How to Get Motivated to Write

Whether you are writing a direct mail piece or a newsletter, inspiration is always a tricky thing. As a writer, I've come across the dreaded writer's block numerous times. Sometimes it can be hard to be motivated to write; even if it's for your organization.
What works for me isn't necessarily going to work for you. Everyone has their own methods of getting motivated. However, I can provide you with some tips.

Brainstorm: This is a great way to get the ideas flowing. Grab a piece of paper, or better yet, a flip chart and start thinking of words that you want to use in your piece. Write down emotions you want to convey and reactions you want to receive. If you have a chance to bring in someone else, do so. Writing is never a solitary practice. Bring in your colleagues, your friends, even your family to help generate ideas and talk things over. Even if they don't know the topic, it's likely they may have an insight you've never thought of before.

Avoid Stress: The best writing happens when you are focused on it and not the million other things you have to do. Set aside time when you've got it and make sure you aren't disturbed. That includes email and phone calls. One little interruption can break your stream of consciousness.

Play Music: For me, the path to good writing lies in the music I play. Now this is going to differ for everyone. Some people like total silence when they write; I prefer to draw from the emotions of song and use it in my work. Figure out what works for you and stick with it.

Determine the Best Time of Day: My best writing occurs after 4pm. I'm definitely not a morning person and therefore my creative juices are more likely to stir in the afternoon and evening. Build your schedule around the writing time that works best for you.

Don't Plan, Just Write: Sometimes it's hard to get what you want on paper because you have set guidelines/plans in mind that you have to follow. For the first draft, I recommend just getting the words on the paper. It doesn't matter if it's perfect the first time or even what you are looking for; it will provide a jumping off point for future drafts.

Think About Who You Are Writing For: Who is this piece for? What do you imagine they want to hear from you? If it's a donor, maybe a story from a client or a success relating to your organization. Figure out the motivations of your audience and play to them.

Think About Whose Voice You Are Using: If you are an organization, what is your main message? Is it conveyed in this writing piece? If you are writing from a specific person, ask yourself if you are capturing their voice properly.

All of these things can help motivate you when you write and help create better copy. Good Luck!
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