Kirsten Saylor discusses how to deal with loss of motivation in writing
When it comes to writing, the hardest part isn’t always finding the words to put on paper. Sometimes the hardest part is finding the motivation. Between schoolwork, jobs, extracurricular activities, social interaction and just life in general, we don’t have a lot of free time. And, let’s be honest, the free time we do have is usually spent napping and watching Netflix.
From what I’ve been able to gather, most writers develop a daily writing routine to help them improve. This no longer makes writing a hobby, but a job that forces you to finish the task to make your day complete. This is one way to guarantee you find the time to write. You’ll notice your motivation will increase the more you practice this. Almost every author — minus Ray Bradbury, who publicly said he would write sporadically rather than on a schedule — has had some form of daily routine for their writing.
But your routine is up to you. Find what works best. Some people like writing in the morning, some late at night. Some write in 30-minute intervals, and some for five hours in one sitting. Some authors don’t even have a time frame. Instead they have a word and/or page limit set for themselves. Everyone has a collection of different habits, so it’s up to you to figure out what fits your lifestyle best.
If you want some practice writing on a schedule or deadline, you should consider participating in National Novel Writing Month, a nonprofit creative writing organization. Every year on Nov. 1, participants begin working towards a goal of completing a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m. It requires a lot of dedication, planning and enthusiasm for writing. NaNoWriMo encourages writers of all ages and backgrounds to partake in the movement of self-expression through the written word. In 2013, they had 310,095 participants, who were able to join for free.
From what I’ve learned from writing, it requires constant practice — like everything else in life. You must write every day in order to improve, and you need to have the motivation to practice.
I know it can be difficult to sit down with a laptop or a notebook and pen and focus solely on writing, but it’s crucial if you want to get better.
Kirsten Saylor is a freshman studying English. Email her at email@example.com