Every now and then, I start writing something, which I at first consider a master piece but after a while I leave it unfinished thinking that it isn't that great. This has started happening quite too often now and I don't remember the last time I actually finished any of my things. The problem is that somewhere during the writing, I re-read the article and think that it isn't that fun to read. I ask for fellows to comment and they all have positive feedback but even one negative comment means that I am not going to continue it. How do I keep myself motivated?


2 Answers 2


This happens to me as well. There are a few things I've found to help:

1) Don't ask for feedback too early --wait until the piece is finished.
2) Write shorter pieces.
3) Try to gain some emotional distance from the writing --treat producing writing like an ongoing job you have to do, not as a way to seek instant gratification.
4) Start with a solid outline and a good structure that can carry you through.

For me, part of what motivates me to write is the desire for the instant gratification of having people read me, but that doesn't work for longer work. So I've divvied up my writing. I have a long project which I won't show to anyone until it's done -- it might take a year or more --but I post regularly on places like StackExchange and my blog in order to scratch that itch for instant feedback. (If you are conscientious about it, this can also improve at least some aspects of your writing, and if you stick with a blog, you might eventually have the raw material for a longer work created in bite-sized pieces).

  • That is what I try to do but as soon as I am about to finish something, I think it is not good enough so I leave it. And can we post our stories here on SE? Any piece of writing for feedback? Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 17:10
  • I meant more in terms of posting answers to questions. (I mainly write non-fiction these days, so composing answers is a relevant type of writing.) As far as the other problem, you just have make a solid commitment to yourself to finish what you're working on, even if you're no longer happy with it --that's why I suggested writing shorter things. For instance, you might try flash fiction --there are a lot of online outlets that publish it (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction ) or even just opening a Twitter account --anything to get past the mental block of finishing something. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:21

Well, I just came off a 5 day exercise of gathering and organizing all my writing attempts and I realize that in the past 4 years I have started 15 novels, some of 3k words (so one chapter that I gave to one person to read who didn't like it) to grand 200k completed first drafts that never got rewritten. (200k is grand for me)

Before this 5 day collecting and dusting and sifting exercise in what I'd considered "computer clean-up" when I started, I was just idling/procrastinating away adding notes and ideas every now and again on Evernote and Onenote and building playlists on Spotify for characters when the mood struck. I'd lost actual writing motivation BIG time and the ONLY thing that changed, the catalyst, was a fanfic-writing friend of mine invited me to join a writers workshop where every meeting you'd present something new to the group, not really for criticism as to if it's good or bad but really and truly, focusing on progress.

Fanfic feedback was great for me because there were emails that would pop up with someone saying "I AM WAITING FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER. WRITE IT NOW! PLEASE AND THANKS" and that would motivate me, but with original novel fiction that just stay dead on my harddrive, or even worse, out on OneDrive unseen unless I look for it... i ended up with zero stimulus, zero momentum.

Self Motivation is very hard for me wrt writing. But I realize now that I may be shame motivated as well. Not the healthiest way, you'd think, but I had a psychiatry professor actual run through the merits of his "shame therapy" and it's not all bad. (opinion)

I can't not join the writing group, and I can't join and then have nothing to put in my progress report. The idea of that, the horror of that, has motivated me, and I wrote like 1.5 k this morning. I'm here on this site even. Don't know how long it'll last, but I'm just sharing what got me to write again after maybe 8 months of stagnation.

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