding a nice writing space and creative place
For some writers, it can make sense to move your work from your desk at home to another location. Perhaps a particular place will motivate you to write on your novel. The flair of a historic reading room in a university library, for example, can give writers a boost of motivation. Here you sit among many like-minded people who are eagerly and intently writing term papers or studying for an exam. If you want, you can also celebrate writing a bit here. When you enter the library, you are just a writer at that moment and all your time in the library is dedicated to your book. You can also take a short break in the cafeteria; after all, your work has grown a few pages longer in the last hour.
A change of location can not only motivate you, but also help you with writer’s block or a lack of new ideas. Creative places can be libraries, cafés or parks. Every writer finds inspiration in a different place and for every writer there should be at least one creative place.
Some people love deadlines. The closer the deadline gets, the more productive these people become. In the end, these people meet the deadline (albeit at the last minute) and deliver good work to boot. Are you one of those people who have a love-hate relationship with deadlines and are especially productive and motivated under pressure? Then you can set deadlines for your novel. For example, the sixth chapter has to be finished in two weeks. In fact, you often hear of authors who set artificial deadlines to motivate themselves to write, and then meet those deadlines. This system works quite well for some writers. But you’ve probably already seen the weakness of the concept: An artificial deadline is not a mandatory deadline.
Some people take a cue from Douglas Adams and say to themselves, “I love deadlines! I like that whooshing sound they make when they fly by!” If you feel the same way, an artificial deadline won’t motivate you, but some writers get a real motivational kick this way.
Celebrate milestones and reward yourself
Especially if you’re working on your novel alongside your job, studies, or school, it’s going to take some time to finish your work. Writing a book consists of many stages. These include, for example, planning and outlining the novel, fleshing out the characters, writing the first chapters, and revisions. Often, stages of work cannot be clearly separated and every author works a little differently on his or her novel. For motivation, it can be very helpful to set milestones and celebrate the achievement of these points a little. One milestone could be the first 100 pages or the first draft of the novel.
Set several milestones and celebrate when you reach them, image:
If you have reached such a point, you can really reward yourself. What the reward looks like in the end depends entirely on your preferences. Mind you, these are milestones. If you take every little thing as a reason to celebrate, you’ll eventually lose motivation.
Turn your attention to other tasks
Despite various tips, you just don’t have the motivation to write on any given day? But working on a book is not just about writing text. Maybe you still need to do some research on your historical novel and read a professional article. Or you can warm up to editing your last chapters? Rather not such a nice task? Sometimes it also makes sense to organize and clean out the multitude of notes at your desk, which you have made about your story. This supposedly unimportant task has always been pushed in front of you, but at some point you have to lighten your desk by some piles of paper. Feeling out another task also helps with writer’s block. Even if you don’t write a single line, you’re taking your novel one step further.
By the way, if you have no motivation at all for your
motivation for your novel at all, even though you actually always write on that day (fixed writing time), don’t force yourself to do it under any circumstances. The danger is quite great that what you have written down will soon end up in the wastepaper basket. Occasional reluctance to write is allowed, as long as it doesn’t become the norm.
Find a literature group
There should be one or more literature groups in every major city. It makes great sense to join such a group. Here you can meet like-minded authors, exchange ideas and get valuable feedback. A writer’s group can be incredibly motivating to write, after all, you can and will present the progress of your novel here on a regular basis. Again, deadlines can work as motivation for many authors. If you announce that you’ll be reading the fourth chapter next week, you’re certainly making an effort to finish that section. After all, it would be a shame to disappoint your fellow authors. When things are going ideally, a literary group is a gentle checkpoint. Members motivate each other and make sure all writers are making progress.
Where can you find such a literary group in your city? Actually, you should be able to get all the information you need on the Internet. Unfortunately, not all groups are open, some are virtually “closed societies” and do not accept new writers. But with some searching and luck you should find a literature group.
Fight the inner demons
Now we come to the last and most important tip against a reluctance to write. It’s often the inner critic that makes you doubt and kills any motivation to write a book stone cold. So the story is just flat, already told a thousand times, the characters without depth and you will never finish your novel anyway. Do you know such self-doubt and real motivation killers. It is important that you fight such inner demons. It is advisable to finish your current project and not to start with a new supposedly better idea. In a few weeks you might be back at the same point and discard everything. In the end, you’ll have a lot of unfinished manuscripts and ultimately only fragments of your writing.
Fight inner critics and find motivation to write.
No matter how bad it seems to you at the moment – finish it! Eschenbach calls poorly finished novels a successful workout, while unfinished books are a waste of time. This assessment may sound harsh. In any case, you should finish your novel and heed the battle cry: Down with your inner demons! Down with the desire to write!
Still no motivation to write? What to do?
Despite all the tips, you still can’t find the right motivation to write. Here it makes sense to ask yourself the question: Why did I start my novel in the first place? Was it the desire to tell a story? Or is your desire more to publish a book and be a well-known, successful writer? Or maybe writing just isn’t fun anymore? Individuals start a novel for the wrong motives (notoriety, money) rather than the desire to write. Then again, there are authors who imagine something different under writing a book. Unfortunately, it is not so that the pages just flow out of the pen and you tell a brilliant story. Writing is hard work and many things don’t go as planned.
The great story you have in your head is not as easy to put down on paper as expected. You have to deal with writer’s block and the first draft of course needs a rewrite. In addition, there is the annoying editing at the end. A writer’s life is not easy and the first euphoria is often followed by a reluctance to write. If you don’t find the motivation to write after several attempts, maybe you are not cut out to be an author. No one should be discouraged from writing a book. But anyone who has been writing a first work for years should at least question their motivation for writing.
There is no one answer to this question since it is different for every writer. However, some of the most common inspirations for writing can include things like personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts; stories or news articles that have moved or impacted the writer; and ideas or themes that the writer is passionate about. Additionally, many writers are often inspired by other writers, either in terms of wanting to emulate their work or being influenced by their style.
There are many ways to stay inspired when writing. Some people find inspiration in nature, others find inspiration in their own personal experiences, and others find inspiration in the stories of others. I find that the best way for me to stay inspired is to keep a journal of my writing ideas and inspirations. Whenever I come across a quote, a story, or a picture that inspires me, I write it down in my journal. This helps me to stay organized and to keep track of all of my ideas. I also like to read books about writing and about famous authors. This helps me to get inspired by others and to learn new techniques. Lastly, I like to take walks or hikes in nature. This helps me to clear my mind and to come up with new ideas.