• Yuwanda Black
  • Writing Tip: How to Find Your Motivation & Pull Yourself Out of a Writing Slump
Writing Tip: How to Find Your Motivation & Pull Yourself Out of a Writing Slump
Written by
Yuwanda Black
June 2015
Written by
Yuwanda Black
June 2015

Lately, I haven’t been feeling very motivated to write. I ran across this post, which made me stop and examine why. FYI, that post offers some great ideas for how to pull yourself out of a slump. I LOVE #11.

"Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time, they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration."~Ralph Keyes

What Happens When You’re De-Motivated

For me, it’s that I’m not accomplishing all that I feel that I can or should be accomplishing. I tend to put a lot on my plate (I’m a Type-A personality) and get frustrated when I’m not “on schedule” with my goals.

And as we know, in life, things rarely go the way you plan them. You’d think that with 25+ years of writing experience under my belt, I’d know how to go with the flow better by now. But I still haven’t figured it out.

I tend to have two reactions when things aren’t going to plan – I’ll either work myself into exhaustion, putting in crazy hours to “right the ship,” so to speak. OR, I’ll drop the ball altogether, going for days without writing. This is what’s happened to me lately.

“Life” got in the way. I traveled recently, which threw my normal schedule off. And I’m also logging more hours running; I’m a marathon runner and am always training for the next one, which is here in Negril (Jamaica) in December. So my normal schedule has been thrown off, and I’ve been extra tired from the kickup in my workout routine.

Part IV of the “Priced Out of Love” series was supposed to be out tomorrow, but because of my de-motivation, it’s going to be a few days late (this coming Monday, the 15th).

Continued below ...

But I’m refocusing. After all, if I don’t write, I don’t eat, right? Taking the advice listed in #11 in the first-linked to post here, I’m starting small; really small. My goal tomorrow is simply to get up and have my document opened – ready to finish write – at 8 a.m.

No social media. No email. No checking sales stats. . . . 

No excuses.

How do you pull yourself out of a writing slump? Share in the comments section below.

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  • Yuwanda Black

    Thanks Mardith. Most days, I wouldn't trade what I do for the world. Some days though, I want to just go back to bed, as you said earlier -- LOL! 

  • Mardith Louisell

    Congratulations on making your living by writing. That's incredibly wonderful

  • Yuwanda Black


    I understand your point, but I could no more stop running that I could stop writing. Exercising is as vital to my life as working -- I need both to survive, and running marathons keeps me in perpetual "training" mode, that way I don't fall off the workout wagon as I'm prone to without something to stay in shape for.

    It's a matter of priorities though. I pump out a lot of titles, so I think my demotivation from time to time stems from being creatively challenged -- just running out of "artist juice," if you will. To help with this, I've started to try to just stick to a certain word count per day. Sometimes I do more, but I have a minimum. This has helped me to "write through" my demovating periods.

    Thanks for that story though; it's a great motivator on the writing end. :)

  • Yuwanda Black

    @Mardith: LOL! I'm a Type A personality; I don't know how to slow down for the most part. :)

  • Penny Taylor

    I have to comment on your running. I saw/read/heard something yesterday that had a take on this. It may have been a TV show like "Castle," or it could have been some advice from a writer... I don't know and that alone drives me crazy. The gist of the story was this.

    A man saw the young writer swimming laps in the pool. When he was finished, the young writer toweled off and walked by the man's study on his way to his room.

    "How's the writing going?" the man asked.

    "It's okay. Swimming help clears my head."

    "I know what you mean. I used to play handball with a friend of mine every morning to get the juices going. Then one day I didn't play handball and I worked on my book first thing."

    "What happened?" the young man asked.

    "I wrote ten best sellers and haven't seen my handball friend in ten years."

    I admire you for the running. I am the opposite and need more exercise. I believe writers should maintain their health to really write well. However, if the running is distracting from the writing then it's a matter of deciding which is more important.  Ah... life's difficult decisions.

  • Mardith Louisell

    Good post, Yuwnda. Another attitude that stops me in my tracks - comparing what I've done with what others do. It makes want to go straight to bed. After reading all you do, I almost went back to bed before writing this post!