Writing may be the love of your life, but that doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with getting words on the page from time to time. You know you need to write more words to finish your project, but writer’s block or lack of motivation keeps you from completing your goal.
Cue writer’s block mixed with frustration. But it doesn’t have to be this way. To get your writing accomplished, I’ve compiled five different strategies that will have you write more words.
Tip #1 Try a Writing Prompt From Pinterest
Writer’s block is one of the most crippling things for a writing routine. Couple writer’s block with a blank page staring back at you, and of course, you’re not going to feel like writing. However, what if you could lift that pressure off your shoulders?
This is why writing prompts are a key tool to keep in your writing arsenal.
One of my favorite places to get writing prompts is Pinterest, where you can easily find one sentence prompts and longer paragraphs to work with. Albeit, some of the prompts are cheesy, but I think that makes them even better. Cheesy prompts allow you to let go of the seriousness of writing and just have fun.
Once you get the creative juices flowing with a writing prompt, tackling an empty page is no problem. If you need help finding interesting writing prompts, check out this Pinterest board.
Tip #2 Set a Designated Writing Time
If you struggle with writing because you can’t find the time, it may be time to set a designated writing time.
Most blogs will tell you to set it at the same time to create a routine, but that isn’t realistic for most people. Writers often have full-time jobs outside of their writing and plenty of other responsibilities to attend to. This means writing at the same time every day is impossible unless you get up before dawn or stay up late.
The key here is to make an appointment with yourself. Once a week, take out your planner and look at the events you have during the week. You will be able to see pockets of time when you aren’t busy doing something. Block off that time for your writing. It may be at 8 pm or 7 am, or it could be in the middle of your lunch break at work. What matters is that you have made an appointment with yourself to write and it is up to you to keep it.
You will be amazed at how much writing you can get done when you show up for a bit of time every day.
Tip #3 Develop a Writing Space
Being able to write anywhere is a great skill to have, but having your own writing space can increase your productivity even more. When you have your own writing space that you only use for writing, your brain associates it with writing. This means when you sit down to write in your writing space, your brain automatically switches to writing mode.
Putting your brain in writing mode can make words flow easier and avoid pesky writer’s block. But how do you create your own writing space?
Every writer will have a different ideal writing space. Some may prefer a cozy nook with blankets and soft lighting, while others may prefer a typical office space with a desk and notebook.
Before mapping out your writing space, make a list of things that help you write better and set the mood for an optimized writing session. Then craft your workspace from that list. After creating your space, make sure you only write in it. By using the space for one specific task, it allows your brain to associate that space with your writing.
If you need a general idea on how to begin creating your workspace, check out this blog post, where I list out basic steps to make a functional writer’s haven.
Tip #4 Come Up With a Reward System
This may sound very cliché, but we all need rewards to motivate us to get things done. Often, instead of writing, we want to watch Netflix, play a video game, or read. These things allow our minds to relax and destress, but if we use them as rewards, we can get our writing done and have well-deserved downtime.
It is simple to create your own reward system, as long as you tailor it to your interests and needs.
If you have been dying to watch a new episode of your favorite Netflix show, but also know you need to get some words in on your current work-in-progress, make that your reward. Force yourself to sit down and accomplish your goal before you can get to the fun stuff.
You can also try material items with this strategy as well. For example, if you have been wanting new headphones for your writing time, tell yourself you can buy them after you complete a week’s worth of successful writing sessions.
Using rewards can be a great way to motivate you to write more words, while also allowing you to have fun in the process.
Tip #5 Set Reasonable Goals
A blank page may cause fear, which prevents you from writing, but what if you are actually hindering yourself? Setting goals is a great way to increase productivity because you have something to shoot for, but what if your goals are unattainable ones? If you go into a writing session, never being able to attain your goals, you are not going to want to write anymore for fear of failure.
Claiming you will write 1,000 words in 30 minutes in impossible for most people. Instead of always shooting for the stars, a different strategy would be to set a goal that you know you can meet. Aim to write 200 hundred words or edit a few pages in 30 minutes. These are very small goals that are easy to attain, but by meeting these goals you will increase your confidence.
Once your confidence is boosted, then you can try to shoot for the stars. Just make sure you aren’t creating goals that are too outlandish.
Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore. If it does, then you’re doing something wrong and need to reassess how you’re entering your writing sessions. By employing some of the strategies listed in this post, you will be writing in no time, leaving yourself feeling accomplished. When you feel accomplished in your writing, the world just feels better.
Shelby wrote a companion blog post to go along with this one, which offers 5 additional strategies to help writers write more words. Please check out the other blog post over on The Writing Addict!
About the Author: Shelby Smith is the founder of The Writing Addict. Launched in 2017, her blog strives to be a landing page for writers, readers, and established authors. She writes blog posts on a variety of topics including writing tips, writing life, book reviews, and podcast reviews.
When Shelby isn’t writing blog posts for The Writing Addict, she writes creative nonfiction essays that attempt to answer questions dealing with nostalgia and loneliness. Shelby is also currently working on her debut novel. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @thewritingaddictblog.
Thank you, Shelby, SO MUCH for writing a guest post on the Just Writerly Things blog.