Motivation for Your Writing Project

This page provides resources for staying motivated at every stage of your project--and for keeping a sense of humor along the way. 


Getting Started 

"If we knew what we were doing,

it wouldn't be called Research."

-Albert Einstein

In the Beginning.  Goal-setting (UNC)  |  Warming Up for a Writing Session (Romance Writers of America. Despite its provenance, this is a great list. A couple of the tips are specific to fiction writers, though.)  |  Freewriting (Peter Elbow)  |  The Loop Writing Process (adapted from Peter Elbow)  |  Struggling to Find a Project that Excites You? Follow the Lilt (Joli Jensen)

Determining your Purpose and Contribution.  They Say, I Say, by Gerald Graff & Cathy Birkinstein (Ch 1)

Managing the Non-linear Nature of the Writing Process.   One blogger's account of a recursive thesis-writing process (Above the Leading Edge) 

Staying Motivated 

"Great works are performed

not by strength but by perseverance."

-Samuel Johnson




A Writing Schedule 

In this animated video, a blogger explains his efficient process for producing his blog posts on a schedule. His practical tips apply to all kinds of writing projects.


Motivation 101 for Writers

This video looks at three kinds of motivation: passive, external, and internal. Internal motivation is the most powerful form of motivation, and writers can use specific strategies to improve at this.


Support networks


Some encouraging writings on productivity, motivation, and efficiency


Motivational quotations for your bathroom mirror

  • "Approach your writing as an important and ongoing challenge, not simply as a deficiency." -Rachael Cayley
  • "The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe." - Gustave Flaubert
  • "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." -Ernest Hemingway
  • "The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity." -Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot
  • "Writing is hard for every last one of us. ... Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig." - Dear Sugar



Motivational tools & apps

Schedule planner for writing projects. With this free resource from Baylor University, you can create a timeline for your writing project. Enter your project due date, and the Planner will help you to determine when your mini-deadlines should be along the way. You can even sign up to receive email reminders when a due date is approaching.

Write or Die. With this free app, you can arrange rewards or punishments for yourself based on whether you meet your word-count goals in time. 

Keeping a Sense of Humor


"I just wanted to send a note to say how grateful I am to have you on my side. Your help, kindness, and patience have been so amazing. Please know you have made a difference. If the measure of a life is the lives we touch, you have lived beyond measure!"

C. L.


"My writing improved after just one session with Margy! We met to discuss one chapter of my thesis, but the suggestions she made to improve that one chapter were applicable to my entire thesis. ... It was great to get such friendly, helpful advice from a writing professional.” 

Rachel S.

"I am delighted to recommend Margy Thomas as an excellent writing consultant. Not only does her warm and energetic personality make her fun to work with, but she also has the rare talent of expressing complex ideas in simple language and making overwhelming projects manageable.” 

Ingrid P.