The 3 things to focus on in order to have more motivation for writing, each and every time you start a new draft.
Writing is an elusive passion. Like a selfish dance partner, it spins elegantly on its own accord. The more we pursue it across the dance floor of our notebooks, the more we stumble.
Searching for motivation to boost your writing is what makes your creativity stumble.
It is easy to be a joyous writer when the words come easily and the ideas flow onto the paper. Writing in this stage is as easy as asking yourself a question and allowing the answer to effortlessly emerge. But what happens when the words run and hide?
As a writer, finding yourself struggling to draw words can strike panic into our practice. A struggling writer can suddenly find themselves grasping desperately at the evading words to no avail. After long enough of blank papers, deleted drafts, and dead end ideas most will call it quits.
The Productivity Trap
Those who don’t call it quits, risk running themselves into a productivity trap. Feeling the practice fading, the eager writer may structure their life around productivity in order to squeeze any spare thought into a draft. Becoming a sponge to each and every productivity Twitter thread or YouTube video, and building a Notion dashboard to support their writing. I should know because that’s what I did.
Yet, even with the pressure of productivity applied, no diamonds emerge from an empty writing practice.
Instead of building your life around squeezing our writing, this article aims to inspire the opposite. To build your writing around your life in order to extract the gems from our experiences, not squeezing it out of coal.
In 3 Steps, you can generate a tool set that empowers you with more inspiration for writing, every time. First, you have to put an extended focus on gratitude. Then exploring your creative taste with this new grateful perspective. Finally, you just have to accept that you will write some bad stuff. Accepting that inevitability will help propel your writing, but it all has to start at gratitude.
By developing a sense of gratitude in your life, you’ll experience new insights into your thinking and conditioning. This newfound insight can alleviate a lot of the hectic distractions that get lodged in your mind. These distractions often become road blocks to the avenue of your brain that is needed.
Talking about gratitude can draw quite a negative reaction from some, due to some lofty expectations or negative connotations. But it’s important to keep a simple approach to generating a grateful attitude towards life.
Gratitude can be nourished in our lives in very simple practices, methods, and rituals. Ending every night with a journal entry based around what you are grateful for that day is a very common practice. Greg McKeown, author of “Essentialism“(Affiliate Link) shared a fascinating approach on the Tim Ferris Show recently. After a life altering medical condition affected his daughter, McKeown implemented an aggressive approach to gratefulness. The simplest of these gratitude rules was following each complaint with something he was grateful for.
Follow Every Complaint With Something You’re Thankful For
By following each complaint with an acknowledgement of something you are grateful for, you are doing so much more than repeating thankful messages. You immediately come to learn just how much complaining you do through a day.
Many daily complaints are small, and very ‘in the moment’. However they compound on each other and consistently crash energy levels over time.
As you progress in life, your mind will be digging its heels into the muck and mire of stress. Stress collects over time and compounds alongside these complaints. These compounding negatives are debilitating to a creative mind. Robbing it of every idea, or twisting them into wasted opportunities.
Gratitude keeps ideas from being twisted, and makes it easier to find inspiration. Applying gratitude to your creative taste will help you define and refine your creative tastes.
Finding Your Taste: What Writing Do You Like?
After cultivating gratitude, you can examine your creative tastes with a refreshed perspective.
Every creative project is truly a love letter in disguise. Secretly addressed to the original art that inspired the creator, but delivered to the masses instead. From grand fiction series to granular blog posts, inspirational writing plays a key role in creation.
Almost every article on InTakeCreate has been inspired in some fashion by incredible Non-Fiction like “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield (Affiliate Link), or “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (Affiliate Link).
Most recently, Adam Grant’s “Think Again”(Affiliate Link) is motivating a sweeping revisit to many old topics. All of these books are creative inspirations, and it would be immature to ignore their effect on the articles posted on InTakeCreate.
Without observing creative taste with a grateful eye, writers risk missing major signs of direction. The writing they are naturally drawn to. The writing that draws your eye should draw your pen.
When Tastes Change
Personal tastes change over time. Learning to lean into these changes can revitalize a creative practice. When something new sparks our curiosity, it deserves to be given a moment. Creativity doesn’t exist without an innate curiosity. Shying away from new tastes is counterproductive in the end.
Something as simple as a song with a unique sound, or a book told from a new perspective. These are examples of taste-breakers that stand up and demand your attention in unique ways. It’s easy to save that one song and move on. Though, it may prove more fun to dig into that rabbit hole of related artists.
Applying that practice to writing, and it’s a chance to explore new types of reading and writing. Going out of your way to expose yourself to new types of writing that you like to read is important. Writer’s tend to forget how fun reading can be.
A simple practice to ensure you read as much as you write is to tailor your social media. Instead of exposing yourself to mindless articles and listicle scrolls, set your feeds up to expose you to thoughtful writers and thinkers.
Thoughtful writers to follow in your feeds include Tim Ferris (Author of the incredible Tribe of Mentors and the 4 Hour Work Week [affiliate links]), Tim Urban from WaitButWhy, and Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings.
By taking the steps to tailor your feeds to your tastes, and to keep exploring your tastes, you provide an environment to cultivate inspiration and help you have more motivation for writing. Not wasting time when you get stuck doom-scrolling.
Write Some Bad Stuff (Run the Faucet)
In order to have more motivation for writing, you have to actually let the writing happen.
Julian Shapiro tore apart this idea of a “Creativity Faucet” on his blog. He noticed Ed Sheeran talking about his writing process was eerily similar to that of Neil Gaiman. These two top tier writers treat their writing like a faucet of output.
After turning on the taps, the first stretch of water will be mostly waste water. Muck, mire, and dirt will infiltrate the water and make it undrinkable. However, with a bit of patience, the clean water does come.
The first ideas that fall onto the paper will not be the eventual home run they are destined to write. Those initial ideas will be undrinkable. The muck, mire and dirt of life outside of creativity will mix itself in, ruining the quality of the output.
The frustrating part of the process is that there is no shortcut. You cannot skip ahead in the rushing water. Opening a different path for the clean water to follow isn’t an option either. You have to run the faucet.
How to Have More Motivation for Writing
Motivation is not a guarantee due to following a 1,2,3 process. You cannot follow someone else’s path to motivation, and you also cannot capture someone else’s motivation.
Motivation for writing has to come from you, and when you learn where – you can make it sustainable.
You cannot harness, sell or create motivation. It’s not an object, or is it a mindset you fall into. Motivation is merely a question you have to ask yourself after all – and the commitment to refine your answers.
InTakeCreate is built on motivation, and showing more writers how easy it can be. The InTakeCreate Newsletter is the most direct source for this kind of motivation. You can sign up here to join the community, and inspire your next project.