Can you tell how you motivate yourself to write? What do you do? Go for a run? Listen to a CD? Drink four litres of Red Bull? What do you do to get going?

By Ivan Smyth, 20. Ivan is a second year Journalism and New Media student. His interests include sports, writing and exercise. 

Firstly, I would like to say that there is no right or wrong way to inspire yourself to write productively. In this post, I will discuss what techniques work for me.


Commit to a daily goal

Before I start writing, I always set a goal for how many words or how many paragraphs I want to write. I discovered that it focuses my mind and stops me from becoming distracted. Having a target to aim for helps me to not make excuses and get on with my work. It is a great feeling when I fulfil my academic goal.


Another technique that helps to motivate me when writing is giving myself a reward if I reach my goal. I find the promise of a match on TV or meeting up with friends helps sharpen my focus on the topic at hand. I try and reward the effort I put in and not just the amount of words I write. In my opinion, quality is better than quantity.


Personally, I find that simple exercise or even going for a run keeps my mind fresh. It kickstarts my brain and it is especially useful when I find that I am becoming overwhelmed with the task in hand. Exercise has a world of benefits especially for my brain and overall wellbeing. It is vital to feel physically and mentally positive when trying to write.

Remind Yourself Why You are Writing

I strongly believe that focusing on why I am writing is important in helping to motivate me. Usually I am writing college essays and therefore I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to attend college. I am hoping to qualify as a journalist by the end of my four years here at UL. I sometimes focus on that dream to help spark my interest back into the words on the page.


I hope you find these techniques helpful and can incorporate one or two when you go to write. Best of luck!


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