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The struggle is real for us writers to stay motivated and stick to routine sometimes.
There could be any number of causes to these sluggish, lazy feelings including:
- Feeling overwhelmed by life, stress, or other obligations.
- Feeling a lack of time, making you neglect your writing.
- Feeling uninspired, resulting in you being slack.
But today, I want to share with you some ways you can avoid getting uninspired, feeling slack, or losing your writing flow.
1) Organise Your Workflow And Create Work/Life Balance
Workflow is super important, and so is having clearly defined lined between your work hours and your rest hours (plus actually sticking to them… which I can be guilty of not doing).
The first thing you need to do is identify when you actually have time to write—and don’t tell me you don’t. Everybody can find five minutes in their day, and if five minutes is all you have, then that’s going to have to do unless you decide to make other changes to your routine. Besides, you can write 100 words in five minutes, and times that by 5? That’s 500 words a week, or 2,000 words a month. A little progress is better than none.
I don’t recommend writing for more than 1 – 2 hours a day unless you’re super inspired, have a pressing deadline, or simply write better that way, because that’s a one-way ticket to burnout/writer’s block. Instead, give yourself a reason to want to come back and continue writing.
On the subject of those two things, make sure you stick to the outlined times you’ve set for yourself as much as you can. If you can negotiate with your family for scheduled space to write in peace, it’s going to benefit you a lot better as you sink into a writing routine, and that way you won’t be tempted to write during your ‘down time’, nor will you feel guilty about actually taking a break.
2) Block Out A Routine
First of all, I know routines can be icky, but having a writing routine is super important if you’re serious about your craft. Not only does it, y’no… actually make things happen, but it helps you to practice the discipline of writing every day or at least 1 – 2 times every week.
I’ll tell you what could happen if you don’t get this down in the early days—you’re gonna reach a point in your career where you have a heckin’ lot of free time to write and instead of passionately doing so (as I’m sure you dream of doing from your dreary workplace each day), you’re gonna get tempted to go for a Netflix binge. And you know who’s going to win out?
*ding ding ding*
The Netflix Binge.
Because we’re only human and it’s only natural that we’d choose rest over work unless we’re super dedicated and super fired up about it. And then you have to rush to meet deadlines last minute, or you completely miss your deadlines, and it’s not going to be very fun. So practice developing a routine now. I promise it’ll be worth it.
3) Take Time To Rest
Yes, having downtime is just as important as kicking your butt into gear—because we need space to develop our creative ideas and refill our cup in order to write our best work.
When taking time out, give yourself permission to completely detach from your book and focus on something else entirely—do something you enjoy but don’t always have time for. Take your girlfriends out to brunch. Go and see a movie. Finally read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf since 2009. It’s just as important to block these activities into your routine in addition to writing time, if that’s what you need to do.
Then, when you come back, allow yourself to slowly ease into it if need be—do something that inspires you, such as making a mood board, or listening to a writing playlist, or playing a video game that gets the creative juices flowing.
If you found this post helpful, come follow me over on Instagram and let’s connect!
Pagan Malcolm is a bestselling fiction author, speaker, podcaster and business coach for authors. She helps aspiring authors finish their books, build the foundations for consistent book sales and establish a standout author brand that gets them KNOWN.
Pagan Malcolm is a business coach for authors helping writers to leverage the business side of publishing so that they can kickstart profitable writing careers and become established authors. She has been featured in various publications including Writer’s Digest and The Write Life Top 100 Websites For Writers.
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