Writing a Book: How to Stay Motivated and Avoid Procrastination

Last Updated: 

June 12, 2024

Do you often find yourself starting with a brilliant idea for a story, only to hit a roadblock and feel overwhelmed with how to proceed? Sometimes you get filled with excitement and inspiration in writing but then all of a sudden, your mind goes blank.

Many writers experience this frustration, where the initial spark fizzles out, leaving them stressed and uncertain about moving the story forward. Join us as we delve into how you can overcome obstacles like writer's block and self-doubt while learning how to write a book, find motivation, and enhance your writing skills. Say goodbye to writer's block and hello to a fulfilling writing experience!

Key takeaways on staying motivated while writing a book

  1. Building a Solid Foundation: Lay a strong groundwork for your story by defining the central theme, main characters, and plot points.
  2. Finding Your Motivation: Discover your unique motivation for writing. This passion and purpose will fuel your journey.
  3. Outlining Your Work: Develop a detailed outline to guide you through the writing process, ensuring a cohesive and well-structured narrative.
  4. Managing Time Effectively: Schedule regular writing times to form a habit and set daily goals to track your progress.
  5. Creating Memorable Characters: Develop unique traits, backgrounds, and motivations for your characters to bring them to life and connect with readers.
  6. Overcoming Writer's Block: Engage in inspiring activities or dedicated writing practice to overcome creative roadblocks.
  7. Choosing Your Publication Path: Decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing based on your needs and resources.
  8. Staying Persistent: Embrace discipline and determination, using challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.
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Building the Foundation of Your Work

Embarking on a book-writing journey can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting on it. However, by understanding the key elements of how to write a book such as establishing a clear vision of the story's central theme, characters, and major plot points–you can lay a solid foundation for your writing endeavour. 

This vision serves as the roadmap that guides you throughout the book-writing process, ensuring coherence and focus. With a strong vision in place, you'll find yourself confidently navigating the exciting world of storytelling.

Find Your Motivation 

According to Jerry Jenkins, who is best known for the Left Behind series, and who also provides valuable guidance and insights on the art of writing, the first step you must do to start writing is to know your purpose and goal. There are many motivations to write a book, but the most common ones include a desire to share your story and knowledge with others or to express your creativity and imagination. 

Writing a book can also be a fulfilling personal achievement, and can offer a sense of contribution to society. He mentioned that the best motivation to write a book will come from within, driven by your passion and purpose for the project. 

So don't be hesitant to explore what motivates you to write. Because every writer, including you, has their own special motivation for writing.

Creating an Outline for Your Work

Many writers face challenges when they get excited about an idea but fail to fully note it down, leading to chaos during the writing process. This can result in forgotten brilliant ideas, sequences, or words that bring the story to life. 

To ensure a well-structured and cohesive narrative, Jenkins highlights the significance of outlining by saying “But trust me—with a reliable blueprint, you can get unstuck and finally write your book.” Outlines serve as roadmaps, guiding you through the writing process and helping you maintain a consistent flow. This also provides a bird's-eye view of the entire book, making it easier to identify and address potential plot holes or pacing issues. It allows writers to organise their thoughts, develop subplots, and craft a strong conflict and resolution arc that keeps readers eagerly turning the pages.

An outline for a book can be as short as one page but can serve as a very crucial part of writing a book. It's important because it helps guide authors through the writing process and keep the story consistent. This also allows you to organise your thoughts, develop subplots, and craft a strong conflict and resolution arc that keeps readers eagerly turning the pages. So take a deep breath and calmly outline your ideas before proceeding to writing immediately. 

Time Management 

Managing Your Time When Writing a Book
Source: Pexels

Once you’ve finally outlined your piece, aim to schedule at least six hours a week for writing. Establishing a regular pattern of writing, with the same times and days, is ideal as it helps to develop a habit. 

Setting a daily writing goal for the number of chapters or pages can be a helpful strategy to maintain progress and stay motivated throughout your writing journey. By establishing a clear target, you can focus your efforts and make steady progress toward completing your work. 

Also, manage your time to be able to reach crucial deadlines, such as when you’re going to publish your book. Avoid cramming your time because it might affect the quality of your story. If you’re running late on your book then it won’t hurt to move back your publication date.

Although it's essential to indulge in your passion for writing, it's equally important to prioritise personal time and family. Balancing your writing aspirations with self-care and quality time with loved ones is crucial for overall well-being and maintaining healthy relationships.

Giving Life to Your Characters

In writing, memorable books are often defined by the impact of their story and characters on readers. It is crucial to carefully consider your characters' personalities and their role in the story, as they can significantly influence their flow and purpose. Character development plays a vital role in creating a lasting impression and shaping the overall narrative. 

To give personality to each character in their book, you can focus on creating distinct traits, backgrounds, and motivations for each character. By developing unique speech patterns, mannerisms, and beliefs, you can bring your characters to life and make them more relatable to readers. Additionally, showing characters' emotions, desires, and flaws through their actions and interactions will further enhance their individuality and depth.

Have fun and explore different personalities for your characters. Don't feel restricted to the first idea you had. Experiment and find the personality that best suits your character and story.

Unlocking the Creative Flow

Writer's block can be a formidable adversary, leaving you feeling stuck and unable to progress. However, there are strategies to overcome this hurdle. When faced with a creative roadblock, you should take a step back and engage in activities that inspire you. 

Reading books, exploring nature, or simply taking a break to relax can help rejuvenate the mind and spark fresh ideas. Additionally, you can also try to write through the block by setting aside a specific time each day to write, regardless of the quality or direction of your work. This dedicated practice can help break down mental barriers and unleash the creative flow.

So, if you find yourself roadblocked and unable to take your ideas forward, be nice and compassionate to yourself because you’re still human after all!

Book Publication

As an author, you have two options when publishing your book. It can either be traditional or self-publishing.

Traditional publishers shoulder all the responsibilities and expenses involved in publishing a book. They handle tasks such as editing, proofreading, typesetting, printing, cover art and design, promotion, advertising, warehousing, shipping, billing, and author royalty payments.

On the other hand, self-publishing means taking full responsibility for every aspect of publishing your book. You become the publisher, the one in charge of finances and decision-making. You have control over every step, from choosing who handles each task to approving or rejecting it, and ultimately paying for it. However, the term "self-publishing" can be a bit misleading because what you're paying for is not the publishing itself, but the printing of your book.

As Jenkins mentioned, “Writing a book is a herculean task, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” Don't let challenges hinder your writing progress. These obstacles should serve as stepping stones for growth and improvement. Embrace your strength and confidence to keep writing because learning from past mistakes can refine your skills.

You Deserve the Spotlight

After finally learning how to write a book, always keep in mind that maintaining motivation and overcoming procrastination is essential. By setting clear objectives, establishing a writing schedule, and taking responsibility for your progress, you can resist the temptation to procrastinate. 

Embracing discipline and persistence becomes crucial, even in the face of challenges and self-doubt. Remember, your story holds significance, and it deserves to be shared with the world. Stay dedicated, stay motivated, and continue writing, as your words have the potential to create a meaningful impact.

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