Finding the Motivation: Writing in College

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(It’s a little ironic that this is a post about writing motivation, and it’s late because I have little motivation to write anymore. Welp.)

As anyone who’s done personal writing during college can tell you, it ain’t easy. There’s homework that need attending to, a body that needs cared for, and sleep to be had. And that’s just the beginning stuff. Then there’s papers, projects, presentations, and other random homework that pops up out of nowhere. Between all those assignments and the need to take care of yourself, writing non-school-related things can be hard. Add the dreaded writer’s block, and boy does it get messy. So what’s a girl, or guy, to do about it? How do you stay motivated to write when school builds up?

There’s no set way to get back into writing, since motivation varies between person. For me personally, reading through old stories sometimes sparks my interest and desire to write. Sometimes, the sheer anticipation of an event like NaNoWriMo helps a lot, too. In general, I try to peak my interest back on what I’ve been writing. When it comes to new stories, it can be a little more tricky.

If I don’t have a set idea, writing a new story can be kind of a pain. I always try to flesh out the main characters, the general plot, and the setting before I start writing. So far, that technique has worked pretty well, but sometimes I can’t even get those things to cooperate with me. Instead, I’m left with a blank Word document, trying to beat the characters I very lovingly crafted onto the page without so much as a peep from them. It’s annoying to say the least.

Sometimes, just the characters show up. Sometimes, I can only get the setting right. And sometimes the plot starts out okay and two pages later, I have no idea what I’m doing and how I’m getting to the next step. Even nonfiction can be a pain, when the scenario I wanted to write about suddenly stops being a source of inspiration and starts being a source of bland sentences piling up on a page. Motivation definitely doesn’t come as easily as it used to, and it hasn’t gotten easier. I also don’t have a lot of time to write personally, between the reading and papers. I’m hoping that after I finish this last semester, I’ll have more time to sit down and write more often, but we’ll see what happens.

So what about you? How do you stay motivated to write despite life’s craziness, especially if you’re still in school? Are there specific triggers you try to get the creative juices flowing? Or do you set time aside to write everyday? Let me know down in the comments, and until next time!