But what about those times when you don't feel like it? You're tired, drained, and ready to throw yourself from the highest tower because nothing is getting done. (Hey, when you're tired and drained it's easy to be over dramatic!) For me, it seems, these kinds of days far out number the other ones. But it's not like I can sit around and wait for the Creativity Fairy to appear in a puff of smoke, slap me across the face with her fist of magic productivity, fairy dust flying everywhere, and bestow some mystical motivation on my sorry butt.
So, if there's no Creativity Fairy then what's a writer to do? Here are some of my tried and true methods for keeping going even when you don't want to.
Set an alarm
Give yourself a finite time frame where you do nothing but work. Turn off the T.V. Back away from Twitter and only allow yourself to write. Then when the timer goes off, take a break. Set your alarm for that, too. Go get an iced mocha or watch 30 minutes of your favorite show then jump back into it. Another hour on the clock and go.
Do this as many times as you need to. Even if you only manage to get an hour of writing time in it's more than you did before. And when you allow yourself a set amount then you're not wasting your entire day staring at the screen and jumping back and forth from your project to facebook and not actually getting anything done. (Been there!)
Also, there's something about racing the clock that makes me want to write faster.
Get a writing buddy
I love when I get a message from one of my writer friends on twitter asking to do a 1k1hr challenge. Grab a friend, tell them that at a certain time you are going to do nothing but write for one hour. At the end of the hour your goal is to have written 1,000 words.
Add some competition. It's like when I exercise, if I'm by myself it's easy to say "screw it, I'm only walking for 10 minutes then I'm calling it a day" but when I'm with a friend it's like "if she can do it I can do it!" and I end up pushing myself and getting more done. Friendly competition is healthy and motivating. I highly recommend it :)
Know that you can always fix it in edits
So what if you're brain is shot? So what if you can't think of the right word? Write 'blah blah' in it's place, highlight it and come back later. (Yeah, I've actually written 'blah blah' into my manuscript.) If you adopt the motto that it can be fixed it later it allows you to take some of the pressure off. Without the stress of being perfect it's a lot easier to get more done. Take the stress out of it and just get the story down. Fine tune it later.
Cut out distractions
For the love of God, get off the internet. Stop pinning, stop tweeting, don't look at the kitties doing funny things.
Sometimes, when I absolutely can't concentrate long enough to work and I keep ending up on Pinterest, I'll leave the computer behind. I've been known to bust out a pen and paper, old school style, and jot down a quick scene that way. It's a pain at times to type it up afterward but, honestly, I end up adding to it and making it a fuller scene and then it's easy to keep going. Like a kick start. It gets you going then you can run with the momentum.
I'm sure there are a ton of other ways and I'll probably think of more after I post this :) but these are a few of my alternatives to the Creativity Fairy. That damn fairy is so flakey.