It can be hard to stay motivated to write day in and day out. Aside from the demands life makes on our time, there are obstacles like writer’s block or self-doubt or – worst of all – obscurity. It’s impressive that any author ever has the mental strength to get anything done.
But many authors get a lot of writing done. A LOT do, in fact. Tons of writers produce large quantities of work every year (which, coincidentally, I think may be the secret to writing success…but that’s for another post).
So what’s the secret? How do you stay focused? How do you produce multiple pieces a year? Here’s my answer: find a way to maintain a writing mindset at all times. Albeit, it’s easier said than done. So here are some tips to help foster a lifestyle that will keep you writing.
Read with a critical eye. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to just lose yourself in a book. Book every now and then, delve into a book with the intent to examine it. See what you like and what you don’t like. Think about how you can apply some techniques to your own writing. Or what you want to avoid. Being conscious of what other authors have put out into the world means you’ll be conscious of what you write – and it’ll make you WANT to write.
Socialize… with other writers. Find a writing group in your area – or a writing buddy. Or take to Twitter, Facebook, or the dozens of websites out there that allow you to connect with fellow wordsmiths. Talking shop and seeing what others are doing will inspire you to keep the words coming.
Socialize some more… with your readers. If you have readers – whether it’s 5 or 5,000, take some time to interact. Social media, your own website, and email are great ways to stay in touch with your readers. You’ll find that the more you talk to people who love what you’re writing, the more you’ll want to write great stuff for them.
Talk about writing. A lot. To your writing friends, your readers, your family. Anyone who will listen. Talk about something you are writing – or something you want to write. Talk about why you write, or what you’ve learned from writing. Talk about it when you can. More often than not, you’ll start to hear some pretty good ideas come out of your mouth. And then you can move those to paper.
Study up. Read books about the craft of writing. Or marketing or publishing. Or listen to podcasts on the same subject. Let other people get you excited about the process. Let their ideas spark your own. Or re-purpose their brilliant ideas (DO NOT plagiarize or steal – just let yourself be inspired). Enthusiasm is contagious, so go out and catch it.
Take a walk down memory lane. Revisit some of your greatest hits – your favorite past pieces. Or pick up a project you never finished and start breathing more life into it. Remind yourself how far you’ve come with your writing. And then set your sites on where you want to go.
So go on. Get out there are find ways to keep yourself inspired. And, as always, keep writing!
Got any suggestions on how to stay in the writing mindset? Share your knowledge in the comments below!