Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tips for Maintaining Motivation and Battling the Internet Blues

Hello, chaps.

Today I'm going to talk about ways to keep yourself motivated. This isn't a guide to getting out of a rut or besting the dreaded Block, just ways I've come up with for getting past "I'm not blocked I just don't want to write" syndrome and internet distractions. My own Pinterest boards are some that get me. 'Cause looking at a storyboard I created for the story I'm writing counts as writing, right?

No. It's just distracting and gets me out of the story. Maybe, maybe I'll find something that helps, but that hardly ever happens.

So, here are my ideas:

  1. Set goals: I've done this a couple of ways. When I participated in 100-for-100, I had to write 100 words a day for 100 days, end of subject. And 100 words is easy. Sometimes I would get in the flow and end up writing more.  Another thing I've done is tell myself that I need to write X many words before a certain time. A way to get around internet distractions is I've told myself that I had to right X many words before I check email or Pinterest or whatever.
  2. Set a time limit: This is similar to the one above, in that I've told myself I couldn't get on the internet until I'd written for a certain amount of time.
  3. Turn off the internet: A good way to avoid the internet is by making it hard to get on it. Close down the browser, email, and disconnect the WiFi.
  4. Make a really scary consequence for failure to reach the word goal: Remember that time at the beginning of this year when I made a vow to read a book a week? Yeah, that failed. A consequence I've been considering is writing a really short story about a zombie romance. That's not going to happen. The reading time lost is consequence enough. Anyway, it would be easy to set up a similar consequence for failing to reach a word goal.
  5. Get competitive: Compete with a writing friend in a word war. Pretend the fate of the world rests on you winning said war. I know of a case where two guys did an extreme word war, the loser of which had to sing and preform a song written by the winner. The result was The Pirate Baron Theme Song. They posted a video of it on YouTube here, and it is hilarious. That was their second extreme word war. In the first one, the loser had to eat a chocolate-covered grasshopper. There's a video of that one too (there should be a link in the other video) and I suggest you watch the first part just to see the excerpt he included of what he wrote for the war (before he actually eats the grasshopper). Hilarious.
  6. Set up a point system: Erin from Laughing at Live Dragons created a point system for herself to motivate her to write, and she posted about it in this post. She gives herself one point for every one hundred words she writes. I think that's a brilliant idea, and I'm working on an editing version.
  7. Check out a motivation website: is designed to get to you to write 750 words a day. You post what you've written in their word processor, and then it analyzes your writing and tells you cool stuff about it, like what it's rated, what words you used the most often, emotions you used, etc. There's also Write Or Die, but I've never used it myself. The hardest setting you can put it on is called Kamikaze, and it starts deleting what you've written if you don't write fast enough. I think that's insane, but some people like it. There are other, less severe modes, that just make annoying noises or something if you don't write fast enough.  Another one is Written? Kitten! and it gives you a new picture of a kitten after you write so many words. Too bad there isn't a Written? Dragon! That would be fun.
  8. Hold yourself accountable: I'm participating in NaNoCritMo this month, so I have a critique partner waiting for new chapters of my story (hi, Kendra!).  Having someone waiting to read your story, an alpha reader, crit petc, can be good motivation. Hold yourself accountable for getting it to him/her on time.

So! There you have it. Hopefully one of you lovely readers will find it helpful.

And a good afternoon/morning/evening/whatever to you. 


  1. Very useful! Reward systems work well, too. My problem is I can never think of a good reward....

  2. Yes, why isn't there a Written?Dragon!? That's a dreadful oversight!
    Another way to defeat the "don't get distracted on the internet" syndrome is write your first draft in a notebook... with a pen. That's right, turn off the computer entirely.

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Yes, there is that. A very good way to stay off the Internet. My problem is my hand can't physically write fast enough to satisfy my head. And if I go faster it's barely legible. :P

      Though that is how I wrote my very first story.

    2. I still write my novel first drafts in notebooks. But that doesn't mean I that once I get on the computer, I always have it easy getting off. :)


  3. I've tried Write or Die, but it didn't quite work for me. Written? Kitten! is fun though. I like using notebooks sometimes ... depends on the project. I actually have pretty legible handwriting, even going at high speed. Now, whether or not all the words get on the paper, or every letter in every word, that's another story, but we won't go there.