Do you ever have days when you want to blog but you just can’t face sitting down and writing?
I think this happens to every blogger at times – but to stop it happening too often, you need to pay attention to your motivation levels.
One solution is to simply write when you happen to feel motivated, as Daniel suggested in Write When Stuff Comes to Your Mind, Not When You Need To.
That can work really well – but you’ll probably find you still have times when you’ve not felt a rush of motivation for days, and you really need to get a post out there.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step #1: Come Up with Ideas in Advance
There’s nothing less motivating (for me, at least!) than sitting down at the computer, knowing I need to write a post … and having no clue what I’m going to write about.
If you come up with a bunch of ideas ahead of time, you’re already part-way there. You can simply pick whichever idea stands out the most from your list, and get going.
Step #2: Plan Your Post Before You Start Writing
Getting a plan down on paper has a lot of benefits for you – and for your reader.
- You won’t waste time going off on a tangent.
- You’ll write faster because you know where you’re going next.
- You’ll find it easier to stay motivated (“only two more sections to go”).
- You’ll produce a better-structured post that’s easy to read.
If you’re struggling to get to grips with planning, read One Simple Way to Plan Great Posts, Step by Step.
Step #3: Set a Timer
I’m a big fan of timed writing, and find the Pomodoro technique useful when I’m struggling to stay motivated.
When you set a timer, you’re making a commitment: you’re saying that you’ll write (and not get distracted) for a certain period of time.
It’s up to you how long to write for. If you’re not used to working in this way, start with just 15 minutes. However unmotivated you feel, you can work on your post for 15 minutes. Of course, you can work for longer, but don’t above 45 minutes or you’ll struggle to keep on task.
This is also a great technique when you’re fairly motivated but lacking in time: you might be able to draft a whole post in a couple of short but very focused sessions.
Step #4: Get into a Writing Frame of Mind
Lots of writers and bloggers have particular tools or rituals that help them write well.
Perhaps you find that you write best in a particular place (e.g. a local coffee shop). Maybe you focus well while you’re listening to music – that could be something calming, upbeat, or energetic, whatever suits you.
If you’re British like me, you might find that you write best with a mug of tea to hand!
Find something that gets you into a writing mood, and use that for your writing sessions; you may find that you start to feel more motivated as soon as you hear your writing music or brew your writing tea.
Step #5: Don’t Worry About Spelling and Grammar
While I’m a firm believer in the importance of good spelling and grammar, these shouldn’t be on your mind when you’re writing your post – they come later at the editing stage.
Daniel has great advice in Never Hit the Backspace, where he suggests:
First you’ll write. During this phase your goal is to simply put words down. You shouldn’t care if they make sense, or if they are grammatically correct. You should just write the words down.
Once you are done writing, then you’ll pass to the editing phase, and that’s when you revise the sentences, to see whether or not they make sense, to fix the spelling and grammatical mistakes and so on.
What motivates you to write? (And what kills your motivation?) Let us know in the comments…