How To Push Yourself To Write

By on September 2, 2017
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When we first decide it’s finally time to start that novel we’ve been dreaming of writing for years it can all feel very exciting. We get all the right gear, a lovely laptop, a pretty writing desk, perhaps adorned with a plant or two, some fancy notebooks, and so on. We feel full of energy and inspiration and are so determined that this is the time we will finally start to live out our dreams and achieve our goals.

The trouble is, while so many of us start this way, as time passes by we find that we have less of it to dedicate to our writing and ‘real life’ begins to get in the way. Other tasks and chores rear their ugly heads, we get interrupted by family, by friends demanding our attention. We realise that while we might have a fantastic idea for a novel in our heads, the reality of translating that idea to the page to make it into an actual, readable, interesting story, is much more challenging than we realised.

So what can we do to remain motivated and keep persevering against all the odds? In order to push yourself to write, you must be disciplined and determined.

Here are some ways to keep you on track:

Be aware of why you are procrastinating

What is is that makes you put your book on hold? Are they really tasks that need to be done right now, or are you simply making excuses because of an underlying reason such as fear of rejection or that you won’t be good enough? If you address it rather than fighting it, and come up with solutions such as changing the time you write, you will find it much easier to get into a writing routine and stick to it too.

Develop ways to shut out the negativity

Writing a novel can feel very daunting and overwhelming at times. But anything that’s challenging and demanding will do. It can be easy to let negative, self-critical voices take over and prevent you from writing, but find ways to fight back. What’s the worst that can happen? Look at all the authors that were rejected and told they weren't good enough, then went on to become huge successes. It’s the ones that didn’t give up that made it, so you should never give up either.

Bribe yourself

If all else fails, treat yourself a bit like a child. If you dangle little rewards over your head this might just be the motivation you need to keep pushing yourself to write. Your rewards can be anything from a cuppa and a biscuit to watching a favourite episode of a tv programme, taking yourself (or insisting someone else) takes you our for dinner or booking tickets to see or do something amazing.

At the end of the day look back over what you’ve achieved and feel proud

Always take the time to congratulate yourself on your achievements. What you're doing, so many other people would love to do, yet they never quite get there. You are in a minority, and you are actually working towards your goals and dreams. Not many people can say that, so remember to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back from time to time.

Take breaks

Don’t try to commit to writing for three hours straight without taking a break. Writing is hard work, and just like any other job, you need to get away from your desk, get some fresh air, get moving and clear your head to be at your most productive. So work in shorter bursts and you’ll find you’ll be able to keep writing for longer and be better at it too.

Have deadlines

Without deadlines, you’ll find it impossible to stay on target when it comes to getting that novel written. Work out realistically what you can do and when. Then see how long it will take you to write your book. Have a firm deadline and never lose sight of it. You’ll be so proud of yourself if you achieve it so always remember that.

Work with others

Getting other people involved in your writing can be a powerful motivator. Whether it’s joining a writing group or class, working with a friend or simply telling as many people as possible that you're writing a book so you look foolish if you don’t finish - whatever works for you.

Using the above methods to keep pushing yourself to write are so important. So if you are in need of some motivation why not give them a try and see if they help to keep you on track?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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