Is the summer heat crushing your motivation? Are you struggling with motivation to complete your current writing project?
When you’re a writer on a mission, you can’t afford to let your motivation dwindle. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated in the summer heat:
1. Dedicate at least one day per week to writing
Why is it so hard to dedicate time to writing? Many of us love writing, but put our projects off until the last minute. Writers are said to be the worst procrastinators, and it sounds harsh but there’s a reason.
Many of us believe we write better under the pressure of a last-minute deadline. However, writing at the last minute might not be what it seems. Some people suggest that writers develop the habit of procrastination in high school, when they’re able to get away with doing assignments at the last minute with minimal effort and still getting a high grade.
Try something new. Dedicate one day each week to writing no matter how little time you have. It can be an hour or five hours, just make it consistent and keep writing. Give yourself as much time as possible. Sometimes you need to write junk for an hour before the good stuff comes out.
2. Take a pool day and relax
On the next sunny day that you don’t have to work, spend the day outside by the pool. Bring your laptop out, but leave your phone behind. Take the day to focus on your writing project and nothing else. No laundry, no dishes, and no social media. Put all of your focus on your writing.
When you need to take a break or it gets too warm, jump in the pool and cool off. Take a nap in an inner tube or float around on your back. If you’re going to stay out there into the evening (which is highly recommended), make sure you have a functioning pool heater. Nothing will ruin your inspiration like a cold pool.
Once the sun sets, you’ll be thankful for the warm water. If you write fiction, you can float around while dreaming up scenes for your characters or ponder ideas for a work of non-fiction.
3. Don’t give yourself any deadlines for a while
Deadlines are only worthwhile if you’re going to meet them. If you’re like most writers, you have a hard time meeting self-created deadlines. It doesn’t make sense to keep creating deadlines you’re not going to meet.
For a while, stop setting deadlines and just write. If you’re not working on a final draft, deadlines may not make sense. For example, how can you put a deadline on your work when you’re still creating your characters, researching, or creating dialogue? The pressure of deadlines prior to the completion of a first draft can inhibit your creativity. If that’s happening to you, don’t set deadlines until you have a working first draft.
4. Don’t edit your work as you write
Editing for grammar, punctuation, and spelling as you write will prevent you from completing your project. Don’t worry about editing as you go. Save that for later when you’ve got a first draft ready.
As you read what you’ve written, you will notice small mistakes and there’s nothing wrong with fixing them on the spot. However, don’t get stuck editing each sentence to perfection before moving on to the next. After your first draft is done, you may decide to cut large portions of your work and being a perfectionist will have been in vain.
5. If you think you’re in a rut, get unstuck
Every writer feels like they’re in a rut at some point in time. Signs that you might be stuck can include feeling unfocused, unmotivated, and unable to find the right words.
To get unstuck, you need to shake up your routine. If you normally write at home, start writing at a coffee shop. Change the time you write. For instance, if you normally squeeze in your writing after dinner, try waking up earlier to write before you go to work.
Another way to get unstuck is to write about a subject you wouldn’t normally write about. For example, if you usually write articles about business, try writing about art. Force your brain to think outside the box you think you’re stuck in.
It’s tough being a writer, but the only way to complete your project is to keep writing. Whenever you feel stuck or lack motivation, these tips will help you get back on track and closer to your goal.