So how are you supposed to break through the distractions, and get down to the work of writing? Usually, lack of motivation means something isn't working in the story, which can be so frustrating. It can make the lack of motivation even worse.
Here are a couple of things that work for me when I've got the Don't-Wannas.
- #1k1hr on Twitter. You can't always find someone game, but those times are rare. If you use the hashtag, you'll usually find someone willing to go head-to-head with you. You write for a solid hour, then report back on Twitter to compare word count. The goal setting, competition, and companionship is usually more than enough to kickstart me.
- Ask your crit partner or beta reader to read your latest chapter or even a few paragraphs and ask them to tell you what they think. Sometimes, I find my CP has just the right questions and ideas to get me moving again.
- Walk away from the computer. The minute I stop trying, I feel more relaxed. And usually, letting my mind wander leads me to a solution.
- Listen to music, especially if you're a playlister like me. I have to have a handful of songs that are meaningful for my current project. Listening to them usually gets me excited about what I'm working on.
- Write an outtake. Sometimes, it's fun to just play with your characters in a scene that doesn't have anything to do with the plot. Or even a scene you think might fit later.
- Fix the problem. Usually, when I'm unmotivated to keep going, it's because I've made a mistake a while back. I need to go back and get rid of whatever has led me to this point in the plot that is now stalled out. Even if it means deleting thousands of words, it might be the only solution.
- Set a deadline. There have been a few projects in my life that were a real bear to finish. I just set myself an arbitrary date to get them done and force marched my way there. It's not romantic, or even fun sometimes, but to me there is no better feeling than putting THE END on something that's been taking up my mental space.