Monday, July 13, 2015
Tips for Finding Writing Motivation
walking-with-turtles asked: Do you have any tips or advice for motivating oneself to get back into writing after having fallen out of practice? :3
Hmmm, one quote I know comes to mind: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
It's a great quote to keep in mind.
But I do think that it does take some effort to get motivated. Of course, you can force yourself to write when you aren’t motivated, but it’s easier and more enjoyable when you are. Here are some things that work for me:
1) Read/watch/listen to an art form you love, one that makes you really feel something. For writers, I think we usually think of reading a book or watching a movie. So for me, I might would pull Harry Potter off my shelf or pop in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I try to read or watch some form of fiction almost every day. Not all of them leave a powerful impression on me, but when one does, I instantly feel more motivated to write.
But there are other art forms that are just as effective. A lot of writers listen to music to get in the zone or get motivated. This last month, one of my all time favorite bands, Muse, released a new album. One of the songs, “Mercy,” really struck me, made me feel something, and I hungered to try to recreate that emotion in my story. I was super motivated about it. Video games can inspire people too, which leads to them being motivated. So try consuming an art form that makes you feel something deeply or powerfully.
2) Read your old writing. If you are trying to pick up a story that you haven’t touched in weeks or months (or sometimes even just yesterday), try going back and reading part of it. Either the last part you wrote, or a part you thought was particularly good. Notice I said “good” and not “perfect.” I’m not talking about flawless writing, I’m talking about a part that you sincerely love, as a consumer.
Reading what I wrote last helps me get back in the groove. It reminds me where I am or where I have been, and where I’m going (or want to go) next.
3) If you have a particular story in mind or are picking up one you’ve already started, then try going back in your mind to when the idea or excitement for that story first struck. Try to remember how you felt. Try to relive it. And try to remember why you wanted to write this story in the first place.
4) Just do it. Like I said earlier, you can force yourself to write. It might sound ironic, but just choosing to write can lead you on a path to motivation. You might get an idea that really inspires you.
Sometimes inspiration comes to you, but most of the time, you have to go find it. If you force yourself to write regularly, it will get easier and you are more likely to be motivated to write.
5) Revisit encouragements. If people have read your writing and said nice things to you about it, take time to write those compliments down or save them someplace where you can revisit them. Sometimes just reading that other people like your work can be enough to motivate you to write more.
Those are five things that work for me. Hopefully one of them will work for you! And good luck! :) Thanks for asking!