How to Staying Motivated While You Write: On the days you want to give up.

This is a very simple question in that I have answered before, and yet a very hard one because the way I stay motivated isn’t going to work for everyone.

How do I, Bryn, stay motivated?

  • Flexible outlines. I have a lovely outline that tells me I have so many cool scenes coming up that will be really fun to write, but is still flexible enough that I can add new cool things along the way.
  • Schedules and deadlines. I write best when I start early and I confine my downtime to small, short things I can’t continue doing after a certain point (ie, not tumblr or netflix) until I finish the scene or world count or portion of outline I wanted to get done that day.
  • A good story. No amount of pushing forward will keep you motivated unless you have a story you really want to see written. I love the novel I’m writing right now. It’s torn my heart out. It’s given me quotes that have blown me away. It’s shown me things about myself I had been avoiding. And I know if I keep writing it, it’ll keep giving back to me in this way.

I’ll tell you a secret though: I don’t always think I can keep writing.

I’ve been writing about 1.8k words every day on Ash From Stars for about three months now, and I can promise you there were many, many days when I wanted nothing to do with that book when I opened the document. Days I would have rather swan-dove into a vat of lava then continued writing that rough draft. (And of course, days were I couldn’t wait to get back to it!) But every day, no matter the day, so long as I was physically well enough and it didn’t strain my mental health, I wrote anyway.

‘I just can’t write anymore’ is a lie your heart tells your brain.

You can always write more.*

It’ll hurt. You’ll hate it. It won’t turn out great or meet with your own standards.    But you cando it.

Write terribly and be happy not that you wrote something magnificent, but that you actually wrote something. Because that something can become magnificent once you’ve edited it five or seven or thirteen times, and you’ll usually find that if you force yourself to keep going for long enough and you have a story you genuinely like, then sooner or later it’ll stop hurting and you’ll stop hating it.

So, while there isn’t a way to prevent the feeling of wanting to give up, there are many ways to help you overcome that feeling and keep going. You just have to figure out which ones work best for you.

* Always does not include times when your health is compromised. Always take breaks when you’re physically or mentally ill to the point where you need them. 

One Comment on “How to Staying Motivated While You Write: On the days you want to give up.

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