Using morning pages for writing motivation

Using morning pages for writing motivation

Writing motivation varies naturally at different stages of the writing process. Jotting down ideas and scene sketches in the morning is a good way to make writing daily second nature. Learn more about using morning pages for writing motivation:

1. Start with a clear goal

When you’re working on building writing motivation, it’s helpful to assess your goals for different periods of time. For example, ask yourself:

  • What do I hope to accomplish over the next year?
  • What do I hope to accomplish in the next five years?
  • How can I take concrete steps to reach the above goals?

2. Start with scheduling morning goals within your control

Keep in mind that it is best if you focus on goals that are within your control.

You may include goals like getting published by a traditional publisher. However, others (editors, book designers, agents) also are involved in this.

What you have the most control over is how much you write. How often you write (thus developing your craft). How often you submit your work (and get back up when the response is an explicit or implied ‘no’).

Calendarize time every morning, even just 15 minutes, to work on a goal that is:

  • Attainable today
  • Easily repeated
  • Rewarding

It could be writing 250 words of a scene, or creating a quick character profile.

3. Switch up how you use your mornings

Variety is the spice of keeping your writing momentum going.

You may want to alternate between days when you use the pages to work out problems in your fiction and brainstorm new ideas, and days when you specifically use them to just write.

The advantage of planning ahead is you have a map to follow. Procrastination is born from indecision.

Morning writing motivation quote - Carlos Fuentes

4. Figure out what works for you

If you force yourself to stick to a schedule that requires you to work when you are struggling with motivation, you may be setting yourself up to fail.

It may take a bit of experimentation, but figure out what type of routine works for you.

5. Try new approaches in morning motivation sessions

A lack of motivation in writing may have a variety of origins.

Yet there are many possible solutions.

Freewriting is one helpful aproach. You might feel unmotivated because writing has lost an element of play. Make it a game again. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Choose a topic, theme, character, word, idea. Write whatever comes into your head while keeping this chosen object in the back of your mind.

6. Write about your lack of motivation

Writing about your lack of motivation as your morning pages exercise may help you to diagnose the problem.

Here are a few questions you can use as guidelines to help you identify the root issue:

  • Are you under a particular amount of stress in other areas of your life that is distracting you when you try to write?
  • How is your physical environment for writing? Is is quiet enough or busy enough? Some people work better in coffee shops or other public surroundings than in solitude. Do you have a comfortable place to sit? Is the temperature good?
  • Are you dealing with a particular problem in your story? Can you identify it, or do you simply feel stuck?

If you find that outside stresses unrelated to your writing or writing space are the problem, this is an excellent opportunity to use morning pages.

Journal about the stressful circumstance. Express thoughts, anxieties, feelings until they are no longer distracting you from your more passionate task.

Writing in the morning - Tom Robbins quote | Now Novel

7. Get help from a writing coach

Finally, we often lose our writing motivation when we are going it alone and making the same mistakes.

A writing coach will help you by keeping you accountable to your writing goals, checking in regularly and providing an objective yet insightful wall to bounce ideas off.

Learn more about Now Novel’s author coaching plans.

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