Kindling and Rekindling Motivation
Sometimes, you don’t want to write. At least, you don’t want to keep working on that project you started a few months ago—even if you just need to add finishing touches. It happens. Keeping yourself motivated to keep working on a WIP can be hard, and it can be even harder to find the inspiration to return to a piece you lost interest in. But, there are steps you can take.
Keeping Yourself Motivated
The best way to rekindle your motivation is to prevent your motivation from dying in the first place. That means not burning yourself out.
Moderate Yourself. Just because you can write 3,000 words every day, doesn’t mean you should. Firstly, writing isn’t the only thing you do, and finding time to write an insanely high number of words daily means you will compromise on either other aspects of your life or the quality of your writing. Secondly, writing can quickly begin to feel like a chore. Writing is supposed to be fun, but the feeling of having to write 500 more words is not fun. A goal of 1,000 words every day is far more manageable and much easier to maintain in the long run. Of course, the example numbers here do not apply to everyone, and you have to look at yourself and consider your limitations according to your own abilities.
Follow a Schedule. Sometimes, a regular rhythm makes it easier to write. Writing at a particular time of day in the same place might help you get into the writing zone and produce content. Again, it’s important to keep your other responsibilities in mind, and create a schedule you can actually maintain; otherwise, it will not accomplish its goal.
Reward Yourself. When you finish this chapter, you will go outside for fresh air or allow yourself twenty minutes to scroll through social media or take a short nap. The possibilities are endless. Set a short or long-term goal for yourself and promise yourself a reward for achieving it. The important thing to remember is to actually reward yourself when you achieve your goal. You deserve it!
Have a Partner. Most writers struggle with keeping themselves motivated at some point. Having a writing partner to share these struggles with will likely benefit you and your partner. You can keep each other accountable with check-ins. Your partner will make sure you are keeping up with your goals, and if you are the type of person who needs someone else to remind you to keep up with your goals, this can really help you maintain your motivation.
Rekindling Your Motivation
Sometimes, the above steps fail. How do you bring your motivation to write back once it has already disappeared?
Take a Break. Write something else to exercise your writing skills and give your mind the opportunity to think in a different way. Or, if you think it’s best for you, take a break from writing altogether. If you do want to come back to this WIP, however, I suggest giving yourself a deadline—a day you will start writing again. This is to make sure your “break” doesn’t last forever.
Read. An avid reader is a better writer. By reading about other characters, other worlds, and other stories, you can remind yourself why you started writing in the first place. In other books you might also find inspiration for the next conflict in your story, helping you overcome your writer’s block. Honestly, consumption of any form of media (TV shows, movies, plays, etc.) can accomplish the same goal.
Skip Around. Maybe you’re unable to continue writing your story because you don’t know what happens after the last thing you wrote. That’s okay. You don’t need to write in chronological order. If you’re really excited to write the end of your story, skip to that. Writing another part of your story can help you learn to love your characters again, which can make it easier to continue writing your story in the order you want.
Rewrite, Revise, or just Reread. Return to the beginning of your last chapter or—if you’re feeling really ambitious—the beginning of your book or story. Rereading your story can help you remember what plotlines may still be open and give you inspiration for the logical continuation to your story. If you want to feel more productive while rereading, you might choose to revise some parts as well. If this isn’t enough, try rewriting some parts from the perspective of another character. This can show you how the other character may react to events that have already happened, which can help you figure out what they will do next.
Motivation is essential to write, so it’s important to know how to keep yourself motivated and interested in your story.
How do you keep yourself motivated? Let me know in the comments!