As any writer knows, staying constantly inspired is a job in itself. Always in awe of the writers who've achieved the dizzy heights of success with mountains of books to show for it, when you're struggling to write just one book.
How do you keep the momentum going, and the fountains of inspiration flowing, to reach your dream of being a successful writer just like them?
All writers suffer from writer's block at some point. Of knowing the fountain of ideas has dried up. They start looking for inspiration just like you.
This is why you need to learn how to have a steady flow of ideas and ways to keep you inspired.
Here are 62 ways to stay motivated when you write:
1. Break a Writing Rule
Writers have always got their best ideas from reading other writers' stuff, so why not glean from the best. How else are you going to learn about writing if you don't start looking at other successful writers.
2. Look Back At Your Old Correspondence and Notes
If you haven't already, keeping notes and cards from people who really enjoyed your work is a great way to stay motivated. Everything from emails, to blog comments, compliments will boost your confidence when you're having a bad day.
3. Embrace Your Smallness
Feeling insignificant creates fear, and fear stops you from writing. We live in the age of the selfie, and there are hundreds of people out there just like you trying to do what you're doing.
This is where you use that smallness to create something big.
One of my favourite quotes perfectly sums this up:
Big things have small beginnings.
Lawrence of Arabia.
4. Move From the Mindset of Goal Setting to Habit Forming
Instead of automatically saying "I want to finish my book," instead say "I want to write for 45 minutes per day." The latter verbalisation comes without pressure or expectation, unlike the first statement which puts you in perpetual inspiration.
When you get into a permanent habit it becomes a lasting part of your life, inspiration on the other hand, comes and goes.
5. Use Reverse Psychology on Yourself
By convincing yourself you're not good enough (which you are!), this handy piece of reverse psychology will skick-start your fervour for writing, and bring out the best writer in you.
6. Use Visual Motivation
Every time you complete a writing session mark an x on your calendar the day you completed it. Pretty soon you'll see a chain forming and growing, inspiring you to continue on. Envisage your calendar filled with 30 X marks.
7. Focus on Being "The Greatest of All Time" (G.O.A.T)
Muhammad Ali used to refer to himself as "I am the greatest," why don't you echo his sentimients and use that psychology on yourself and your writing.
8. Have a Bowel Movement
This weird piece of advice comes from writer James Altucher. "Clear the body, clear the brain." Read more writing advice from James Altucher here.
9. Get Angry
When you're angry you immediately know the reason for your anger, start channelling that anger into your writing and watch as your brain starts pouring out powerful words.
10. Life Outside of Writing is Just as Important as Practising the Craft
What you do outside of your writing, affects your writing. This includes what you eat, how you exercise or don't exercise, the relationships you have with your friends and family, and more obviously your stress level. When you're not getting the inspiration you need for your writing, you need to start looking at all areas of your life. If things are going well, your writing will suffer.
11. Don't Self-Edit While You Write
Get all of your ideas down on the page before you start editing your text. You can clean up the massacre later and make it shine.
12. Picture Your Worst Case Scenario
Consider the worst case scenario in relation to your writing career and figure out how you're going to handle it. Thankfully, the harmful consequences will be more emotionally based than concrete or monetary with regard to things like getting your book written and published. The worst that can happen is you'll be out of pocket a little, your ego will have taken a hit, you'll feel rejected, but life throws worse dangers than this, and you don't flinch at those.
13. Tap Into Your Inner Child
Children just want to have fun, they don't sit and think about the serious things in life. When was the last time you had some fun with your writing? If you're feeling trapped trying to edit your blog post or chapter from your book, write something silly. Start acting like a child again and watch as your creativity and interest grows.
Think simply, not flowery and complicated, people prefer plain spoken language.
15. Make Money Your Inspiration
Start taking on freelancing gigs, this will allow you to work within the guidelines of what your client wants. Offering you the benefit of making money, and creating a writing habit along the way.
16. Use Your Job to Fuel Your Passion
Inspiration can come from the most mundane of places, this can be used to inspire you to write something interesting about them. "Write what you know," what do you know better than anything else than the job you do five days a week.
17. Create a Shipshape Space to Write In
An untidy space equals an untidy mind. Clean and tidy reflects in your work and throughout your life. Change your writing space into a tidy, calm and relaxing area where you can think with a clear state of mind.
18. Writer's Block is Just a Myth
Jerry Seinfeld once said "Writer's block is just a made-up excuse for not doing your work." I'd say he makes a pretty good point.
19. Make a Written Agreement With Yourself
Make a contract out to yourself specifying what you're going to achieve with your writing and put it somewhere prominent so that you can see it.
This means you have a written reminder, not just something you've made mentally inside your head but on paper to inspire you to be productive and creative.
20. Engage Your Family in Your Writing
Tell your family and friends about your writing goals, let them know how important your writing is. But make sure you switch off when you come away from your writing and give them your full focus.
21. Put How You Feel About Your Writing Into Words
When you're frustrated and at your lowest, this is probably the best time to vent your struggles and pain when it comes to writing. Put it all down on paper and watch your writing grow.
22. Make Notes About the Conversations You Have With Friends and Family
Inspiration can come from the strangest places, conversation is no different. Dialogue with others can spark numerous topics and interests you may not have thought of.
23. Turn Your Pain Into Passion
Not unlike the previous points made, this touches on frustration and passion. If you're a frustrated writer not able to exercise your craft, use this passion to fuel your writing.
24. What Would Jon Morrow Do?
A blogger and writer has no excuses when it comes to attitude and a drive to succeed. So would popular blogger Jon Morrow sit and cry in the corner if he couldn't get his work done? If you're stuck and need help, do what Jon Morrow does and fire out 1000 words no matter what your day is like.
25. Use Your Writing to Connect With Your Readers
If you're writing books or a blog you should be writing to connect with your readers. Even if you only have a small audience you still need to learn how to connect with them. You can do this by simply encouraging them with prompts about sharing their lives with you on your blog or via social media.
26. Establish Your Business Name and Platform
If you're really serious about writing, start your own blog, or create your own business cards. Do something to show your determination about what you want to do and where you want to take your writing.
27. Follow Your Own Path
Don't focus on the writing greats, be your own person, and carve your own name.
28. You're a Doer Not a Procrastinator
Once you take the first step into writing you become part of an exclusive club, the doers. You've joined all those writers who actually want to make something of their writing, and not sit around thinking about it all day.
29. Use Quora
Quora is used by thousands of people the world over to practice their writing or answer questions about anything and everything. It's also helpful in driving traffic back to your website.
30. Before You Right Clear Your Mind
Any problem can be solved much quicker with a clear mind. So before you sit down to write, clear your head of any troubles or problems you have, and you'll find your ideas will come much easier.
31. Write Out Ten Ideas Everyday, Every Year
These ideas could be for books, blog posts, chapter titles etc. At the end of the year you'll have 3650 ideas, some good, some not so good, and some really amazing. You will have given your creativity muscles a good workout and given yourself oodles of ideas.
32. Edit an Old Blog Post or a Previous Book You've Written
This gives you insight into how much you've grown as a writer, and the confidence that you'll flourish even more in the future. Also you'll have something updated and fresh to share with the world.
33. Feed On the Best Writers
Reading other writers' work is the best way to grow as a writer, and shows you that anything is possible. Use that inspiration in your writing, and watch yourself grow as a writer.
34. Create a Statement With a Reward Included In It
Statements such as "Writing my new novel will give me the sense of accomplishment, attention, and money I've always desired." With this kind of goal setting habit you're more likely to follow through.
35. Coffee the Fuel for Inspiration
Most writers like a cup of coffee or two when they write, and most would say it helps fuel their inspiration.
36. Use Nature as Your Muse
Walking and inspiration go hand-in-hand. The noises and smells of nature awaken your creative juices, kicking your brain into gear, and starting the flow of much needed creativity.
37. Visualise an Exotic Destination
Visualise a beach house somewhere with water lapping at the beach, and you sitting at your typewriter writing your next book. You don't need to make a physical trip, you can do it inside your head, and let your imagination do the rest.
38. Read, Read, Read
Every writer should read. Everything you can get your hands on, read it. Your mind will store all of your stories and ideas for later when you really need it.
39. Write in a Bookstore or Library
Use the words around you to inspire you. Unless you have a huge library the best places to do that are bookstores and libraries.
40. Use Google Search for Instant Inspiration
Google search is one giant library of ideas so why not use it as a tool in your writing arsenal. It'll also help get your fingers moving, which is the most important step in getting your ideas flowing.
41. Capture Ideas Every Time You Have One
Writing prompts aren't easy to find sometimes so you need to find a way of capturing them whenever things enter into your head. The best way to do this is to keep a notebook on your person or by your side in readiness of those ideas popping into your head.
42. Get a Writing Partner
Find a like-minded person to keep you accountable. Start looking around for people in your network who are in a similar situation to you, so that you can inspire each other.
43. Join a Writing Group
If you want to expand your writing support bubble join a writing group, or find local writers near you.
44. Try Listening to Music While You Write
Might sound a little crazy to have a distraction in the background but certain types of music are helpful for concentration. I use classical music sometimes if I want to feel relaxed and get my creative juices flowing. Start experimenting and find your musical inspiration.
45. Use Good Comments to Inspire You
You'll always have the naysayers who'll doubt your work, and you'll always have people championing in your corner. Use those positive comments to charge your inspiration.
46. Typing Equals Productivity
Just typing alone can propel you into a state of creativity. Type anything and see where your thoughts take you.
47. Revisit the Reason Why You Started Writing in the First Place
Go back to your roots and ask yourself why you started writing in the first place. Every time you get writer's block, use this as another tool to find your inspiration again.
48. Turn the Dark Times of Your Life into Sources of Inspiration
Often when you go through something really awful it stirs up something deep inside of you and you realise you can use this to power you on in your writing. So "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
49. Visualise Yourself on a Best-Selling Book
Use an image creation platform to visualise your name on the book cover. Imagine what it will feel like to have your name published and in print for the world to see.
50. Create a Routine that Suits Your Strengths
Not everyone is a morning person, some people prefer to work late into the early hours of the morning. I'm a night owl and prefer to work later in the evening. It's a time of day when my brain springs back to life and feels fresh again. Don't write in the morning if it doesn't suit you. Find a time during the day when you feel the freshest and can make the most of the time you have. Once you find the right time for you you'll see your writing productivity soar.
61. Exercise Your Little Grey Cells
Just like any other part of your body your brain requires a regular workout. There are all kinds of things you do on your computer or on paper to get those little grey cells working. Everything from crosswords to word searches. Puzzles of every description, and knowledge games to help with your memory too
62. People Watch
People watching can stir up all kinds of things in your imagination. Looking and observing people you've never met adds mystery as to what they might do for a living, or could be like. It's also part writing exercise, something you can draw on for inspiration.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and motivational tips in the comments below.
Share this post with your friends!
How to Prepare Yourself as a Writer
How to Accept Your Writing Anxiety, and Spend Time on the Craft
Why All Writers Should Set Goals
How to Overcome Your Writing Fear With Mind Games
Find Your Writing Hero