Motivation can be a writer's greatest gift or their worst nightmare. Once you have it, the words seem to come out of you like magic. If you don't have it, it's like trying to pull water from a stone. But motivation isn't necessarily something you have to wait for. Let's talk about ways to motivate yourself to write and finish that story you've been avoiding.
Lots of writers use music when they're writing, but you can also use it to motivate you to write as well. Pick music you like, music that's upbeat, or music that fits the story or the vibe you're writing. It might make you more likely to sit at your desk and write and not just stare forlornly at your computer.
Maybe that new pop song is the perfect thing to motivate you to write that kissing scene. Or perhaps that creepy music from Halloween is just the thing to get you to sit down and finally write that gothic horror novel. Pick your music of choice and WRITE!
Nothing is quite as motivating as spite. Did someone tell you your writing wasn't good enough? That your stories weren't "serious?" That you weren't a good writer? Use that anger and rage to motivate you to write the story of your dreams! The story you know people like you would lose their minds over.
While inspiration, being published, seeing people read your book, and success are all great motivators, spite can be an even greater one! People use their anger for all types of awful things, why not use yours to create a new story?
Deadlines are my biggest motivation. If I have a deadline, I will do whatever it takes to get the job done on time. Sleep? Who needs it? Food? Oops, forgot to eat again. Other responsibilities? They will have to wait! Just the thought of missing a deadline gives me anxiety. This is one of the reasons NaNoWriMo works for so many people. It has a set deadline.
But how do you motivate yourself when it's just you writing a story? Set them yourself! Pick a date and put a little bit of pressure on yourself to meet it. Plan a reward if you make the deadline. If you don't meet the deadline, you don't get a giant piece of chocolate cake or you don't get to do the fun thing.
While reading can be something that keeps you away from writing, it can also be a HUGE motivator. Reading can spark all kinds of new ideas for stories. I get lots of ideas for stories while writing. I think of ways I would write the story differently and those ideas become new stories that look nothing like the book that inspired them.
Reading can also inspire and motivate us to be published. The sooner you start writing that book, the sooner you can query it to an agent and then send it to a publisher and then BOOM, your book is at Barnes and Noble!
Or you could self-publish it. Or you could send it to your favorite literary magazine. Whatever you dream of. Reading can motivate us to one day be the author that inspires another writer to tell their own story.
About the Author: Sarah Perchikoff is a writer and blogger, and the Director of Brand for the Writer's Workout. She also writes for Culturess, Netflix Life, and Guilty Eats. When she's not writing, she loves to read, watch way too much TV, and further her addiction to Sour Patch Kids and french fries. You can connect with her on Twitter: @sperchikoff