Finding the Motivation to Write

a54be2e4a2d61fd885a12d5a97956297-e1406410675140Writing is hard. Anyone who has put pen to paper or stared at a blank Word document for hours knows this. I usually find myself putting off writing in favour of binge watching some television program (as I write this I’m currently n-hours into n-days of a Gilmore Girls marathon).

Once I get started writing I find I can go on for hours. Whether it’s my own original work or a piece of fanfiction I’m working on, once I get started and get a ‘flow’ going, I find I can get a lot done. However, finding the actual motivation to start writing can be hard, sometimes even impossible. Sometimes I have to force myself to write, whether I really want to or not. While I enjoy having the ability to set my own deadlines (one of the perks of being unemployed) I also find this can also make it even harder to motivate myself.

I often go through periods of time where I get a great burst of inspiration (as I did a couple weeks ago) and can write several chapters for a couple different fanfictions and edit my first manuscript. Then there are times (like this past week) where I have hardly done any writing no matter how hard I tried to force myself. I would sit with my notebook open on my lap and a pen in my hand and I just couldn’t get the words to flow. Usually when these bouts of zero inspiration happen I give myself a few days to binge on television and movies before doing things to motivate myself to get back to writing.

Something I like doing, which seems totally counterproductive, is watching a show or a film. This is usually when I am working on a fanfiction and am trying to get back the inspiration I had when I started the work. Sometimes my lack of motivation comes from feeling like I no longer know my characters. When it’s fanfiction I’m working on this is easier to deal with because I can watch or read whatever my work is based on and find the character’s voice again. When it is my own work I find this can be harder because I am the only one who knows my characters. There is no program or novel I can reference to help me discover my own character’s voices. So finding motivation for my own work can sometimes be a little harder.

Depending on what I’m working on this could mean a few things. There is usually music involved. Whether it is my regular writing playlist (consisting of several classical pieces and scores from films) or a playlist specific to whatever I am writing about. I find music can help to drown out the thoughts and sounds that usually distract me from writing.

However, when this doesn’t work, I revert to the thing that lead me to writing in the first place: reading. Sometimes I read fanfiction that helps to inspire my ideas for my own work again. Other times I’ll read whatever current novel is sitting on my table (right now it’s Game of Thrones) or I may reread a novel that relates to the topic I’m working on. Whatever it is, I usually find that reading someone else’s work helps to inspire my own ‘creative flow’ for lack of a better word.

Motivating yourself to write can be hard, maybe even one of the hardest parts of writing. Sometimes the music, the walking, and the reading can’t even help and I find myself just having to wait out the lack of inspiration. Again, this is a perk of being unemployed. Now I must return to my Gilmore Girls marathon and attempting to motivate myself. Does anyone have anything they do to motivate themself?

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