1. Decide on a very short, simple goal. “I’m going to write 500 words before I get out of this chair.”
2. Decide on your reward upon completing that goal. “After 500 words I can watch season 6 of Friends again.”
3. Sit down and just try starting to work on your thing (book, blog post, etc.).
4. If you’re struggling, and not even your goal/reward is motivating you, there must be a deeper reason why. Proceed to step 5.
5. Be honest with yourself. Are you just tired? Distracted? You’d much rather get lost in Netflix? What’s stopping you from focusing on your work?
6. Remind yourself that you will feel better — fulfilled, accomplished, satisfied, maybe even happy — after you’ve done some writing. It’s how you feel every time you write. Look forward to that feeling.
7. Think about the story you want to tell, and the people you want to tell it to. This is not a chore. It’s an adventure.
8. Just start typing words! The simple act of creating can further inspire you to create.
9. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s “good.” Just worry that it continues to be made.
10. Don’t check your word count or the time — just focus on the story you’re trying to tell.
11. Write until you’ve met your goal or you’ve done all you can do. It will go by a lot faster than you’re expecting.
12. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. It may have taken a while, and the accomplishment may be small, but you still did it, and that’s still pretty amazing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.