Emergency writing motivation

Futurismic recently posted an article listing some emergency writing motivation techniques. The items towards the end of the list tend to work better for me than the ones at the beginning (“visualize a result you like” would lead to a nice daydream about everyone loving my awesome story, but wouldn’t help me finish it). 

The ones on there that work best for me are working on a different project (this is one reason I like to have more than one thing going at once, in different stages of production–if I really don’t feel like writing thing 1, I can revise thing 2) and focusing on one task at a time. This is not contradictory. Sometimes I have so many things on my to do list that I want to do them all at once. I end up making a shorter list of the top priorities (on my awesome whiteboard) and tackling them one at a time. The shorter list makes it easier to focus and actually get something done other than making lists.

External motivation is awesome, but very few people want to give me deadlines right now. Write or Die is too easy to ignore (or type gibberish) and I’m not setting it to kamikaze mode. Watching a computer program delete my words would not help my productivity. It is a nice way to get myself started, though.

What are your favorite techniques for getting work done when you don’t feel like it?


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2 Responses to Emergency writing motivation

  1. You sound so much like me… except that instead of a whiteboard, I have a notebook. You love lists, don’t you? 🙂

    That’s a tough one, isn’t it? I give myself five minutes to look over my spreadsheets of past writing activity. I track by month, so I get to compare this month to any other month.. and when this month isn’t looking so hot, I feel like I have to step it up. I’m competing with myself, I know, but it seems to work. I have a goal of four writing accomplishments per month, whether it’s a revision, a flash, a children’s story, or novel work. It doesn’t count critiques or reading. It’s actual writing. And when I AM having a good month and still don’t feel like writing, I nudge myself that I could make it a record month and push forward.

  2. elizabeth

    Lists are awesome. I don’t know how people can do anything without them.

    I track my writing time, but I don’t add it up until the month is over. It’s pretty consistent anyway, which makes me happy.

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