How to keep motivated when writing: six top tips

I have a confession. Rainy days make me sleepy. Sometimes the coffee just does not work. Cathy Mazak has come up with some very practical tips which researchers and writers in general have used to reach those writing milestones. Hopefully you are already using some of these ideas. Maybe you could do with a change and try a different one?

1. Decide when is the best time for you to focus and use it. For me it is early mornings. For many of my Middle Eastern clients it is after midnight. Whatever works for your concentration is your best time.

2. Even as little as 20-30 minutes a day can make a huge difference at the end of a week or two. Be consistent and regular with those writing (and prewriting) tasks.

3. Joining a small and focused writing group can work wonders. One of my brilliant yet time poor researcher clients spent her Saturdays with colleagues in a similar situation. Again, this is another way to stay committed to a regular practice, with other benefits as well because you are not alone. Let’s hope we can all meet up face to face gain with each other before long. Here are some more ideas from Travis Grandy about different types of writing groups.

4. Try a writing sprint. This means allocating a block of regular time (e.g. two hours a day) for, say, a two or three week period and just going for it.  The aim is to complete your project (or a selected part of it) in that time.

5. Above all, reward yourself for reaching your smaller goals and, of course, your larger ones. (Yes, I did mention this one last time!)

6. Finally, an original from me: choose a different place to do your writing. So long as you have what you need at your fingertips (wifi, your external hard drive, access to your data and programs), you can try a refreshingly new location. You might like to take earplugs just in case of unexpected distractions. Good air and lighting certainly help. (Again, this tip is to take forward into a time when we are not stuck at home in a pandemic).