Sometimes the thrill of filling a blank page with words is not a thrill at all, but is instead an intolerable and lonely slog.
When the act of writing does not feel like a reward in and of itself, and publication feels distant and unattainable, you need to find creative ways to motivate yourself.
Every 100 words
- Food. Not a good idea if you’re on a diet, but do people really diet? Is that a thing? Do these people not like food? Snacks are best–you don’t want dinner to get cold. Make it something that comes in bite-sized pieces or that you can cut up, and make sure it’s not messy. Soup is bad for your keyboard’s health. Some writing-friendly foods:
- M&Ms, Hershey Kisses, gummy bears, jelly beans
- Carrots/celery sticks/cucumber/bell pepper slices
- Popcorn, Pretzels, Nuts
- Clementines, berries, grapes
- Stickers. Zero-calories, and often shiny. Stick one on your forehead every 100 words.
Every 1000 words
I.e. only on good writing days. You’ve worked hard so far; give yourself a break!
- Watch a tv show (try not to get sucked in, and limit yourself to just one epsiode)
- Tumblr/Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter…your social media platform of choice
- Go for a walk
- Make some tea or coffee
Every day that you write
- Start a tip jar, the pillar of every kind of goal-setting. Make yourself a system: put a dollar in the jar every day that you write, or set 1 word written = 1 cent, or whatever is realistic and motivating for you. When you reach $100, buy yourself something nice (see below for ideas).
- Chart: Make a big, blank bar graph on a huge piece of paper. I mean poster-sized. Or draw a big empty thermometer. Color it in each day with the amount your wrote so you can see your progress. Bonus points because this one is FREE.
After X number of words/days writing
Buy yourself something you’ve wanted for a while! New shoes, a new video game, tickets to a movie…If you really want to enforce your writing habit, buy things that encourage you to write more:
- New notebook
- A nice pens
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- Writing software or apps
- A new album you can listen to while you write
Off-topic note: I’m on Pinterest (obviously), and I’ve been working on boards for both writers & readers…I feel like there are huge numbers of book/writing bloggers on Tumblr and WordPress, but where are you all on Pinterest?! Anyway, I’m compiling a bunch of inspirational images, advice, and how-tos.
What this means to you:
Are you on Pinterest? Do you have a books or writing board? If you answered yes to either of these questions, add a link to your Pinterest in the comments below so that I can follow you!