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  • How to stay motivated to write for an entire day

    Posted by Sarah J on 17 February 2020 at 10:56

    Writing time is precious. So why are we filled with the sudden urge to tidy the kitchen as soon as we clear a day to write? 

    Well – because writing is hard. Sometimes almost impossibly so. And forcing our brains to work creatively in ringfenced time can feel unnatural. But – if you’re like me and juggling a day job alongside caring commitments – you don’t have much choice. It’s write now, or never.  

    If you’re struggling to start, try doing some access exercises. I like to stand up, pace the room and talk to myself about what I’m stuck on. I also like writing down the questions I’m finding difficult to answer, or plotting something on a whiteboard. Some people even find writing 100 words on something completely different helps. (If so, prompt: a frozen lake. Go.) 

    One you start, keep yourself in that chair by any means necessary. Hide your phone. Disconnect the internet. Take regular breaks, but keep them short, and keep your head in the game. Record how many words you’ve written, or tick off your edits on a list. Tell yourself you’re awesome, because you are.  

    And at the end of the day, when you’re feeling tired and worn and wondering if it’s possible to have another weekend where you actually rest – reward yourself. Because, friend – you bloody deserve it.  

    How do you keep yourself motivated to write for a long stretch of time? Share your tips below!

    angela-watt replied 4 years ago 6 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • sarahlinley

    Member
    17 February 2020 at 11:34

    Hi Sarah, I used the Pomodoro technique to focus. For those not familiar with it, you set a timer for a set period (I set it for 40 minutes) and you do nothing but write for that time. After 40 minutes you reward yourself with a cup of tea, checking social media, going to the loo, etc. Then you set it again. It works really well. Also I always switch off the internet when I’m writing and put my phone in another room. Nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait 40 minutes…

  • sarahlinley

    Member
    17 February 2020 at 11:35

     Also chocolate…

  • dannyboyd

    Member
    17 February 2020 at 16:48

    I’ve never written for a whole day ever! Small bitesize chunks work for me. 

    occasionally when you’re in the zone,time vanishes, I look up and notice that maybe an hour or two have gone by. The spell gets broken eventually but when it’s happening it is kind of magical. I get it when I’m writing songs too, so it’s obviously a creative mechanism that lives inside my brain somewhere….

  • cathy.carroll-moriarty

    Member
    18 February 2020 at 14:30

    I don’t think that I’ve ever dedicated an entire day to writing. I just can’t focus that long. That being said, my mind will often drift back to my novel throughout the day so that when I do sit down to write, I have plenty to put down on the page. 

  • Rick Yagodich

    Member
    18 February 2020 at 16:16

    Motivation is simply the distillation of what matters. And what matters more than writing?

    (Okay, so I’m sure you people all have things like families to distract you; wouldn’t know about that.)

  • angela-watt

    Member
    24 February 2020 at 17:14

    I’m currently using the streak technique and before anyone asks, it doesn’t involve nudity 🙂 

    This is not about writing for an entire day but committing to writing at least once during the day. I’m not a full-time writer so I have to fit writing in around other freelance work. The streak technique helps you to build habits.  I have a calendar and each day I write, I mark it up on the calendar. Once you have several days worth of ticks on the calendar, it can be much harder to break the streak and to have to start again. It’s nice to see your progress visually and its an incentive to keep going.