I’d like to consider myself a writer, but I know I am far from that official title. For now, I enjoy writing to the point where I sometimes can’t muster up the energy to do it because getting out all my ideas in the specific way I want to convey them is exhausting. There are countless novel plots and article ideas floating around in m head, but I just can’t seem to get them all down on (virtual) paper. In the many years of having to write, I have devised a few techniques in keeping myself motivated, even in the darkest depths of winter.
Once you lose momentum, it’s hard to start up again. Much like working out, you have to keep that muscle active and on guard so that once an idea pops into your head you don’t have difficulty articulating it in the form of literature. However, I know that many of us work in jobs other than writing and that makes it much more difficult to designate a time for writing every day. In this case, even jotting down my ideas in point form gives me the excitement to start a new project. Seeing it substantially written somewhere solidifies it and gives it life.
The second best way to continue your writing or even improve it is to read. Read, read, read. I am not the best advocate for this because despite loving reading, I sometimes fall into the dark hole of Netflix and it is very hard to get out of once you’re in there. Imagine a handless James Franco in 127 hours. However, once I do pick up my book again and delve into the world I had forgotten for a few days, the experience is fantastic. Not only are you along for the ride of a favourite/ new author, but you are also enhancing your skills in both reading and writing. The turn of a phrase used by Chuck Palahniuk can be one you’ve never seen before and might try using the next time your sit down to write something. It’s all about evolution and adaption to new styles without fear of losing your technique.
DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF
Of course you will never be like your favourite author. And of course some people might be better that you at the style you are using. But this doesn’t mean you should be hard on yourself or discourage yourself from writing anymore. No one is perfect, and despite what many grammar classes say, writing doesn’t have to be perfect either. How can it be? Everyone speaks differently. Everyone thinks differently. How can we say that one technique is the best and we have to follow that mold? We can’t, because some of the best authors break those rules and convey their messages 10 times better than any grammar Nazi would. We are all unique and we should use that to our advantage; we should use it to make others think in different ways that excite them. If you’re writing excites you then you should continue with that style. If it doesn’t and it seems a bit flat, you should try something new. It’s all about expression in any way you see fit.
HAVE AN OUTLET
This is probably the easiest way to keep yourself motivated to write—have a reason to do it and a platform to do it on. This is one of the reasons I blog and will continue to even when I’ve run out of valid ideas. When you have a reason to put your voice out there then you do it more often and unapologetically. Soon you find yourself formulating new ideas and formats. Before you know it, you are doing more to give you more experience and fuel for your writing and the topics aren’t frivolous, but actually mean something to you and the persona you are trying to portray to the world. Whether there are 100 or a 100,000 people looking at your work, you can still find a reason to write because you know you are contributing to the social dialogue and making a change, even if it is small.
Do you have an tips or tricks?