Writing Mojo AWOL? 8 Simple Ways to Stay Motivated

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  Zig Ziglar

We all experience those crappy times when our writing mojo is AWOL and we start to think things like…”What’s the point of this writing lark?” or  “I’ve put in years of work – where’s the movement I’ve been promised for working so hard?” “When is IT going to happen?”

And worst of all (my personal favourite) – “am I just wasting my time?”

We have the desire and the ideas but things just aren’t going how we hoped or taking way, way too long.  How do you keep writing when it feels pointless or you just can’t be bothered?  I wish I could offer a magic bullet for this – but there ain’t one to offer.  There’s only one way to stay motivated and that’s to get your internal monologue in hand and take action you feel your mojo starting to flag.

Here are some simple things you can do to motivate yourself right back to that keyboard.

  1. Consciously spend some time with people who ARE motivated.  Let the energy and enthusiasm of other people who kick butt inspire you. Follow their lead.  Conversely, spend less time who are constantly negative about their own writing – negativity diminishes your energy and tends to reinforce any negative feelings you might have.  Not really helpful, right?
  2. Use your failures constructively.  Get the best from your setbacks by asking yourself this – what can I learn from this and how can I do better next time?  And then ask yourself – what’s the one positive that has come from this situation?  It might be a small positive but it’ll be there.
  3. Compare yourself to where you were 5 years ago.  And realise how far you’ve come and how much more you know now. As opposed to comparing yourself to others – which is waste of time. Take a couple of minutes to look back and focus on your successes. Close your eyes and let the memories of your biggest successes – no matter in what part of your life – remind you of what you’re capable of.
  4. Take 5 Minutes to think about why you want to write.  It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing this stuff.  Remind yourself of what your writing dream/goal is and why.  Then think about the one thing you can do straight away to move towards that dream.
  5. Park it!  If you’re not feeling the love for your current project – park it for a couple of weeks and indulge yourself in another creative pursuit like reading an author you like. Then come back to it.  It’s amazing how some distance gives you new eyes – and you might just find a renewed enthusiasm.
  6. Coffee!  Grab a coffee with a friendly writer and talk through your idea with them.  Ask them for a positive comment about it and encourage them to ask any questions.  You’ll find out what excites you about this project when you start talking about it.
  7. Step back and appraise your current project.  Write down two lists.  One list that notes all the positive aspects of your project while the other mentions all the negative.  You may be surprised how much you like about it.
  8. Reassess your writing goal – is it still right for you?  Is it still what you want?  If it isn’t  – then maybe it’s time to amend your goal.

Mojo flagging because of self-doubt?  Check out my article on fighting doubt.

Distracted rather than unmotivated?  Check out my advice on avoiding distractions.  

Make it a great day, peeps.

©Kathryn Burnett 2018



Want to Hook Your Reader Immediately?

There’s something so thrilling and delicious about reading a really hooky first sentence or engaging first pages in a book – you just know you’re about to be taken on a great ride.

Is there a writer on the planet who doesn’t want their first pages to thrill, delight and intrigue?

I’m guessing no.

And on a practical level – first pages are generally the first thing judges, editors, publishers and assessors get to see of your work.  So take a moment to answer these questions.

There’s no right answer – they’re simply a list of provocations to help you ensuree your first pages are as awesomely shiny as they can be.

Continue reading Want to Hook Your Reader Immediately?



How to Fight “The Doubts”

Last month I received an email from a screenwriter client who, after receiving a “thanks but no thanks” letter, wanted to know what I tell myself to fight off the doubts that I’m not good enough. – and stay focused on finishing my story…

It was such a great question and it really started me thinking – what exactly DO I tell myself to fight off the doubts and keep going?

Self-doubt affects just about every writer I know and I’m certainly no stranger to it. Being a writer means endlessly seeking validation and approval from the outside world. And sometimes we just don’t get it. Cue the doubts aka the dark vortex of doubt aka the creeping fingers of dread aka the paralysing, grey corset of doom.

So what do I tell myself to get the crazy under control?

Continue reading How to Fight “The Doubts”