Step away from the computer. Well, read this first and then step away from the computer.
I really do feel like it’s that simple. When you sit and stare at the screen for a while, and the words are just not flowing, it’s time for a break.
I read a really great blog the other day about making time to do nothing. Doing nothing leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work. Then I also read another blog about “hustling” in creative ways that refresh you rather than drain you so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting time.
Some days, when I don’t have time to take a break and “get in the mood,” and I really have to spend time writing, I still take a couple of minutes to get into the right mindset. Go back to the beginning and think about why you are sitting here writing. Somewhere in history, you made a choice to be here (and if you don’t truly believe that, maybe you’re in the wrong place).
What brought you to where you are? Is this a stepping stone to get to something else? If you’re at your destination, what is your passion that brought you into this job?
Cultivate a feeling of gratitude for being able to do what you love (the other 80% of the time that you’re not writing, or whatever). Also, cultivate a feeling of excitement for what’s going to be done with this written masterpiece of yours. With this manuscript, I will reach others with my findings. They will be inspired by my work and it will snowball into something bigger. Maybe this could even be the contributing factor to a huge paradigm shift in the field.
Having positive thoughts about the writing process can only make your job easier. I was saddened but not surprised by the amount of dread I saw in my peers during grad school when it was time for us to write our dissertations. I personally didn’t mind that part, but that’s why I’m a writer! Most people don’t have positive associations with writing. If that’s you, try tricking your brain into thinking you like it until you can get it done.
Other resources that I use to get motivated include (I am not being sponsored, these are truly some of my favorites!):