Writing isn't always an easy task. Even the greatest and most productive writers sometimes struggle to find the motivation to pick up the pen. Writing can be especially difficult for the reason that there is no clear end goal. It's up to you - the writer - to decide when your book/essay/article/etc. is finished. You can edit and re-write and polish your piece for a lifetime, and even after all that time I bet you could probably still find some ways to restructure a sentence here, or use a better allegory there. This is why writing can seem like a daunting task and why many might feel overwhelmed before they even start. However, if you are feeling uninspired or unsure of how to start, worry not. Writer’s block happens to everyone, but it can be overcome with just some discipline and the right techniques. Here are three tips that can help you get motivated and start writing right now.
1. Write about things you're passionate about
This one is probably a no-brainer, but it holds true. As the old saying goes: Do what you love, love what you do. If the subject you're writing about bores you, writing is quickly going to become a tedious task that is bound to make you end up unmotivated. That being said though, be realistic when choosing you niches; if you have never left the town you grew up in you're not going to be hired as a travel journalist. However, if travelling still is your biggest passion and dream, you could approach it from another angle and for example write a fictional story about the protagonist travelling to a fantasy dreamland. Find out what your interests and passions are, and writing is sure to become an enjoyable activity.
2. Set realistic goals
Working with clear goals makes you more productive, and the most effective way is usually to break your goals up into smaller ones. If, for example, your goal is to write a novel, "finishing your novel" is your end goal, but if that’s your only goal, you are likely to become discouraged fast, because it can seem extremely out of reach when you’re just starting out. Break it up; if you have a free week-end, your goal could be writing one chapter. Some days, your goal might just be to write two sentences. Plan things out ahead, and keep track of your goals. Reaching the mini-goals you set for yourself is likely to keep you motivated and encouraged to continue writing and reaching more and more goals, and before you know it, the finish line will be in your sight. Give yourself permission to take things one step at a time, and you will find that motivation is likely to stick around much longer than if you just set out working towards some vague, over-looming goal.
3. Sometimes you have to actually start writing before you find motivation
Many could-have-been writers make the mistake of thinking that they have to wait for inspiration in order to be able to work. This kind of mindset will not make you a productive writer; you have to start seeing it as a job, or a task. If you assign a few hours in your schedule to writing, then use that time to actually write, don't waste two hours watching TV to "get inspired" before you can start. A concert pianist doesn't practice only on days they feel inspired. The head chef of a restaurant can't cook only when they feel like it. If you want to write, you have to be able to work on bad days as well as good ones. If you followed the first tip and chose a subject you're actually interested in, you will more often than not find that once you start writing, you will get into the workflow and writing will become a lot easier once you've gotten started.
These are my tips for finding the motivation to write, but keep in mind that everyone is different. While these tips are great in general, try adapting them to your circumstances and workstyle and you’ll probably find that the more you personalize your writing methods, the more effective you will become. You just have to find what works for you, and I hope these tips have helped you at least a bit in that quest.