Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

36 Writing Tips to Put Your Butt in the Chair

I have days when I find it entirely too difficult to get in to my writing groove. On those days I’m uninspired, unmotivated and well, bleh! Maybe you have days like that, too?

The challenge is to put our butts in our chairs and write anyway – good, bad or ugly, come rain or shine. It’s easier said than done. Right?

Well, let’s work on that…

be-a-writer-650

If you love writing (and I know you do!) and you’re not willing to compromise, then I’ve got 36 darn good tips to help you write every-single-day.

Are you ready to put your butt in the chair?

You’re a writer. So be a writer. Writer-up!

(Go ahead and Tweet That if you like.)

36 Writing Tips

1 – Stop comparing yourself to the likes of Stephen King, Danielle Steel and J.K. Rowling.

It’s not a fair comparison because you’re comparing yourself to those who have “made it.” If you must compare yourself to the likes of such greats, compare yourself to where they were before they were published.

The best opportunity for your writing future is to simply be yourself. Comparisons are overrated. And besides, you’re much better than you think you are.

2 – Intentionally make the time.

Time is the writer’s killer. I hear too many people say they don’t have enough time to write without giving their schedules a good examination.

It’s easier to write every once in a while, or when the urge takes you, but if you’re serious about writing and you have big plans (I hope you do), then give it the consideration it deserves and reexamine your schedule.

3 – Have a quota of words to write each day.

Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have to be a large number. 100, 200, or 500 words a day is all you need to get started.

4 – Create a writing sanctuary.

It can be your office, your bed, or the coffee shop down the street, but make it someplace you go to write, every day.

5 – Stop writing when you’re on a roll.

A lot of people stop writing when they’ve totally exhausted their thoughts and ideas and put EVERYTHING down on paper. But that can be a problem for starting the next day. When you stop while you’re on a roll it makes it easier to pick right back up where you left off.

6 – Work on multiple projects.

This is easy if you’re a blogger. A longer work of fiction gives you something to work on every day, but there will be times when you run dry on ideas or need to take a break, and that’s a good time to write your blog posts or other non-fiction work.

7 – Keep a personal journal.

Sometimes when we make a commitment to write every day we have a rather strict idea about how it should be done. If you’re over thinking it, then maybe it’s time to start a journal.

Personal journals are great for putting thoughts on paper and saving ideas without worrying about your prose.

8 – Ditch the excuses.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from people that have a day job, a family, or have this hobby or that responsibility, so they don’t have time to write like other more fortunate people do.

Hey, if you don’t have the time, then you don’t have the time. But I’ll tell you this, every person I’ve worked with who said they didn’t have the time was able to find the time once they removed their excuses.

Excuses are doubts hiding in disguise. The more excuses you have, (which all sound valid), the more doubt is eating you up.

Doubt is the true culprit, not time, family, or anything else we might blame. Yeah, I’ve been there, too. I even wrote a book about it.

9 – Take your writing and yourself seriously.

This is where the graphite hits the paper. If you do not take your writing seriously you’ll find reasons and excuses, and whatever type of rationalizations you can think of, to not write.

Take it seriously. You’re a writer. So be a writer.

To help me with today’s post I asked fellow bloggers and Tribe Writers for their tips on writing every day:

10 –

When you’re just beginning, don’t count your words or your time. Just write. The goal is to have written. Everything else will come with practice.

Jeff Goins

11

Write like no one is going to read it.

Brenda McGraw

12

Write from your heart not your head. That’s where the gold lives.

Devani Anjali Alderson

13

Revisit your previous writing to find inspiration by editing and then rabbit trail to new thoughts to write about.

Scott Musgrave

14

Don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect life. Write with 5 kids asking you a thousand questions if you have to. (But do pause to answer their questions now and then.)

Amanda Schwabe

15

Before you write, fall in love with your reader again. See them enjoying your words.

Mike Loomis

16

Change up your writing, if you usually type in Scrivener or Word, grab a journal and pen instead. I just did this on vacation and coupled with the change in scenery, made some nice discoveries, including my main character’s full name.

Lisa Brown

17

Tell your story. Be authentic. When you are stuck, just allow your heart to open, keep typing letters and see what comes out. It will unlock you creatively.

James Prescott

18

Read for pleasure every day. And no, facebook doesn’t count.

Nancy Heiser Vest

19

Write like you talk to your best friend. Be who you are in real life, with no concern or fear of how you’re being perceived.

Josh Collins

20

Don’t be afraid to write nonsense. Seriously. Serious nonsense. Even like “I don’t know what to write today” which, in my case, often leads into a sort of journaling and processing what I’m thinking or feeling. But yes, sometimes just keep typing (or keep the pen moving) to reinforce the writing habit. And it often opens up the flow.

Kaye Sims

21

Make writing the first thing you do in the morning.

Jeanne Noorman

22

Schedule time in your calendar to write, and treat it like you would any other appt.

Tyler Beaty

23

Leave the dirty dishes in the sink and write. There will always be dirty dishes.

Pamela Fernuik Hodges

24

Don’t edit as you write. Just let all those words run out of you onto the paper and then you can decide who will stay, and which ones will be used at a later date.

Anne Gollias Peterson

25

Make a public commitment to write every day and have someone (or many someones) keeping you accountable for it. Then put your butt in the chair every day and write. Period.

Iris Meyers

26

Pretend you’re writing an email to someone. A real live actual person even, not an avatar. Write as a draft email, if that helps.

Sarah Parsons

27

If you’re having a hard time starting, start by making a list, stuff you need to do, grocery list, whatever and this can trigger topics to write about.

Sharon Andrews Kramer

28

A personal experience: Once in awhile I ask myself why do I write or why do I love to write? Every time I ask this question something new comes up and adds another reason to keep going.  Yesterday my answer was: “When I open the door to my notebook and let my pen walk on the pages, I find life inside the letters. The pages listen. I find truth. I find reality. Ink clears my head. I find myself. I become myself. I find my way. I find presence. The letters become lampposts in the wilderness.”

Mariane Kvist Doktor

29

Take your favorite quote, make a graphic, post it to IG, TW, FB, Pinterest and be the light for someone who may need it. (To create the graphic use Diptic, Wordswag or PicMonkey.)

Renee Baude

30

I use an app on my phone so I can write blog posts and other snippets while I’m waiting for the kiddos at sports games, music lessons, dentist appointments, etc. Inspiration always strikes when I pause to take a breath out of the normal.

Lisa Hall-Wilson

31

Be yourself, write your own style, write.

Chris Taylor

32

Look for the stories in your everyday life. Write about the fun stuff and lessons learned. Your daily writing will be fresh, authentic and easier to do.

Sharon Rose Gibson

33

Don’t get it perfect, just get it written. Give yourself permission to write poorly. Edits come later.

Joan Hall

34

Think about what you’re going to write before falling asleep so your mind can work on it as you sleep.

Stacy Claflin

35

Comparing yourself to others is a killer of creativity.

Sandra Gardner

36

Sit down and don’t get up until you have words on paper. Wait until later to revise. It’s the butt-in-seat principle.

Ryan Eidson

And have some fun, gosh darn it! Ultimately, both life and work should be as much fun as they are serious.

Also, remove some pressure and don’t worry so much about skipping a day or two of writing, simply pick it back up when you can. Everyone deserves a break, even writers. (I know that’s hard to accept, but it’s true.)

Go, have fun, and write something awesome. (Feel free to share it with us in the comments.)

Do you have any writing tips you’d like to share in the comments?

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you like this article?

Get future articles delivered directly to your inbox and you’ll also receive an extremely popular eBook included with signing up, all for free. More free stuff to come for subscribers only, so don’t miss out. Enter your email address:

Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins
endofpostW Audacity-banner-G610
  • Bryan,
    Thanks for this post. It felt like a meeting of the Tribe Writers and exchanges of ideas. Hopefully, it will resonate with others who are struggling because of one area or another. I appreciate how you share the ideas of others, Bryan.

    • Glad to have you and the others along for the ride, Anne. Writers united. 🙂

  • Bryan, thanks for this post. Some wise tips here, and as Anne said, felt like a meeting of the Tribe Writers, exchanging ideas in a healthy way. Great post, and thanks for including me as well. 🙂

    • Thanks for being a part of it, James. Btw: Interstellar was a blast!

  • I absolutely loved this post. I should read it when I feel unmotivated to boost my creative energy!

  • Annie

    When nothing flows, write from a prompt. One writers’ group I’m in meets one a month and we spend 10 minutes writing from a prompt. Ideas we’ve used: Everyone started a story, just a couple of paragraphs, then passed it to the next person. When done, we had 4 complete short stories each written in part by each person. We’ve done all sorts of similar type prompts. It’s a blast and really gets the juices going.

  • Linda Marie

    My 17 year old niece came to spend the weekend with me. We were spread out on the dining room floor going through some old photo books together, sharing memories. I got up to get us drinks and take care of some things and when I came back I found Hannah reading through journaling cards that I had tucked behind pictures. She asked me where i got the quotes from and as I read them I realized it was my writing, my very own “quotes”.

    Years later what had been a simple habit of writing in response to a picture that I took, not necessarily even about the picture but about the response I had from the memory or the photo produced a book of over a hundred “quotes” that spoke across the generation to my precious niece.

    Just a thought!

  • Thank you Brian for sharing many ideas. And thank you for including mine.
    I will save this post in Evernote, so I may always have it to refer to.
    Wishing you all the best with your writing.

  • Excellent help for me! Thanks Bryan! (I was really expecting Jeff to say something about “butt glue”.)

  • Fantastic, Bryan. A quote of mine that I remind myself of a lot is, “To be a writer you need time, patience and practice.”

  • Ani

    Very useful and valuable post. I especially like point 5. I am sure very few have thought of it before!

  • Jini Maxin

    Your posts are such an inspiration. Keep it going for it keeps me going. They are nothing less than a tonic. No Exaggeration here.

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Thanks for some amazing tips by amazing minds. Excuses are indeed ‘doubts in disguise’ – thanks for this kick-in-the-pants, Bryan #HUGS

    Kitto

  • Pingback: Posts I loved this week. | Taylor Grace()

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles [November 15]()

  • Julie Peterson

    Such a great article! Seriously, I haven’t found such useful and, if i can say, subtle tips for writers yet. When it seems you cannot find any source of inspiration and just keep procrastinating, you need a such kind of good words (or a good kick:))

    My favourite one is “Write like no one is going to read it.” So nice!

  • Julie Peterson

    And I also like this one: “Look for the stories in your everyday life. Write about the fun stuff and lessons learned. Your daily writing will be fresh, authentic and easier to do.”

    Truly, we need to find as many inspiration sources as possible, over and over again. Recently I’ve found an interesting list of books everyone should read, if anyone is interested – http://www.essaymama.com/blog/books-creative-writing/.

  • “Write as if it was your last day on this planet”.

  • Brian, thank you so much for this very rich post. Inspiring. Blessings

  • Pingback: Highlights from 36 Writing Tips – janesjournal()