My Writing Stinks! How to Stay Motivated When Negative Self Talk Takes Over
Is your inner critic preaching to a sold-out audience? Don’t let it! Negative self-talk is no way to inspire creativity; however, a hint of self-criticism could be the oomph you need to push on with your work. It is essential to recognize it for that, and only that.
Every writer goes through stages of staring at a blank page and waiting for that lightning bolt of inspiration to strike. While you wait, you may want to consider the motivation for writers’ hints, tips, and tools mentioned below to get you back on track.
16 Ways to Motivate Yourself as a Writer
Here are 16 ways in which to inspire motivation:
- Commit to achieving a goal every day. It could be that you promise to fill one page, write for one hour, or write 500 words a day. Whichever goal you decide for yourself, commit to it. No excuses.
- Visually see yourself writing. It may sound cheesy, but imagine yourself sitting behind your computer, how the keys feel under your fingertips, and how the words dart across your computer screen. This is fundamental in inspiring feelings of purpose toward your writing.
- Improve your workspace. Remove the things from your work environment that distract you. Neaten your work area and adjust any lighting issues.
- Take a break. It is essential to step away from your writing. Taking a 10- to 20-minute break between sessions should do the trick.
- Review past comments made about your work. Instead of seeing them in a negative light, view them as useful tools to consider in improving your work.
- Rely on fellow writers and editors. Reach out to fellow writers and editors. They may provide you with sound advice on a problem you have.
- Use apps and online programs to help you. There are several apps and online programs designed to help you stick to writing and create more content. Our choice of top apps and online programs are mentioned a little later in the article, so keep on reading!
- Keep a diary. Whenever you have completed a day’s tasks, jot down the tasks and targets you have in mind for yourself the following day. Tick them off as you go; this is key in staying motivated.
- Stay inspired. Inspiration may come from reading a book, blog, or article. It may come from doing something creative, like drawing or painting. Inspiration may be what you need to lift your writing to the next level and help you through moments of writer’s block.
- Consider mixing up your day. Write in the morning or the evening as opposed to when you initially did. Alter the times when you work to suit you and your energy levels.
- Reward yourself. When you reach your daily target, reward yourself. Your brain will catch on that writing reaps a reward and that encourages feelings of wanting to write, and then writing more often.
- Hold yourself accountable. Announce that you are going to write either on forums or online groups or tell your family and friends; after all, nobody likes to fail. Public failure is even worse.
- When the words are flowing, do not stop. Write now and edit later. Stopping to edit will hamper your process. Get what you need to write down on paper first; you can edit later.
- Define your deadline. When working on a deadline, determine, using your calendar, the number of words you need to produce each day. Stick to reaching these daily word counts to meet your deadline (real or fictional). There is nothing like a looming deadline to motivate you!
- Focus on the writing journey and not the destination. Deadlines, a tricky topic, or lengthy word count may overwhelm even the most seasoned of writers.
The trick is to focus on the writing process and not the race to the finish line. Focus on your daily goal, and little by little, you would come to the point where your book is complete.
- Sprint for success. What is a sprint? A sprint is a timed period whereby you write as many words as you can within that time frame. This holds you accountable and can help you hit your daily goals in terms of writing.
Simply set your timer and begin. If you belong to a group of writers, consider sprinting against one another as a fun, productive way to reach your target.
Watch world-renown author Stephen King chat about his top 10 rules for success:
Motivation for Writers: Top Tools and Apps
Many are in love with the idea of being a writer, and often when you say you are one, people automatically envisage you sipping on cappuccinos, sleeping in, talking to agents, and doing what you want when you please.
Ha! If only they knew what it means to be a writer. It is hard work, and writing is not the easiest thing to do, especially when you are running low on motivation.
Luckily, we live in the 21st century, and there are several apps you can use to help complete your book.
- Diaro is an in-depth diary application that allows you to document everything that is on your mind. It can be used to write down notes, keep tabs on your to-do list, or serve as a journal.
- Evernote serves as an online notebook that allows you to share ideas, take notes, save web-pages, source information, and keep track of your progress as you tackle your to-do list. It even allows you to save receipts and track your expenses.
- FocusWriter helps those writers who become distracted with all the other apps, programs, and web pages running on their devices while they write. It declutters your desktop and computer screen, providing you with a simple processor interface, so the only thing you have to worry about is writing.
- Milanote can help you create task lists, keep track of your writing, upload images and notes, and save links, texts, and pictures from the internet.
- ProWritingAid serves as an online style guide, editor, and writing coach. It will notify you of any errors, such as overused words and grammatical mistakes. It is free, even allowing you to upload your work for proofreading.
- Todoist allows the user to create tasks that reoccur daily. This means that if you set out to write at 9 AM every morning, it will alert you to do so and keep track of your progress. It helps you to set goals and meet them. Ideal for a writer with a deadline!
If you are looking for the best book writing software, find out which are ranked the highest in usability and efficiency by reading our article.
Motivating Yourself FAQ
Your questions about motivation for writers answered!
What inspires writers to write?
The most common characteristic is authenticity. This means being authentic in conversation, situations, and who you are. When you remain true to yourself, feeling inspired by that around you, and translating it into words for a book becomes easy.
Fictional writers often regard sitting in coffee shops and bars as an essential part of their writing process. This is because the variety of conversations heard and shared among people in a small space lends to new ideas, dialogue, and ultimately, the inspiration for their novel.
Where do I get ideas for writing?
Many writers do not describe a profound moment that led them to write a best-seller. Many attribute their ideas to their subconscious mind, which feeds them bits and pieces of information and ideas. These thoughts and feelings then shape and mold a book’s theme, characters, and storyline.
What causes a lack of motivation?
Lack of motivation is caused by not believing in yourself, listening to negative self-talk, tiredness, fearfulness, current lifestyle, or an end goal that seems far too overwhelming.
Whichever of these factors you feel you fall into, know they are avoidable and easily remedied by ignoring the self-limiting thoughts and setting manageable goals for yourself.
“Believe in yourself. There is no right or wrong way to tell a story. This is one reason that writing is so wonderful and terrifying. You have to find your way!” - Kate DiCamillo
Understand that even the best writers in the world struggle and lose the motivation to want to write. Some will agree that there have been times when they have created horrendous drafts. Setbacks such as these do happen, but this does not mean you should stop writing altogether.
Put one word after the other, and before you know it, you have a sentence, a paragraph, and eventually, pages of work.