How to Stay Motivated as a Writer | Julia Gousseva | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to Stay Motivated as a Writer

teacher avatar Julia Gousseva, Writer, Creative Writing Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tip #1

    • 3. Tip #2

    • 4. Tip #3

    • 5. Tip #4

    • 6. Tip #5

    • 7. Tip #6

    • 8. Tip #7

    • 9. Tip #8

    • 10. Tip #9

    • 11. Tip #10

    • 12. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

No matter how much you enjoy writing, there will be times when you get stuck, start doubting yourself, and lose all motivation to write. It happens to all writers, so don't think that it only happens to you.

To combat such moments of low motivation, you need to use specific strategies, tools, and techniques to get yourself back on track. This short class offers ten such techniques. These techniques have been tested and proven effective. They work for other writers, and they will work for you.

I hope you enjoy the class and find it helpful! Keep writing!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Julia Gousseva

Writer, Creative Writing Teacher


Julia Gousseva

Writer, Creative Writing Teacher

How to Write an Original Short Story

Have you always wanted to write fiction but don’t know where to start? Have you started writing but got stuck and don’t know how to finish? Do you have ideas but find it hard to develop them into a complete story that makes sense? Or do you experience writer's block, get stuck, and lose motivation?

If you have experienced any of these problems or if you simply want a clear and specific way to develop your idea into a story, you’re in the right place.
This course will present an approach to writing stories that I have developed over a number of years and refined with my students in face-to-face classes.

This approach is a step... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: top 10 tips to motivate yourself the right most people said Gold, right? Maybe your goal is to write a book. Maybe that goal is to lose a few pounds or even start a new business. We all understand what it means to dream for a better life. But what's difficult is to set a specific plan and to follow that plan. That's the hardest part. How do you stay inspired when life gets hard? That's a question. I get a lot of my students, and that one is stuffed to answer. But it's an important one to consider in an important one to answer, because the way you answer it will define your success in so many areas of life, from the art you create to the way you treat yourself on your body and the way you treat your loved ones. Specifically, this is a question that writers often ask themselves. So we're gonna look at 10 methods to stay motivated when it's hard to get your best work out into the world. Are you ready? Let's take a look at the first method 2. Tip #1: the first step is a very simple one. It's Ah to write every day, and of course it's easier said than then. But it's very important to Dio. One of the tricks that artists use and that works very well for writers is to write often. Even when you don't want to type a single word, do it anyway, just right. The whole process of writing triggers something in the brain so that the pathway between your daily routine and your creative side is easier to find. You can create small writing goals that you can achieve every day. For example, you can set a goal like you're going to write 800 words or maybe one page every day. And guess what? At the end of 365 days, you will have a 365 page book, and that's pretty good, isn't it? If you want to complete your book faster, you can write the chapter a day. Make the time that you sit down to write each day a habit. If you set a time to write in the morning, sit down and write at the same time each morning. All right, So that's our goal. And let's take a look at the specific exercise you can do to accomplish that goal. Take a look at your schedule and find the time when you can write every day. And of course, I understand people get busy. Maybe every day is not possible. That's okay. How about every other day, but said a specific schedule. All right, so that's your first exercise. Take a few minutes, do that, and then we will look at tip number two. 3. Tip #2: tip number two is Enjoy the process. Do you remember why you started writing? Do you remember why you want to write what you just want to torture yourself? Or are you enjoying it? While it's important to focus on the final product, it's also important maybe even more important, to focus on the process to enjoy writing scenes, creating characters to enjoy, letting your imagination go wild and play right. So enjoy the process. That's your tip. And let's look at that exercise you can do to help you find that enjoyment. Write down five reasons why you want to write. They want to be a famous author. They want to find the finish a book, maybe make a little bit of money off your words. What are your reasons, then do the opposite. What are you five reasons not to write as you complete your five reasons from from each side? Consider the cost of both doing the work and not doing the work. What do you ultimately want and what are you willing to give? All right, so spend a few minutes on this exercise. I hope it's helpful. And then let's take a look at tip number three 4. Tip #3: tip number three is to gain experience, and we're talking about both life experience and writing experience. Let's take a look at each one of them. Life experience means that you shouldn't be stuck at your computer or with your notebook and just trying to write without any feedback from real life without any real life experiences. What kind of experiences? While travel experiences can be great, and I don't mean travel that has to be exotic and expensive and far away travel can be just going down to, ah, a local park. People watching, looking that life outside of yourself right? So that could be life experience and just being more attention, you can pay more attention to people to sounds around you to your own perceptions and that life experience, as you start writing about that will definitely help you become a better writer. And that brings us to the second point, which is writing experience. And you might be thinking, Wait a second. I'm taking this class because I am not motivated to write, and you're saying that I need writing experience to get motivated. Isn't that a Catch 22? Well, actually, it's not. It's more like a self fulfilling prophecy if you make yourself right. And we talked about this earlier, said the schedule, right? Just for a little bit. Even if you don't like what they output is, even if you don't like what's what you're writing. Just set the goal of writing itself. And as you write more, more ideas will come and more inspiration will come. That works for everybody. So it will work for you. Just try it. All right. Oh, let's take a look at the next tip. 5. Tip #4: tip number four is the set. Small goals. And actually that tip is grounded in the human psychology, and lots of studies have proven that setting small goals helps us achieve higher goals. What they mean by that we all get motivated to reach higher. Once we've met certain minimum goals. Let's say you want to lose weight and you don't know how to start and you're procrastinating. And then finally, you mustered up all your strengthen and courage and willpower, and you lost just a little bit of weight. Once you start losing weight, it's easier to continue losing weight because you motivate yourself by your small results by a small progress in business. That's true as well. Once you've made your first that in the $1 it's easier to make your next the $10 or even $1000. But that initial step between zero and one is the most difficult. So if you are setting yourself a goal of writing a book and that's how we're looking at it , that's the big of a goal. I'm not saying you're not going to write the book. I'm saying that you need to break up that large goal into smaller ones. So maybe your goal is to write a page a day 100 words a day. Write a chapter day, whatever you can dio, and then you can get motivated. Let's look at the specific exercise. So here's the exercise, said the small goal, like writing 10 minutes a day. And every time he accomplished that goal, celebrate and I don't mean threw a huge party. I just mean acknowledge it to yourself, or do something like something small, something nice for yourself to create a positive feedback loop off goal, accomplishment and reward. After a couple of weeks of consistency, increase your goal just a little bit. Maybe 2 15 minutes. Don't increase it too much because you're trying to train your brain for this positive feedback loop, right, and if you increase it too much, then fall behind. You're going to create negative feedback. You don't want that, so just increase a little bit. Let's say the 15 minutes and against celebrate acknowledge every time he accomplished that goal, and you can incrementally continue increasing that time. So some reasonable time and then your habit will develop and you'll be able to write and accomplish your larger goals. All right, let's take a look at the next step 6. Tip #5: get rid of distractions, and it probably sounds obvious. But when I talk to my students, it's amazing how many of them know that they get distracted by their phones by the TV by something else. Yet they don't remove those distractions. So one of the exercises we do in our class, one of the homework assignments for them, is to try doing their homework, doing the writing activities without their phone on or with their phone in a different room . And obviously, if you're waiting for a specific phone call, you can still keep the phone on. But most of us don't. Most of us just get distracted. Reached for the phone. Start checking Facebook updates and things like that. Get rid of all of that. Clean your desk, clean your workspace so that you're less likely to look at something that's not relevant to your writing process, right? I just try. Try it for a little bit. It works for everybody. It will work for you. You will be more effective that way. 7. Tip #6: don't edit as you write. Think about what you're doing to your brain when you're trying to edit and compose create at the same time, these air two very different activities like one is a very creative right, coming up with ideas, composing the plot, creating characters. The other is very detail oriented. When you're looking at sentences spelling, grammar structure, things like that, do not allow yourself to switch between these two different modes all the time. As you're writing, you need to focus on coming up with ideas on that flow of ideas. And when you edit, you start questioning yourself, doubting yourself, criticizing yourself, critiquing yourself. There's a place for that, but not when you're trying to compose. So don't edit as you write. Finish appear great. Finish your story, then go back and edit. 8. Tip #7: remember your big gold, and I don't mean your big goal is to become a famous writer. I'm in your big goal, your overall goal for this specific writing project. A lot of times in my classes, when I ask my students, can you tell me in one sentence what your story is about? They cannot do that. They start talking about events in the story or settings in the story or something else, and that tells me that they don't have that big goal. They don't have that clear idea. They don't know what they're trying to accomplish with their story, and then you know what happens. They get to the middle of it, and it's all very wonderful. All these interesting settings, exciting characters, and then they get stuck because they don't know what to do next. And the that's very demoralizing and the motivating. So here's an exercise for you Before you begin writing, state your idea in a simple seven word sentence. This sentence will be your guideline, the heart of your story. And if you feel that you're losing focus as you writing, they can look at that sentence and make sure that you're on track that you're trying to accomplish that goal. Off course it can change is your right. But if you don't have a goal, you're guaranteed to be meandering, and probably you will not be able to finish your story. 9. Tip #8: pay attention to chapter endings. You probably have heard the word that cliffhanger, right? This is what writers do. If you're reading a book and you feel like you're getting to the end of the chapter, the chapter doesn't tie up all the loose ends, right? It ends on a cliffhanger, and in the old days it was literally somebody hanging on the on the edge of a cliff. And then, of course, the readers want to know what happens. So they turned the page and they start reading the next chapter, while if it works for leaders, it works for writers, and you can use that same cliffhanger approach when you're writing, let's take a look at how you can do that. So one exercise is if you're still writing a chapter ending, then righted in the way that doesn't tie up all loose ends. Something is left the unresolved. And that's what you can start with when you start writing the next day or your next writing session. If you have a chapter written, revised the ending to turn it into a cliffhanger, Perhaps the last couple of paragraphs can become the beginning of the next chapter and This is a strategy that earns Hemingway used quite a lot and he was like a lot of things in his life. It was quite extreme. He said he would finish his daily writing session mid sentence that way when he started back the next day, it would be easy to get into it, right. He would just finish that sentence and then keep going. You can try that. If it's too drastic for you, you can try my exercise with just a cliffhanger ending. All right, I hope it helps. 10. Tip #9: another tip is to read as much as you can, and it may sound obvious, but it's amazing how many people don't do that. Ask yourself how many books How many stories have you read in the past? Let's say six months that are similar to what you're trying to write, and then ask yourself, How many things have you read that are different? You can get history. You can read philosophy. You can get psychology. Anything that you read will definitely help you become a better writer and the better thinker. And if you can think better, you're going to be more interesting to your readers, and your characters are going to be more interesting. So reading definitely is, Ah, great help for any writer. 11. Tip #10: keep things in perspective, writing anything at all. Whether it's a well developed short story or an actual full length novel can be extremely daunting. An unsurmountable wall of possibilities and obstacles can loom before you and questions like Where do I start? Or how can I ever finish can haunt even the most confident wordsmith At times like these, it pays not only to remember that you aren't alone, but also to have a sense of perspective. Tackle things in terms of the bigger picture. Remind yourself that all writers have been where you are and that the only way you can truly fail is just not do it is just to never started all and to feel less intimidated. Remember that writing is just just a few 100 words a day will add up in the long run. Before you know it, you'll have a solid foundation that you can build and expand and improve and refine for every writer. For every writer, every published writer, crafting stories takes time and extensive effort. So don't beat yourself up about the problems you can see with your manuscript or how long your taken to write it. Just take things one word at a time because, of course, that's the only way to get things done right. Keep things in perspective. 12. Conclusion: a lot of people say someday I will write my book. Someday I will write my memoir. Well, if you've taken this class, I hope you realize that there's no such thing as someday you need to start now. You need to start today. You need to have a big picture in mind, but start small and set specific goals. And before you know it, you'll have a book written and most people have never even attempted it. Suggest attempted. Attempting to write the book will put you above. Most people in the world keep writing, keep imagining and keep learning. Thank you for watching this class. I hope it was helpful to you and please keep writing.