That’s often the question, isn’t it? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had this problem. Thankfully, I’m gradually getting back on track now. I’ve resumed working on my novel and I’ve started blogging again.
Passion for writing doesn’t come easy. Perhaps only those who share this love would understand it when I say writing takes a whole lot of dedication and everyday we fight the urge to procrastinate and finish that TV series marathon – anything but writing, huh? It’s a lifelong battle, peeps!
While I don’t have any scientific methods that could eradicate this problem, I have some ideas which have worked for me in the past. Maybe they’d do the same thing for you (fingers crossed!)
1. Plan your writing, in writing
Yeap, just thinking about writing often allows you to do just that – think. All thoughts and no action. The writer’s mind is filled with all sorts of ideas and dreams which inflate our aspirations but soon enough, they turn into perspiration. Prevent, or at least mitigate that, by writing down when you’re supposed to complete your writing.
A journal might work best when you have several writing goals to organize. Schedule when to get in touch with your blog, when to write that last sentence of your short story and when to post a new flash fiction on Instagram. Having it scheduled like that gives a sense of direction. It keeps your head from drowning under all the unfinished work by putting the tasks into perspective. Once you feel in control, you’ll feel like an organized writer and when you do, you’ll want to start writing.
Writing a novel has always been the most challenging thing for me. I decided to create a spreadsheet for my novel-writing schedule. I’m using that as a guide rather than an instruction and so far, it has kept me moving forward.
2. Go on a writing staycation
Think of this like a little treat while you work on something to get an ever bigger treat. If you love writing, putting words into sentences should not feel like a chore. It’s one journey to be enjoyed rather than endured. I know… easier said that done. Been there, done that. Even today I’m still struggling to truly have fun when I’m writing but that has never dimmed my passion.
So what’s this staycation stuff? Go on a short stay, say about 2-3 nights or even just over the weekend. Pick somewhere that isn’t too far if travelling isn’t really your thing. With Airbnb, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Personally, I love condominiums with chic interior. Somewhere in the suburban areas would envelope you in the kind of soothe you’ll need to gather your writing thoughts. Or if you prefer the city, no problem. High-rise serviced residences keep you nice and comfy in your own bubble, away from the city buzz even if you’re right in the middle of it all.
Perhaps you can spend your mornings and afternoons writing and you still have the other parts of the day to indulge. Order nice food, treat yourself to a movie marathon and even go to the gym. Those would all get you recharged for when you resume writing. Staycations release you from your routine commitments, providing you with ample time to focus on your writing.
Here’s a glimpse of my view during some of my staycations (not necessarily to write, though. Lol!):
3. Get motivation via social media
This isn’t about jumping on the bandwagon. You don’t need to post selfies every day or tweet every five minutes. But you might want to consider following successful writers who post materials on social media. Take Instagram poets, for instance. Or follow Instagram accounts that feed you with motivational quotes. These don’t necessarily have to be about writing. Anything that keeps you moving forward could keep you writing. Of course, seeking motivation is a given. But using social media is way easier than finding other external sources. You get motivated just by scrolling down the feed. Next thing you know, you’re planning your next writing material.
4. Equip yourself with a writing kit
Another motivational action. Would you rather crack your head and rummage through the tangled ideas in your head with an old-fashioned notebook and a drying-up ball point pen or would you rather brainstorm with a petite but professional-looking laptop? It may not get you to the end of the line but a nice writing kit could give you the kick-start you need.
If you prefer writing by hand, that works as well. The retail industry has taken stationery to a whole new level. Look at Typo, for example. Cool journals and pens everywhere you turn. Find the items that make your eyes lit and chances are they will light up the writing spirit for you. Here’s a list of things you can consider getting:
- a fancy or hipster-ish notebook
- a fancy or hipster-ish pen (if you’re willing to invest, get a professional-looking pen with your name engraved.)
- a laptop (a smaller one allows you to carry it with you most of the time, increasing the chances of you wanting to write.)
- flash cards or colored sticky notes (you could use this as a scratch pad for random ideas.)
- a file/case/bag to store all the cool items you’ve got. Imagine going “It’s writing time!”, grabbing your power kit and heading to the cafe to indulge in writing. How author-ish is that?
There are more ways than you can imagine to get you moving forward when it comes to writing. Those are my set of tricks but what about you?
What causes you to lose your writing mood?
How do you deal with that?
I want to hear your side of the story. Flood the comment section with your stories, tips. Anything, really.