10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Motivation

If you aren’t motivated, you won’t write. These tips for writing more words than you can edit will increase your motivation as a writer, ramp up your productivity, and help you write more, better, longer, happier.

Writing MotivationIf you’re struggling to blog consistently, read Blogging For Writers: How Authors & Writers Build Successful Blogs by Robin Houghton. A blog is one of the most important tools a writer has because blogging keep can keep you motivated, enhance your writing skills, and connect you with other writers – and readers.

Before my tips for increasing writing motivation, I want to share something Snoopy said. “Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’ ” – Charles M. Schulz. If you don’t find the right writing motivation for struggling writers today, you’ll lie awake tonight wondering where you went wrong.

How to Increase Your Writing Motivation

At the end of the day, don’t lie in bed wondering where your writing dreams and goals went, and why you never made it as a writer. Never let it be said that you were too lazy to write!

Create a need to write, find an agent, get published

One writer I know had to write to pay the bills. She was a single mom, desperate for income but unable to afford childcare. She was literally too hungry to be lazy — and she certainly didn’t need to increase her motivation to write! She needed to pay her bills and feed her kids. If you don’t have a need to write, create one. Do you need Starbucks frappucinos? Write 750 words first, then reward yourself with a coffee. Do you need to pay your car insurance or health care bills? Send three article pitches to editors that could result in an article assignment that will pay those bills.

Figure whether you’re internally or externally motivated

How to Increase Your Writing Motivation

10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Motivation

Do you write because it makes you feel good, accomplished, or creative (internal rewards)? Do you write for money or recognition (external rewards)? To increase your motivation to write, find your driving force and tap into it.

Pay now, play later

I love to write articles for my blogs, and don’t much care for pitching ideas to magazine editors. But, I like to write articles for print magazines. The solution? I have to find a new market or send a great query before I can blog. Today, for instance, I sent a Valentine’s Day pitch to Chatelaine….and my reward is writing this post about writing discipline! Hold off on what you love to do until you’ve achieved a writing goal.

Are you struggling under the weight of all your rejection slips? Read 5 Tips for Overcoming Discouragement and Rejection for Writers.

Confess your writerly sins

When darling hubby comes home from slaving away in the salt mines, it’s time for me to ‘fess up. How many queries did I send? Did I watch Oprah and The View? Sharing my accomplishments increases my discipline and motivation to write. If I wasn’t accountable to my husband, I’d find someone else. An “accountability partner” doesn’t have to be a fellow writer; it can be anyone with writing goals. To be a successful writer, you need to set goals, confess slothfulness, and celebrate your writing achievements.

Share your writing

Schedule weekly “writing drop off” dates with people who are willing to read your writing. When I know my friends, family, or editors will be reading my articles or blog posts, I’m motivated to start early and write well. Sharing your work is one of the top tips for increasing self-discipline and motivation to write because it (theoretically) gives you a reason to work.

Book a writer’s conference

I’m signed up for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in October, and this itself is motivation to write! Lazy writers don’t attend writing conferences – and they especially don’t meet the deadlines for writer’s contests. Acting as if you’re not a lazy writer increases your motivation and discipline to write.

Take a writing class

Maybe you’re struggling to write because you don’t feel good enough! To improve your writing skills, enroll in an online writing class or an editing class through your local community college. Join a writer’s group, or find books that motivate you to write.

If you can’t find the motivation to write – much less sign up for a writing class! – read 10 Steps for Writers Who Want to Earn More Than $15 Per Article.

motivation to write

10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Motivation

Write in baby steps

When you don’t feel like writing, just work for 15 or 20 minutes. After your writing time is up, then you Tweet or FaceBook. Or, maybe you’ll want to keep writing for another 15 or 20 minutes….this tip will increase your writing discipline by establishing solid writing habits and, ultimately, publication.

Read books about writing

The more I read about freelance writing, the more I want to write! Find books about writing that inspire you; Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is fantastic. Get in the writing mindset by reading a passage or chapter before you turn on your computer.

Create a writing ritual

Some writers do squats; others put on their special writing hats and galoshes. Me, I check my email, my blog stats, my writer’s forums, and my Suite101 particulars….and then I’m ready to write. Creating a writing ritual can prepare you mentally and physically to work, which will increase your writing productivity.

For more motivation, read Want to Make Money Writing? Build Relationships With Editors.

If you have any thoughts on finding the motivation to write, please comment below…

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15 thoughts on “10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Motivation”

  1. thank you for these ways to increase writing motivation, i like doing those short writings like poems. motivation is i what I lack at times but i have written a number of them, but not published.

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for your thoughts on staying motivated to write! I have to have complete and total silence when I write – though I can go to coffee shops and airports and write like the wind. I don’t know where my writing discipline comes from. I’ve been blogging for years, and somehow stay motivated to write and write and write…

  3. Ah… a process… The only way that I can keep my writing really fluent is if I put a song or short album on a continuous loop/replay. As for the physical things, I have to have headphones and several options for how I write (my labtop, type writer, notebook, and every type of wriitng utensil) in arms reach. Aside from that, I like to have some sort of inspirational object, such as another book or a pretty piece of jewelry or even my artwork, nearby to sort of draw my muse from.

    I also like the fifth one. The way that I got motivated before was posting my work online. Everyone expected chapters two or three times a week, so it was very motivating. Due to copyright issues, though, I never do it with my major novels.

    I’m always lacking motivating. The most motivating thing I find is reading another book. Every time I do, I get this major need to finish my own and get published so someone else can read mine and enjoy it the way I enjoyed that book.

  4. This is probably part of my problem. I am one of the least motivated humans alive. I just don’t have any “oomph” as my mother puts it. No drive to succeed, no push to force myself through mental adversity.

    I tend to do things in spurts. Suddenly, I accomplish over 12,000 words in 4 days…then nothing else for a month. Of course, that has a lot to do with the events of the month in question, but that seems to be the norm in my life. Calm, peaceful, work-filled burst, followed by stressful, difficult, sickly, and depressed month. How do I accomplish anything on such a cycle?

    I try to concentrate on accomplishing all I can, when I can. But it’s hard to get anything done when you’re only working on it part-time.

    Anyway, thanks for the great article. I’m going to have to try again on forcing myself to write at certain times each day, though I frankly stink at that. Have a wonderful day and happy writing!

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Fred,

    Better late than never, right? Here’s an article that was specifically written for you:

    Lost Interest in Writing Your Novel? How to Love Your Characters

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts there or here…


  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Fred,

    That’s a great question! Let me think on it and do some research…and I’ll post the article link here.


  7. Ok I have to admit that I procrastinate just like any other writer, but they say that the hardest thing is sitting down and actually writing the book. I can write the book, its just keeping myself motivated to write. Getting my mind more involved with the characters and what not. Anyone up for giving me advice on getting more involved with the characters in my book it would be much appreciated. And Laurie thanks for the tip as well.

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Crystal,

    Thanks – I’m glad the tip helped! It’s a great idea. I can’t remember who gave me that tip…but it works if you’re money-motivated, like me 🙂

  9. I read this tip in your Fire Up the Muse ebook: give someone you trust $100, and tell them to give you $10 every time you meet your writing goal for the day. I love this tip because it’s perfect for increasing motivation to write. I gave my Mum the money, and when I write my 1,000 words a day, she pays me. It works, so thank you.

  10. “Procrastination is a curse, and a costly one,” say the people over at ScienceDaily.

    If your lack of writing discipline makes you feel like a lazy writer, and you struggle with procrastination, here’s some comfort (and a writer’s tip!).

    German fesearchers found that procrastination is more likely when people focus on abstract thoughts (eg, “why do I have writer’s block?”). Procrastination is less likely when people focus on concrete, specific thoughts: how many queries will I send today, or how many words do I plan to write?

    Here’s a link to the study http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112110106.htm .

    Stop procrastinating, fellow scribes. Keep writing! You won’t regret it.

  11. I’ve written 11 books and over 300 magazine articles. Here’s my advice “Write…don’t talk about it.”

    I’m so tired of people telling me, “I’ve been working on a book for five years now…” I want to say “Then you must be pretty lazy!” I don’t mean to sound jaded, but if you want to write, then do it. Submit it somewhere, anywhere, just to get some experience.

    I write a book proposal in 2 days and have written a book in one month…while traveling around the US in an RV. So stop telling peoepl about your poem or book or screen play. write it, submit it and then write something else!

  12. Ok, this is a good one.

    Great tips with a different slant.

    I just included it in my Top 10 Top 10 lists for Writers post.

    Great job!


  13. Great advice. I did really well at the last National Novel Writing Month and met my goal by putting a reward on my calendar if I make my word goals for the day. I haven’t done that in a while, and my output has not been as great.

    I also like the idea of blogging AFTER I write, but it is like trying to give up chocolate!