illustrated image of sun setting at horizon of the ocean, dos and don'ts of motivating yourself to write a book

Motivation and discipline are important factors in writing a book. It’s not uncommon, however, for writers to experience difficulties in maintaining their motivation during the writing process. That said, there are several strategies writers can use to keep themselves motivated and on track. Setting goals, creating a writing routine, and taking breaks are all ways writers can remain focused on finishing their books.

Keep reading for more dos and don’ts on motivating yourself to write a book.

Don’t Treat Writing Like a Hobby

Many aspiring writers tend to believe that writing is a hobby—and it can be if you’re not intending to write and publish a book. To write a book, however, it’s important to take your craft seriously. This entails setting aside consistent and dedicated amounts of time for writing. Create a schedule that prioritizes your writing.

Do Treat Writing Like a Job

Think of writing as a job you have. Your writing deserves the same level of professionalism that you would put into a position where you earn a paycheck. This means you show up on time each day to do your work. You take the time to thoroughly research your topic. You carefully edit your work. And you receive feedback from others.

Don’t Write Only When the Mood Strikes

Writing only when you’re in the mood is a common mistake that many new writers make. The truth is, the mood to write will rarely strike, so you’ll never make progress if you wait for the right mood.

Writing requires self-discipline. One effective strategy to remain committed is to set a specific time each day for writing and make it a priority. When you establish a routine, writing can become a more natural and effortless process.

Do Boost Your Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is one of the most important traits any writer can have. It’s a skill that takes time and effort to cultivate, but one way to boost your self-discipline is to set small goals for yourself to achieve.

For example, you could start with a goal of writing for 30 minutes a day for a week. Then, increase your goal to write 45 minutes a day for the next week, and so on.

Don’t Wing It

Many writers make the mistake of diving into their writing process without any clear direction or plan in mind. While some writers can successfully produce a quality piece without a plan, most will find themselves feeling stuck or lost at some point in the writing process.

To avoid this situation, it’s best to take the time to brainstorm and create an outline or plan for your book before you begin writing. With organized thoughts and a clear structure, you won’t lose sight of your key ideas while writing.

Do Know Your Why

Knowing why you want to write a book is a key element to staying motivated. Reflect on your personal motivations and write them down. When you’re feeling unmotivated, revisit your reasons for writing your book to remind yourself why it’s important to you.

Don’t View Writing as a Punishment

If you view writing as an arduous task, you’ll never enjoy the process. Instead, think and view writing as a rewarding experience and celebrate your small victories.

For instance, when you hit your word count goal or finish writing a chapter, take a moment to appreciate the progress you’ve made. When you keep those positive moments in mind, you’re better able to shift your perspective on writing and enjoy the process.

Do Set Achievable Goals You Want to Meet

Set goals that excite you, challenge you, and motivate you to finish writing your manuscript. This way, you’ll be sure that you’re working toward something that is fulfilling to you. When you take goals one step at a time, you can track your progress and celebrate achievements along the way, which can be a powerful source of motivation in and of itself.