So you’re writing and everything’s going great. You’re having fun, you’re planning the story as it flows and your characters are coming to life before your very eyes. But then you go to bed one night and the next morning you stop. It could be for really any reason, all of them valid. And you say you’ll start again but you just… don’t. And if you don’t realise it quickly it’ll have been weeks or months since you last worked on your project. This is a different problem from the notorious writer’s block, when you just can’t think of what to write. This is a problem of motivation.
Sadly a problem like this isn’t quickly fixed, but it can be relatively easy. And it can be done so in a number of ways. Be sure to use them or the guILT IS SURE TO DRIVE YOU MAD.
Method #1: Return to your inspiration.
This one is a fairly straightforward solution. Usually you write best when you’re operating with your head in that sphere of what you’re writing about. Your project is bound to be inspired by a whole lot of things, so see if you can remember what those thins are. Go back and give them a look again. Enjoy them, savour them. And once you’re done you’ll realise that you’ve come up with a whole lot more to write about while you were watching, reading or listening. For extra points be sure to write them down when they come to you so they don’t fly by you.
Method #2: Retrace your steps.
This one is another easy method which is very similar to Method #1. Just going back to the start of your project and giving it a read through is good for building up enthusiasm for your project. It also gives you time to comb through and pick out little grammatical errors or reflect on if a scene really works for you. Then once you’ve found yourself back at the beginning, you might want to keep writing so you can read more of your own story. And once you’re done then everyone can read your story!
Method #3: Preventative measures.
This one is a little trickier but doing it can prevent a lack of motivation from being a problem altogether. Just writing for a period of time every day can help your productivity a great deal. Stephen King gave this exact advice in his book On Writing (what a clever pun) and I can definitely see its merits. King has written more books than I have living family members and that’s no small feat. Even if you physically can’t write on your project that doesn’t mean you should stop writing. Make a short story about a bear lost at sea. Scribble up a first-person exploration of a sunken ship on paper under a shady tree. Make a haiku using fridge magnets. Write upon the walls like a crazy person!
All of these (well, except maybe that very last one) can help boost your productivity as a writer and in doing so also hones your skill. Practice makes perfect, to drag out a tortured phrase.
And there you have it. Three little methods that might give you a hand if you’re having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more plot next time!