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From Essays to Books: How to Find Motivation for Writing?

Hey, you! Yes, you, reading this article. Is not there something you are supposed to be doing right now? We know, you are avoiding writing (and it does not matter whether it is a history essay or a book that you have been dying to write for so long). In most cases, it all comes down to motivation. So, how do you turn motivation into productivity? How do you stay productive all the time? Well, turn off your Instagram notifications and consider what professional writers from have to say.

Motivation is the measurement of the energy that is put into any endeavor. Whether you write an essay, a book, or a research paper, you will have to struggle with moments where you experience writer’s block or lack motivation. To deal with it, you should always have an arsenal of tools which can help you overcome motivational issues. And we are about to give you these.

Procrastination / Frustration / Writer’s Block Are the Barriers to Staying Motivated


Student's procrastination


When it comes to motivation for writing, one of the main issues you need to fight with is a frustration, a thought that motivation does not necessarily come easily and stick. Given all the practical complexities of research, grammar issues, and all the multiplicity of details that have to be considered and woven together, it is no surprise that staying motivated can be something of a challenge. So, how to deal with it? Enough preamble. Let’s plunge in!

Forget about Writer’s Block

You can cure writer’s block with one simple sentence: “Give yourself permission to write garbage.” Why does this work? Let’s think what writer’s block is. As the name implies, something is blocking your creative flow. As it turns out, that “something” is the need for perfection, the need to be good, the need to write well. So, how to remove that need for perfection? Here are some essential steps:

1. Open your file or whatever you are going to write in.

2. Think about what you wish you could write if you were not blocked.

3. Set a timer for three minutes.

4. Give yourself permission to write garbage

Then, go! Write as much as you can in three minutes. Now, if the words still do not flow instantly, go one step further and make yourself deliberately write garbage. The skeptic in you probably says, “I do not want to write junk. I want to write quality.” And as you start writing, you might even hear a little voice inside your head that says, “This is awful!” “Why did you choose that idea?” “You are no good at this! Stop now!” “You are going to look foolish.” That critic’s voice is the block. It is the last line of defense against looking ridiculous. It does not want you to be judged poorly. It is trying to criticize something that does not even exist yet.

Writing is a four-part process, and getting your idea on the page is a tiny percentage of that. The whole process has four parts. First, you give shape to your idea by turning it a story, you are mapping out what you want to say. Second, you get it on the page. Third, you make sure those words express your idea effectively. And then finally, you fine-tune the reader experience. Writer’s block happens when you blend the parts.

Deal with Exhaustion

Exhaustion is another key cause of motivational loss. For that reason, use your non-writing time to recharge, refuel, and re-energize your imaginative fire. Do some physical exercises that oxygenate your blood and maintain the quality of your thinking. A good walk is the mother of all thoughts. Make sure you read a lot. Reread your favorite author. Feed your imagination and emotions. 

5 Tips on How to Find Motivation for Writing Your Essay, Dissertation, or a Book

Tip 1. Plan Ahead of Writing


Writing a plan


It is commonly said that there are two types of writers – “planners” and “pantsers”. A “planner” is a person who writes a detailed outline of the whole paper before embarking on any actual writing. And “pantser” is the one who just waits for the muse, grabs the creative spark, and then, starts writing. This person writes by the seat of their pants. But researches have shown that “pantsers” are particularly vulnerable to motivation loss through the process of writing.

If you think that drafting and outlining will stifle your creative juices, you have never been so wrong before. Planning is not about setting the limits, it is about solving all the structural problems before you commit to the more creative aspects of your writing.

Inspiration is not going to fall on you while you are sitting and staring at blinking cursor or blank page. To get everything done, you need to research and organize your ideas before you actually put pen to paper or type on the keyboard. Before you dive into writing, you need to know where you are going. A good plan provides you something to fall back on when inspiration is gone. Having an outline can help stay motivated and forget about the anxiety that appears when you lose sight of your destination. 

Tip 2. Work to a Deadline

Let’s get one thing straight –motivation is not what writes an essay or a book, you write it. Make yourself accountable to other people. Professional authors know that having a self-imposed deadline can push you to keep writing even when you feel exhausted. And better yet that you declared that deadline to the world.

Tip 3. Think of Your Goal

No one starts writing an essay or a book on the whim. There is always a compelling reason. Whether it is because you want to get the desired A+ for a paper or because a book that you are going to write is what pays the bills, always remind yourself of why you have to finish your story, no matter what. 

Tip 4. Look at Your Workplace


Cozy workplace


Consider the environment that you are trying to write in. Is it too loud? Are there people that might distract you? Does your environment seem hospitable to focused writing? If not, move, you are not a tree. You want to give yourself the fewest possible distractions and fewest possible excuses not to write.

Tip 5. Choose the Right Topic for Your Writing

It is also possible that the lack of understanding about the prompt itself is blocking you from starting. Consider reviewing your task sheet, examining some examples, or even contacting your instructor or colleague to clarify what you are supposed to be writing (if it is an essay or any other college assignment). Confusion about a task can feel like a lack of motivation. Asking for an example of what to do, even just one can spark your creativity. Even a short discussion can help you understand what you need to do better and make you more confident that you are heading in the right direction.

Now, let’s focus on ways you can change your perception of the assignment itself. First, ask yourself honestly: does my topic seem boring? Boring topics are unmotivating, they can make a difficult writing task much harder. Consider writing about different theme if you can, or try to approach the same topic from a new angle that piques your interest. Find a perspective that is in your wheelhouse.

Let’s imagine you are assigned to write an essay on Korean pop culture in America, specifically K-pop music. Not being a fan of that style of music, you did not initially care for this assignment too much. So, you procrastinated by watching your favorite anime series. So, why do not you try to write an essay on Japanese pop culture, rather than a Korean one? Suddenly, your research for that task involved watching tons of anime episodes.

Teachers are often more flexible on assignment topics than you might realize. They prefer reading exciting projects, just like you prefer writing them.

All of these tips are applicable to any type of writing. Believe us, at least one of them will help when the muse divorces you or the well of creativity has run dry.


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