As a guy attempting to write 2,500 words a day for an entire year, I'm no stranger to the need for writing motivation. Even if you're a writer, even if you love writing, finding enough motivation to write daily can be a major challenge. Here are a few tips to boost your desire and ability to write.
1. Create a Clear Project
It is infinitely more difficult to write if you aren't sure what you're writing about. Writing a disconnected scene here or there has no urgency, which makes it easy to skip. Instead, you should create a clear project that includes what you want to write, when you want to write it by and what you're going to do with it. For instance, my current project is to write the book 1,000 Character Writing Prompts by Thanksgiving so I can publish it. Once the project is made clear, you can write little notes about it to yourself to remind you of the urgent deadline.
The brain is a funny thing. Even if you say and believe that you want to write, the brain doesn't necessarily know that to be true. This is because you're you are constantly straining and frustrated whenever you write. Because of these negative emotional associations with writing, your brain will literally attempt to prevent you from writing by bombarding you with nervousness and self doubt. You must start associating your writing with positivity at the subconscious level. A few things you can do are think about the positive end result of a completed project, reward yourself for completing even small writing goals and smiling more often while you write. It seems silly to retrain your brain, but it when it's working for you it can be an effective generator of writing motivation.
3. Remove All Distractions
It should be no surprise to you that things like iPhone apps, cable television and Facebook are extremely de-motivating. These activities are entertaining and stimulating and there is a part of you that would waste time on them all day long. If you're trying to write, however, these distractions can really keep your writing output low. Here is a post I wrote a while back about stopping 20 common distractions and excuses. The rule of thumb with distractions is to turn everything off or to write in another location entirely. Visiting a coffee shop or a library can cut you off from some of your fun toys and can help to pump up your writing motivation.
I feel like a broken record here, but I can't stress enough how important exercise is for your writing. You increase blood flow to the brain, release hormones that make you feel positive and more motivated and you give yourself a break from the screen or pad of paper for a while. Add 30 minutes of exercise a day to your routine and you'll add an extra one to two hours of writing per day as well.
For me, there was nothing as motivating for my writing as finishing my first book. I knew thereafter that if I could do it once, I could do it again. If you can just complete one project, you will increase your writing motivation dramatically. Keep that in mind as you work and you will understand what I mean when you get there. It took me two years to write my first book. In the year since I've written four. Success breeds success.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.