Write Your Non-Fiction BookMarch 27, 2023
The Importance of Being EditedOctober 17, 2023
Once the initial excitement of your book idea wears off you are left with one task – to write the book! It’s at this point I receive the most messages from new writers asking for advice on motivation.
What is motivation?
The Oxford Dictionary defines motivation as a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. For example, escape can be a strong motivation to travel.
As a writer, you need the motivation to see your writing project through to the end and still have enough for further titles.
I am currently working on my nineteenth book, not including the planners and eBooks I produce for my writing mentor business. Even though I have a tried and tested writing process I still suffer from a lack of motivation from time to time. It’s normal!
Here are some of the ways I help myself to stay motivated and the techniques and advice I give my clients when they are struggling.
- Always remember who you are writing for
If you have taken part in any of my writing challenges, used my planner, taken my online course, or worked with me directly you will know how much I love doing the ideal reader avatar exercise. Understanding who you are writing your book for you is the first step in staying motivated.
When you write non-fiction books it’s for a specific reason. Your reader is searching for a solution to their challenge and you are providing that. For example, if you are a nutritionist writing about food and well-being during menopause, you will know your target reader is a woman aged between 45 and 55. Her symptoms are driving her crazy and she wants to improve her health, stop feeling out of control, and find a few tips and tricks to beat brain fog or hot flashes.
Focusing on that one lady who needs your help can be enough to keep you motivated. YOU are the solution to her problems, you are going to transform her world and change her life!
- Become a plotter
Before I discovered the process of outlining my books I had never finished anything. My desk drawer was full of half-written manuscripts.
Learning how to outline (plot) a book skyrocketed my productivity and I ended up writing eighteen books in ten years.
Having a plan of action and small steps to follow is vital for your motivation. Think of the last time you took a road trip. You knew the destination and with the help of an A-Z or satnav, you could plot out the journey. It’s the same with writing a book. With a roadmap, you don’t get to overthink your writing process.
Outlines help you stay focused and motivated and they also reduce writer’s block or any fears you have about writing your book.
- Find your writing rhythm
You will see so many authors giving you advice about writing every day. While it’s great to get into a regular writing habit, I understand how difficult that can be. I’m a single mum of three and a business owner. Writing every day is impossible for me unless it’s a short challenge like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Instead, I block out every Thursday morning to work on my books and have free time on weekends. That works for me because I’m single and have no partner to worry about. My kids are now grown up so they don’t need me as they once did as toddlers. When they were younger I would write at night after putting them to bed.
My writing rhythm has changed and evolved with me. The advice I give my writing clients is to play around with days and times until something clicks. It might be allocating two hours every Monday after the school run, or an hour every Wednesday night when the kids are at their swimming lesson.
Tell your family and friends about your writing time and be fiercely loyal to it.
- Shovel sand and then build your sandcastle
I get asked about publishing books a lot. In fact, for most new writers it’s the first question they ask before writing a single word of their book.
Most of us dwell in the past or the future and fail to embrace being in the now. Writing a book is a perfect example of that. However, if you leave the future (publishing your book) aside and focus on the now (writing your book) it will help you produce something fairly quickly and cut out the ‘what next?’ elements.
When I write my first draft I think of it as shovelling sand into a sandpit. I write the entire manuscript like one huge brain dump. Only when I have the first draft do I begin to go over my words, rewrite, and edit. I begin to build the sandcastle!
When you are so hung up on the next steps and how you’re going to market and sell your book you miss out on the joy of writing it. This passion is a huge motivational driving force.
- Get passionate
That leads me nicely to your reason for writing this book. Why did you want to write? What do you have to gain from writing and publishing? Is the topic or theme something that makes your heart sing?
Being passionate about your book is a great way to stay motivated. You want to write your book. No, you NEED to write your book! Tap into that passion when you’re having a rough day and the blank page is making you twitchy. Remember your why when the words aren’t flowing as well as you hoped.
The biggest piece of advice I can leave you with about motivation is that you are in control of it.
When I have days where I struggle to motivate myself I’ll push through. I sit my bum in the chair and tell myself I’ll write 50 words. That usually turns into 500 once I get started.
I use writing prompts as a warm-up exercise. That might be writing a blog post or short story before working on my book, or jotting down what I can see and hear outside my window. The act of writing something is often motivation enough.
Would you benefit from an accountability partner as you write your book?
I set up my monthly writing mentorship to help my clients through those moments when their motivation wanes. I wanted to provide them with accountability as well as support, honest feedback, and guidance.
If you’re interested in joining my mentorship then drop me an email at email@example.com and we can have a chat.
For £49 a month, you get a 1:1 mentoring call over Zoom with me to talk through your book, set goals, ask questions, read your work, or whatever you may need help with. You also get a 3-hour monthly group co-writing session online which is a great safe space dedicated to your writing.
Check out my shop for free writing resources or join my Facebook Group for more support, articles, writing prompts, and accountability threads.