I’ve always loved writing. Ever since I was a child I’ve been writing in some form or another. It started off as a diary, moved onto poetry, morphed into books, which then turned into academic essays and now, I spend most of my time blogging. And yet, while I spent a vast amount of my childhood writing and while most of my working and free time is spent writing in some form or another now – I still sometimes struggle to find the words to say what I want to. So, on those days – how do I motivate myself to write?
01. Start each day by writing
Before I even look at my laptop or give myself a chance to scroll through my phone, I grab a cup of tea, a pen and some paper. Some mornings I simply write my to-do list. Other days I scrawl down some thoughts. Some days it is ideas for future blog posts. And sometimes, on those days I’m really struggling, I give myself a prompt and go from there. I only write for the duration of my tea but kick starting my day in this way has not only improved my writing over the years, it has also proved to be a brilliant way of getting my mind thinking creatively right from the offset.
02. Pick up a book
Sometimes I simply do not know what to write and I fall into a loophole of scrolling through the internet for hours instead. On those days it doesn’t matter whether I’m looking at a piece of paper, a typewriter or my laptop. I just have no ideas. And so, instead of letting myself wander aimlessly across the internet, I give up trying to write at all and pick up a book instead. I’m a firm believer that if you want to write well, you need to read well. So each day I try to push myself to read – no matter if that is only five or fifty pages. It still makes a difference.
03. Write for fun
As much as I love writing, sometimes writing for a purpose can be a bit draining. And as much as I do sometimes find the internet to be a source of inspiration, now that I work on it, it can occasionally feel like more of a chore than anything. Every now and again I find that I need to go back to those childhood days, before I even contemplated using a computer, when I wrote for no other reason than the fact that I loved it.
04. Give up
I promise this point isn’t as negative as it sounds. But there are days when I find that I can’t write anything at all. And so on those days I stop trying and I make a point of doing something that inspires me – whether that is going for a walk, a long ride on my horse or even a shopping trip. Whatever I decide to do, I make sure that it is far away from any computer and I stop trying to think about writing anything at all. Nine times out of ten? I come home full of inspiration from the world around me.
05. Go back to the basics and buy some really nice stationery
But really, nothing makes me want to write more than having the perfect stationery. And no laptop, phone or tablet will ever beat the thrill of writing in a notebook for the first time. For my birthday I was bought a quartz gemstone pen that is meant to inspire the written word. Call me superstitious (because I am) but I use it all the time now and whether it is a placebo effect or not, I always find that I write better with it in my hand.
However, perhaps even more important than the pen, is finding a good notebook to write in. I’ve been through my fair share in the past, from ring-binders to plain papered notebooks and they’ve all served the purpose but if I want to write really well, I have to find myself an exceptional notebook. One that is as beautiful as it is practical. And recently I was lucky enough to be sent a Beatnik leather journal from Central Crafts which ticked all of the boxes. Since it arrived last week and I took it out of its wonderful canvas packaging, I’ve spent every spare second I have been able to muster up simply writing in it.
With its ethically sourced leather cover and recycled ivory pages that have been carefully hand stitched together, it is the perfect remedy for the days when my writers block is being particularly prevalent. Because nothing makes you feel more like a writer than a good old leather notebook, does it? And, as the pages are thick enough to stop the ink seeping through I can write away to my hearts content without being tempted to go back to my laptop due to unsightly splodges appearing when I turn the page.
And let’s be honest, nothing beats writing by hand! Even now I love the way that physically writing can ignite my imagination in a way that tapping away at a keyboard rarely does. I love the way that it transports me back to the days when I was a child and I just wrote for fun. And I love that it makes me feel like a ‘professional’ writer – because all of the good authors in any good film always write in old leather notebooks, right?
Plus, when your initials are proudly engraved onto the front cover of a beautiful leather journal it would be rude not to spend every waking second writing down your next big idea in it…
What do you do when all you really want to do is write but you just can’t seem to find the words? Let me know in the comments!