Writer, are you giving yourself the proper praise and grace you deserve to stay motivated to write?
When we are writing consistently and seeing progress we happily find ourselves in a writing groove and we want to keep writing. It is easy to feel motivated when our writing lifestyle is working. It’s easy to want to keep writing when we feel our muse is with us. It’s easy to sit down and write when the words flow freely.
But do you ever worry that these stretches won’t last? Maybe you start dreading writer’s block or burnout. The motivation you feel and the progress you are making seems too good to last. What will you do when the creative juices slow down? Luckily there is a simple tip you can use to ensure this motivation lasts.
When writing is going well, you need to praise yourself.
What about when writing is going poorly? It is even harder to find the grit and willpower to start writing if it’s been a few days since you’ve touched your WIP. If you are in the trenches of revision and unsure of how to fix a plot hole or enliven a character, it can be hard to keep writing. Whatever it is that derails you from your progress or makes it hard for you to pull yourself out of a slump can be fixed.
When writing is not going well, you need to give yourself grace.
How to Stay Motivated to Write: Give Yourself Praise and Grace
Praise Yourself When You are Writing Well
When you are writing well, do you recognize it? Sometimes I don’t think of celebrating the small victories. I tell myself that writing a few hundred words or being consistent for 5 days in a row isn’t worth celebrating. It’s something I should just be doing. But as I’ve begun to give myself credit for my daily successes, it’s helped me enjoy the progress I am making. It’s helping me focus on what I am doing well. Having this focus makes me want to keep seeing progress, even if it’s just a little bit each day. I’m more motivated because I’m proud of the efforts that I am making.
Don’t downplay your success. Even if you wrote for 15 minutes, or wrote 5 words. Congratulate yourself. Praise yourself for what you are doing, however big or small. You don’t have to make a huge deal out of it, but you should do something. If you downplay the progress you are making by telling yourself it’s not enough, you are going to derail yourself and find your motivation gone. So celebrate every victory and don’t discourage yourself or convince yourself that what you are doing isn’t worth recognition.
Praise Yourself For:
- Writing consistently
- Achieving a goal
- Listening to a podcast about writing or reading a book
- Writing for 10 minutes
- Setting a goal to do better
- Finishing a scene, chapter, or draft
- Solving a plot issue
- Doing research
Praise Yourself By:
- Recognizing your accomplishment
- Sharing your win with a friend
- Giving yourself a mental high-five or round of applause
- Buying yourself a small treat (a book, your favorite pen, eating ice cream)
- Telling yourself why this victory is praiseworthy
Forgive Yourself When You are Struggling to Write
If you haven’t written in a while, or know you could do more but aren’t, don’t beat yourself up about it. Doing so will not change the past. It will only make it harder for you to write. Instead of being hard on yourself, give yourself some grace. Forgive yourself. Understand that you are going through a rough period if you honestly can’t write more than you currently are. If you think you can do more, but are struggling to make it happen, be curious. Asking yourself what is getting in your way will do so much more than being hard on yourself.
Forgive Yourself For:
- Not writing
- Missing a deadline/goal
- Giving in to fear
- Burning out
- Having writer’s block
- Choosing Netflix over writing
Forgive Yourself By:
- Recognizing you can keep trying
- Asking yourself what is causing you to struggle
- Telling yourself something positive (you’re still a good writer, every writer goes through this, etc.)
- Making a plan to start again
- Understanding that your past doesn’t control your future
Whether you are writing well or struggling to write, I hope you are able to find the motivation you need to keep at it or to get where you want to be. Never forget to praise yourself when you do well and give yourself a little grace when you need it.
Are you in need of a little praise, or a bit of grace?