Motivation To Write

Every year, November is THE month for getting writing done. Tine to write and finish your novel and many other types of writing. This includes academic writing. If you want to get that paper published, whether you are an early career academic or a professor of long standing, November is the month to get it done! Of course, you can write and publish in any month of the year but if you are finding difficulty in writing and publishing an academic article, November is the month to find the motivation because many others will also be writing and you can find motivation from them, perhaps using the buddy system,, or just knowing that others are sweating it out too.

Just knowing that Nanowrimo (national novel writing month) or acmowrimo (academic motivation writing month) is coming up can be motivation in itself. As one person wrote, “I was planning ahead for nanowrimo, by plotting out my novel and suddenly found it taking off!”


Maybe you need a different type of motivation? You could try writing two letters to yourself, one for one year ahead and the other for five years ahead. Put your writing goals into them and any other goals you may have and then seal them and put them away. You may need to set some reminder, both that you have written the letters and where you set them! When the time comes round, see which goals you have achieved. I wrote down my goals many years ago and promptly forgot them until I was reminded over 30 years later! I had achieved the biggest goal of all – that of gaining my Ph.D. and when I thought about it, all the little goals I had set and achieved over the years in between had all contributed to that end goal. If I had not worked on those little goals (going to evening classes on IT, creating a work project for learners that was not available from any content provider and using that to upgrade my qualifications) I would not have been able to achieve my big goal of gaining a Ph.D.

Tips For Getting Started Writing

  1. Get a headline – make it interesting, so you want to find out about it
  2. Get an outline. Write down some subheadings that would contribute to your headline.
  3. Use a mind map or a concept map.
  4. Write 100 words on one of your subheadings. 100 words is not much but it gets you started.
  5. Add some more sub headings or sub-sub headings.
  6. Write 100 words on one of these.
  7. Create a weekly timetable showing when you WILL write.
  8. Create an appendix, if you are doing academic writing. It’s often easier to write down the facts and create graphs and tables. Use that for starting your chapter or section.
  9. Just write. Freewriting is a good way of silencing that pesky editor in your head who says, “that’s not good enough, you’ve spelled it wrongly, your grammar is wonky”, etc.