We’ve all been there. The dreaded writer’s block and lack of motivation to write are both paralyzing and frustrating. We fill our heads with “shoulds” and feel like our dream is slipping away in a blaze of overwhelm.
It does not have to be this way. The key is to get organized so that you always know what to work on next. It's much easier to sit down and get started when you remove the mystery, have fewer decisions to make, and you never need to start from scratch.
If you want to learn how to blog consistently and leave writers block behind, this is the guide for you.
How to Get Inspired to Write
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a blog or writing a book; consistent writing is key. Writing is like a marathon rather than a sprint, and it’s a prolonged, steady pace that lets you accomplish your goals.
1. Write First, Edit Later
One critical tip for how to write consistently is to do exactly that…write!
The easiest way to throw off your writing flow is to alternate between your creative mind and an editorial lense.
My advice is to begin with a blog post outline so your writing has structure. Once your outline is done, dive into your writing head first, and don’t pause for edits until the piece is done.
Feel free to research and properly cite sources while writing. But, the key is to avoid getting into the weeds with minor edits and second guessing your writing until it’s really time to buckle down and edit.
2. Develop a System
I’ve been blogging for 16 years.
Over that time, I ran my own site where I published six days a week. Plus, as a full-time editor, I'm working on 100's of articles at a time over various clients.
This is an immense amount of content, but it’s manageable because I’ve developed a system to produce consistent content. Ultimately, this ensures I don’t miss publishing days and can consistently write and edit to keep readers engaged.
A lot goes into developing a content management system, from researching topic ideas to organizing your workflow.
You can actually get my exact content management system right here. This is the same system I use to plan all the content here at Hit Publish and all the other sites I've run over the years.
3. Learn SEO
If you’re struggling to write consistently because you don’t know what to write about, I have some great news.
One of the easiest ways to blog consistently is to use search engine optimization, or SEO, as a guide.
With SEO, you can identify specific keywords and topics people are searching for. In turn, this helps you create a post calendar of articles to write. It also ensures your posts are working towards getting more blog traffic to grow your audience.
Keyword research is just one part of SEO. However, it’s free and fast to start if you use the Google Keyword Planner:
This tool lets you research:
- Different groups of keyword ideas based on a topic
- The monthly search volume for specific keywords
- Competition scores for keywords
The example above shows some article ideas you could draw inspiration from if you run a productivity blog. However, the Google Keyword Planner works for any blogging niche and is useful for generating new article ideas if you’re stuck.
4. Focus on Small Habits
Learning how to write consistently is like building any other habit: it takes time and consistency.
So, unsurprisingly, you can’t jump into blogging and expect to be pumping out quality, 2,000 word posts every day.
If you want to write consistently, start by building small habits. Examples include:
- Writing 200 words before bed every night
- Getting up an hour early twice per week to work on your blog
- Taking Sunday afternoon to write
It’s okay if it takes time to increase your output and quality. The entire point is to start out small to ensure you stay motivated.
5. Change Your Environment
If there’s one easy trick to get motivated to write, it’s to change your writing environment.
I know a lot of writers, and different tricks work for different people.
For some, writing in cafes is where productivity is highest. For others, a pristine, quiet writing den at home is where the magic happens.
You know yourself best. What makes you feel in the zone and lets you hone your focus?
For me, it's different things at different times. Mostly I work in my silent home office. But sometimes I do head down to a cafe. The cafe works for me because I feel dumb if people see me scrolling Facebook in Starbucks. I feel like they are thinking “You came all the way out here and set up all your stuff just to look at Facebook?” So it helps me stay on task.
6. Tackle Difficult Writing First
Another trick to get motivated to write is to tackle your hardest writing tasks first while your brain is still fresh.
This might sound counterproductive. After all, tough blog posts or book chapters that require arduous amounts of research can be draining.
But, it’s always best to write your most challenging content when your mind is at its sharpest because this is the most efficient use of your time. Plus, this means you can take on more routine writing tasks later in the day, such as responding to emails or scheduling your social media, that require less mental energy.
6. Set Weekly and Monthly Writing Goals
Finding the inspiration to write for a day or two is one thing.
Learning how to stay inspired to write and to truly turn writing into a part of your everyday life requires a bit more planning.
This is sort of like going to the gym or sticking with a new meal plan; it’s easy to get excited for the first few days, but what really counts is hitting your weekly and monthly targets.
So, my advice is to set definable weekly and monthly writing goals like a number of articles to publish. Weekly goals help you stay organized each day, and your monthly goals are a more macro-level view of your writing progress.
If you ever feel demotivated, use your goals as a finish line to focus on.
7. Network with Other Bloggers
One useful source of writing inspiration that’s often overlooked is your own network.
It’s easy to view other bloggers or writers in your niche as competition. However, like any field, learning from others who are performing at a higher level than you is the perfect way to improve your skills.
Personally, I love to read other blogs in my niche to get inspired. What sort of content are they writing? How do they structure their blog posts, or use affiliate links, in ways I haven’t thought of?
You can always learn from people in your network or niche, so don’t be afraid to look to others for a source of writing inspiration.
8. Join a Writing Accountability Group
Need help sitting down to write on a regular basis? Join a writing accountability group if you need help staying accountable.
The Hit Publish Writing Hour meets every Wednesday at 7:00pm. We all write quietly for one hour. It's amazing how much work you can get done when you're sitting there working with others. I can't explain how it works… but it does.
9. Avoid Burning Out
Writing inspiration feels incredible in the moment. However, it’s also important to sustain that motivation for as long as possible.
Every writer goes through peaks and valleys with their writing energy. This is totally normal. But, it’s important to avoid burning out entirely and to ditch your writing for good.
Some tricks to avoid writing burnout and to maintain your excitement include:
- Sticking to your weekly and monthly goals
- Taking weekends off
- Taking vacations if you’re a full-time writer
- Keeping up with other hobbies
Additionally, it’s alright to skip a day here or there if you’re absolutely at a loss for what to write. People call in sick to work or take personal days, and if you’re a full-time blogger or writer, this is also okay.
10. Take Meaningful Breaks
If your writing breaks involve spending 10 minutes on Instagram or quickly folding laundry before getting back to the grind, I have a word of advice.
Writing is actually exhausting for your brain. After a few hours at the keyboard, it’s important to take a real break from writing and to put your mind on a different track.
And no, scrolling through memes on Instagram doesn’t count!
I love Pomodoros. This is where you work for a set amount of time – say 20 or 30 minutes – and then take a short break. I do 30 mins of work with a 5 minute break.
But the break MUST be offline. Taking your hands and eyes off your computer only to put them on your phone is not a break.
Here are some good break ideas:
- Read a few pages of a good book
- Play with the dog or pet your cat
- Watch the birds out the window
- Take a walk around the block
The final point I want to stress about getting motivated to write is that everyone is a bit different.
I know writers who work up to writing 5,000 words a day, every day, and they almost never miss a day of work.
In contrast, I know writers who are more sporadic; one week they’re writing an entire novel and the next week they want to set their laptop on fire. (This is me.)
The bottom line is, once again, you need to develop a system that works for you. As you spend more time writing, it also becomes clear what this system should look like.
Don't forget, you can pick up my exact content management system right here.