- Close the door! Sometimes you just have to barricade yourself in your room before you can write. Outside music, conversations and distractions can be a huge turn-off for a writer, so don't be afraid to close the door and concentrate on throwing words at the computer screen.
- Set a writing time. I've said this before, but I do my best writing in the quietness of the early morning. Somewhere between 6 and 10 a.m. is when The Collapse Series has been written. Find out what time works best for you and write at the same time every day. Pretty soon your brain will be expecting you to do this, and getting into the habit of writing won't be so hard.
- Read. Sometimes when I'm in need of a little pep and pick-me-up, I will stop writing and start reading something I love. Reading a story always sparks my creativity. While I'm reading, I'm thinking: Hey, I could write a story like this. And then I'm inspired again. Just like that.
- Set a deadline. I know, I know. Nobody likes deadlines. I completely understand. But sometimes we work best under pressure. If I'm a little lax about getting every single word in my word count squeezed into my day, I set a deadline for myself. I must have 10,000 words done by the end of this week at midnight. There you go.
- Let others help you. If self-discipline is harder for you, consider telling several of your closest friends what your deadline is. Knowing that your peers expect you to meet that deadline will put some pressure on you to step up. It's amazing how much harder we work when we don't want to let somebody down.
- Give yourself a break. You can't be superman all the time, missy! (or mister) It helps to take a step back from your work and do something else every once in a while. Write from Monday through Saturday, and take Sunday off. Read a book. Take a jog. Watch a movie. Eat out at your favorite restaurant.
- Live your life. Remember that our writing is based on what we know, so don't be afraid to expand your horizons as a writer. Try new things and visit new places. Changes of scenery and new experiences are wonderful ways to inspire yourself to write. Every time I travel, I basically start writing a new book.
- Be healthy. Okay. This may sound ridiculous, but keeping yourself healthy is a huge part of staying creative. Getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising will keep your body healthy and in turn, your brain ready for storytelling. Keep that in mind. If you starve your body of good things, your imagination gets starved, too.
Writing is not easy. If it were easy, everybody would be making a career out of it. It's very challenging, and you are the only one that can really step up and get the job done. Don't shy away from that job. Embrace it! Do the hard things now, and you'll be successful later. Trust me on this.