Freelance Writing Jobs
Post a job

Writing Motivation Tips: 7+ Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write

Shaun Connell
June 11, 2023

Whether you've been staring at a blank page for the last few hours or you can't even bring yourself to sit down at your desk, it can be hard to find writing motivation day in and day out.

Don't worry, you aren't alone in feeling this way. Everyone from amateur writers to the greatest novelists of all time have struggled to find the motivation to write from time to time.

Solution In this article, we'll look at a bunch of writing motivation tips to help you start putting words down on the page. We'll talk about creating a supportive writing environment, getting organized, creating incentives, finding inspiration, and so much more.

By the time you finish reading this post, you're going to have a long list of strategies you can employ to boost your motivation both in an immediate way and in the long-term.

1. Make It a Habit

Though it's not an instant fix, one of the best ways you can motivate yourself to write is by making writing a habit.

Habits can help you achieve worthwhile goals in an incremental and healthy way. Rather than going on a fevered writing binge once a year, creating a writing habit can make sitting down to write regularly easy and enjoyable.

Are you motivated by the idea of making money from your writing? If so, make sure you check out our Freelance Writing Jobs board for fresh posts from high-paying clients every day. For more info about making money writing, check out our guides to freelance writing, the highest paying writing niches, building a portfolio, and getting entry level writing jobs.

Commit to a Regular Time

Rather than telling yourself that you're going to write "at some point" today or this week, set a regular time that you sit down to write. One of the great things about habits is that they remove the burden of having to think about things.

  • If you choose to write every day at 8 am, even for just fifteen minutes, you'll find that you start gravitating toward your desk at 7:55 after you've kept it up for a few weeks.
  • Not only will you get more writing done this way, but it's also an important way to show yourself that you respect your desire to be a writer.

Honor the appointment that you've made with yourself, and don't let other things cropping up get in your way. There are always going to be distractions in life, but if you want to write, commit to writing at a regular time.

Write Every Day

It might sound like a lot to commit to writing every day, but the trick is that you don't have to write for long. Set small, reasonable goals for yourself so that you stay in the habit of writing.

  • Even if you only have time for ten or fifteen minutes a day, you'll start to see your commitment and hard work adding up in no time.

Start a Journal

If you don't have a piece of writing you're working on right now, you might be wondering what the heck you're supposed to be writing during your daily sessions.

  • Starting a journal can be a great way to keep you in the habit of putting your thoughts into words, and there's a good chance you'll come up with your next great idea at some point during your journaling session.

2. Set Attainable Goals

Aiming high can be great, but not when it makes us feel so overwhelmed that we feel paralyzed.

If you set unreasonable goals (for example, writing your first novel in three days), you're likely going to bounce off the whole thing once you realize you're not going to get it done in time.

  • Even if you're taking on a big project that's going to take months or even years to complete, you can break it down into smaller, more bite-sized goals.
  • This can help break through the intimidation factor that is often present when you're shooting for the moon.

This might mean aiming for 250 or 500 words a day, writing a chapter a day, or spending thirty minutes on the keyboard every day. No matter what your goal is, make sure it actually fits within your life.

3. Get Organized

Sometimes we lose motivation to write because we feel overwhelmed. Whether you're working on a blog post for a client or you're trying to write a romance novel, one of the best things you can do is get a little organized.


If you're starting with a blank page, you can begin with a brainstorming process. This is an opportunity to put down your unfiltered thoughts about the topic at hand. Don't censor yourself-- just let it flow!

Take Notes

When you're writing about a topic that requires research, citations, or providing evidence, you can also get going by taking notes. Find credible resources that you'll use to write your piece and start taking and organizing notes.

All of a sudden, you'll find that the wheels are starting to spin.

Write an Outline

Next, write an outline of how you want to structure your writing. Whether it's a massive book or a short article, outlining can make the writing process a lot easier.

While some writers might prefer to take a more stream-of-consciousness approach to their craft, if you're feeling stuck there's absolutely nothing wrong with banging out an outline to give you some structure.

4. Set Deadlines (and Stick to Them!)

Deadlines can be an incredible motivator. No matter what you're working on, think about what an ambitious yet still realistic deadline would be. Put it on your calendar, tell your friends, and remind yourself of your deadline every morning.

Having a set deadline can help light a fire in you that helps you do a little work every day. Otherwise, it's all too easy for projects to linger around unfinished for months, years, or indefinitely.

5. Don't Mix Writing and Editing

Writing and editing are two different processes that really take two different parts of your brain. When you're writing, you're being creative and productive. When you're editing, you're being meticulous and selective.

Don't mix the two! When you're writing, write. When you're editing, edit. You'll find it makes a big difference in your motivation and flow.

Is it time to outsource your editing? Check out our guide to hiring a book editor to help you produce an error free finished product.

6. Find Your Spot and Set the Tone

No matter what you're working on, the environment that you're in can have a tremendous impact on your ability to focus and concentrate.

man motivated to write a book on a typewriter

If you're struggling with motivation, take a look around and consider the space that you're trying to write in.

Create a Distraction Free Environment

One of the first things you'll want to search for when it comes to a place to write is a place where you won't be distracted. This means making sure that people aren't coming up and chatting with you every five minutes, that dogs aren't barking under your desk, and that those sirens on the street aren't interrupting your flow of thought.

  • On top of that, though, it means getting away from the things we distract ourselves with-- our phones, social media platforms, TV, etc.
  • Set yourself up in a place where you won't be bothered by a thing in the world, where you can fully immerse yourself in your writing.

If you absolutely can't find a place to work where you can close the door and keep the world at bay, invest in some soundproof headphones and tell the people around you not to bother you unless it's an emergency.

Clean Your Desk

Are you trying to write the great American novel sitting at a desk that's covered in old beer cans, disorganized papers, dishes, and half-empty coffee mugs? Or is your desk so messy that you haven't even tried to sit there in months, instead lounging on your bed while you're trying to write?

  • Take the time to clean your desk. Clutter has a big impact on your brain and your work-- it can boost productivity, increase your mental clarity, reduce distractions, reduce stress, and more. You might find that your motivation magically returns once you tidy up your space and give that old desk a good wipe-down.

Sure, some of the most famous writers of all time have had messy desks (I'm looking at you, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway!), but that's not a very convincing excuse. Unless you've proven to yourself that you're highly productive when surrounded by absolute chaos, you'll probably benefit by bringing some order to your workspace.

Put On Some Music

Your environment isn't just about the physical space around you-- it's also about sound! If you're struggling to feel motivated, one of the easiest things you can do is put on some music.

Not only can this help drown out some of the noise in your environment (assuming you don't have the luxury of writing from a pristine bucolic writer's cabin on a lake,) but music can be a powerful motivational tool. Some of the benefits of listening to music for writers include:

  • Providing an energy boost
  • Increasing creativity and inspiration
  • Boosting concentration and focus
  • Mood enhancement

Beyond that, you can find a playlist you love and listen to it regularly when you work-- creating a mental association between certain songs and work will definitely help you get into the flow more easily when you sit down to write.

Use the Power of Scent

Your workstation is looking really good, but before you sit down to write, it's time to think about how your space smells.

That's right. Certain scents can be motivating and have a positive impact on your productivity, focus, and mood. Not only that, but if you use the same incense, candle, or other scent-producing product every time you write, you'll start to build an association between writing and the smell. Turning on your motivation can honestly become as simple as lighting that candle!

You can play around with finding scents that you find enjoyable and motivating, but some classic options include:

  • Citrus (thought to be mood-boosting, increase focus, and enhance motivation)
  • Peppermint (known to be stimulating and invigorating, associated with increased concentration and mental clarity)
  • Cinnamon (thought to help improve productivity and concentration)
  • Eucalyptus (thought to help enhance mental focus, clear the mind, and promote a sense of vitality and motivation)

7. Build-in Breaks

If you've been writing for some time and you're wondering why you've lost motivation, it might just be time to step away.

Let yourself take a break!

Decide how long your break will be and when you're going to return to writing, and then unplug from your work for a bit. Maybe it's time to go for a walk outside, talk to a friend, grab a cup of coffee, or get some exercise.

You'll be amazed at how refreshing it can be to give yourself a little time for a break. Stepping away can also give you a different perspective on your work, and solutions to issues you have been struggling with for hours will all of a sudden have solutions.

8. Try Writing Prompts

If you're really facing writer's block, another great thing you can do is try some writing prompts. If you're putting too much pressure on yourself in relation to your current project, working on something else can really loosen you up and help you overcome that block.

9. Read, Read, Read!

Another thing that can seriously motivate you to write is to step back from writing and take some time to read.

woman reading in book store to get motivated to write

I don't mean reading social media posts or news articles, though. Find something more evergreen to dive into for a bit.

Try to step away from the type of project you're working on-- for example, grab a novel if you're writing a nonfiction piece or a biography if you're writing a fiction book.

Great Books

There are tons of compelling reasons why we should all read more, and if you're looking for writing motivation, you can add another one to the list.

Reading the words of other great authors can light a fire inside you. All of a sudden, you'll find yourself chomping at the bit to get back to your document!

If you love reading, you'll probably want to know that you can actually get paid to read. If that's not motivating, I don't know what is!


If you don't feel like sitting down with an entire book right now, no problem. Even spending a few minutes with some inspirational writing quotes can be incredibly motivating.

Short Stories

Sometimes the thought of starting a new book can feel pretty overwhelming. If that's how you're feeling, no problem! Find a collection of short stories and just read one that sticks out to you.


If you're looking for some creative inspiration or you need a break from writing a dry white paper, consider reading some poetry. This can be a great break from drier writing, or can invite the muse if you're working on something more creative.

Do you love writing poetry as much as you love reading it? Make sure you look at our list of ways to get paid to write poetry.

10. Reward Yourself

Another powerful motivational tool is bribery!

If you need to write but just don't want to, come up with a reward that you can receive once you reach a certain milestone. Whether it's a cup of coffee, a pastry, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, a beer at the end of the day, or something else that excites you, consider bribing yourself with something special.

11. Create Accountability

You can also try to motivate yourself with accountability.

If you're dragging your feet when it comes to your ambitious tome, tell other people about it and even give them a deadline for when it will be done.

Once you've spread the word, you'll feel a lot more motivated to follow through.

12. Change Your Mind

The great William James once said:

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

Though it might not happen overnight, working to change the way you view your work and writing can have a big impact on your motivation. Studies have found that people that find meaning in their work and that are happier tend to be more productive.

If you've been struggling to write day in and day out, consider whether or not you could shift your attitude. It could change your life!

13. Just Start!

Though people argue over who said "perfection is the enemy of the good," they don't tend to bicker over the truth of the statement.

  • Sometimes we struggle to find motivation because we are expecting to create something perfect or we're waiting to feel a pulse of inspiration.

The truth is, sometimes you just need to start. Don't worry about creating the best thing you've ever written-- just get going, and you'll most likely start to find your flow.

Additional Motivation Tips

Before I sign off, here are a few more tips to help you get motivated to write!

  • Exercise: Exercise can help boost your mood, reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem, increase cognitive function, and more. Bonus points if you get outside in nature while doing it, but any form of exercise can really help you regain your motivation.
  • Caffeine: Let's be real-- sometimes you just need a cup of coffee! Don't overdo it, but a little caffeine can be a godsend when it comes to meeting your next milestone.
  • Hang Out With Driven People: Are the people around you more likely to spend their Saturday on the couch than climbing a mountain? Being around driven people can help you become one, too.
  • Learn to Love a Challenge: Challenges and obstacles are how we get stronger, smarter, wiser, and more resilient. Actively working to embrace challenges can help you see your next project as an exciting endeavor rather than something you dread.
  • Talk to Other Writers: Whether you know other writers personally or you join some forums online, talking to other writers can be a great way to find your motivation.
  • Write About What You Love: If you're struggling to find the motivation to write copy for a company you despise, maybe take a break and work on something more meaningful to you.
  • Shake Things Up: Whether you try a new hobby, go somewhere you've never been, or try writing in a different genre, shaking things up can help you tap into your creative stream and get your thoughts flowing again.
  • Get Ecstatic: If you're really struggling to find motivation, maybe it's time for a major vibe shift. Have a dance party or go out for a night of dancing. Practice meditation, listen to music, paint, draw, or do anything else that helps you get away from your more rational mind for a bit. It can do wonders!
  • Change Your Inputs: Finally, if you're spending a bunch of time every day looking at social media, watching the news, or clicking through garbage TV shows, unplug and change your inputs. Go to a museum, a book store, or otherwise engage with a higher form of culture-- you'll be glad you did.

Are You Motivated to Make Money Writing?

There are tons of things you can do to motivate yourself to write. Whether that means setting up your writing environment so it supports you, getting more organized, creating incentives, or something else entirely, there are lots of tools at your disposal to help you break through your writer's block.

Another powerful motivator you can use to encourage your writing is money! If you love writing but your day job keeps you away from it most of the time, you'll be happy to learn that you can earn a living working as a freelance writer.

Ready to get started? Head over to our Freelance Writing Jobs board for tons of job listings from high-paying clients!

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing Jobs Newsletter
Subscribe to receive information, free guides and tutorials