How to Stay Motivated When Writing a Novel

Passion is what drives many of us to undertake the Herculean task of writing a novel. However, even the most passionate writers suffer from lack of the motivation from time to time.

Motivation is important no matter what you do. In order to stay motivated, writers need to have techniques and tools to help them finish their novel.

Tips for Staying Motivated

I know how hard it is to summon motivation once you suffer from writer’s block or lack self belief in your writing. It’s a common experience for many of us, as we go through that cycle of one day marveling at our writing and the next wondering ‘who wrote this rot?’.

Below are some tips that work for me. They will help you find the drive to complete your novel and get through the worst days. Keep in mind that not every technique will work for every writer. Staying motivated is a continuous process and finding the right method is a case of trial and error.

  1. Create a Writing Routine

You should keep a writing schedule and stick to it. Even if you are not in the mood to write, just do it anyway. You should set yourself small goals that are achievable.

If you can commit to writing a single page or a minimum of 500 words daily. Before you know it, you will be halfway through your novel.

Writing daily may not work for you, but setting aside a regular time each week is important to stay on track and maintain momentum.

  1. Get Rid of All Distractions

There are many distractions around you. Before you start writing, put your phone on silent, and turn off email notifications. Look for a place where you can focus on writing and nothing else. If you have limited time, consider writing in a short burst or snatches of time throughout the day.

  1. Set a Reward for Yourself

If you have completed your goal for the day, don’t forget to reward yourself. The reward doesn’t need to be big. The reward may be a slice of cake, or watching an episode of your favourite TV show, whatever works for you.

  1. Do Something Else

When you are struggling to find the motivation to write, do something else. There are days when you can’t find the words no matter how hard you try. When you find yourself in that position, find something else to do aside from writing.

You can go for a run around the block or go for a walk. Stepping away from the computer even for 5 minutes can work wonders. Some of the best ideas come when you are doing something not related to writing. Some people (not me I have to admit) report getting great ideas while doing housework.

  1. Be a Continuous Learner

There is always room for improvement no matter how much you have written. Learning about your craft should be a positive thing and an important part of your process for completing your novel. You should read other novels by different authors, and across loads of genres, as well as attend author events and festivals. Talk to other writers and learn how they maintain their motivation while writing. Look for a like-minded writers group or online community that will keep you connected to the process and provide support and motivation when you most need it.     

And when all else fails…just write. Write anything but just write. The more you flex that writing muscle the easier it becomes over time. So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and get to it.