Motivate to Write

Posted on November 3, 2012. Filed under: writing | Tags: , , , , |

A friend of mine wrote and said she was having a hard time getting moving on her screenplay.  She had the ideas, just not the motivation to write.  She asked for advice on how to keep or get going.

I can’t claim to always be motivated, or to never have a problem forcing myself to write when I really don’t feel like it, but I have been writing for many years and have learned a few tricks for pushing myself when I am not in the mood.

1. Take a class or a workshop. This might not work on a daily basis, for those momentary lapses, but it is fantastic if you are stuck in a funk.  Even if you know everything you could possibly know about writing, hearing someone talk about it or having your own writing critiqued is highly motivating.  And sometimes it’s exactly what you need to break up that block. (See below for some local resources)

2. Get a coach or mentor.  This does not have to be a writer, but it should be someone you know you can depend on to tell it like it is.  Like hiring a personal trainer for your career.  You can hire an actual coach, if you have that kind of money, or you can ask a friend to do it – if you have the kind of friend who would be willing to call, email, text, or Skype you on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on track, meeting your goals, and generally not slacking.  Guilt can be highly motivating, especially if there is someone looking over your shoulder to hold you accountable. (See below for some professional coach references)

3. Try something new.  I have written poetry, screenplays, fiction, non fiction, and a whole lot of other sub categories.  I am currently working on a novel and sometimes get a little fatigued.  So I stop to write a story, or a blog, or just write out some ideas for future screenplays.  It doesn’t progress the plot in my book, but it gives me a breath of fresh creative air, while still keeping the mental juices flowing. The idea is, after you’ve tried out a different format, you will return to your main project with refreshed eyes.

4. Read a book.  There two ways to approach this. You can read a book on writing, whatever type of writing you are doing, and learn a few tips from the experts, OR, you can read a book or screenplay or what have you that is in the style of the book you are working on.  Not to copy. Not to steal ideas, but just to set your brain in that world.

Classes and Workshops in the DC/VA/MD area:
Better Said Than Done – Storytelling workshops
Write Time, Write Place, Write Now – Retreats, workshops, classes
The Writer’s Center – Screenwriting, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry classes

Coaches:
Anne Loehr
Freddi Donner
The International Coach Federation

There are many other ways, I am sure, to break up writer’s block, but these are a few that have worked for me in the past. 

Now that I got this blog post done, I should probably go work on my novel!

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