Tuesday, February 9, 2010

7 Tips for Getting Yourself to Write When You Don't Feel Like It


They say BIC (butt in chair) is the most important secret to overcoming writer's block. No matter how much you love to write, everyone has days when it's hard to get motivated. Here are a few ways to increase the odds of keeping BIC.

1. Set Online Stopwatch for twenty minutes (or whatever amount of time you wish to write). Now, write! Hurry! Faster! Get as many words down as you can before the alarm sounds!

2. If Tip #1 (writing with a time limit) stresses you out, try setting a word count goal instead. When you've got 250 words, you can stop and do something else. If that's too easy, up it to 500. You just might surprise yourself, get on a roll, and keep right on going.

3. If you sorta like Tip #2 (setting a word count goal) and are motivated by a sense of community and rockin' badges, check out Inky Girl's 500 Words A Day Challenge.


4. Use Premack's Principle to your advantage by scheduling a highly-preferred activity right after a less-preferred one. First you must write, THEN you can check your email ... or watch Lost ... or play those time-sucking Facebook games ....

5. Go to a coffee shop. A change of setting can work wonders, and it'll get you away from all the other stuff you "ought" to be doing. The caffeine won't hurt, either.

6. Better yet, find someplace with comfortable chairs and tables, but no WiFi. Then there will be nothing to do BUT write. Maybe there's a hole-in-the-wall somewhere that doesn't offer free wireless.

7. If all else fails, bribe yourself with Ben & Jerry's. Oh, wait ... that's just Tip #4 in disguise!

Happy writing! If you have other ideas to share, please post them in the comments below.

4 comments:

Lisa Green said...

Great tips! It is hard to think of places that don't offer Wifi! And the net is so addicting...

Anna said...

Great tips! I think I might have to use #4/7 today, otherwise nothing will get done. :-)

Ruth said...

Lisa and Anna, I'm in a coffee shop right now, and look what I'm doing instead of working on my novel. They do have gelato, though, so #7 may work...

Kelly said...

Oh, that cartoon is so me...
I do need a butt in chair strategy. I usually do time limits.