I'm Very Bad at motivating myself to write.
External deadlines work a treat. My book review and Story a Fortnight are in on time regardless, but setting deadlines for myself just doesn't work.
I've tried the write-a-1,000 words a day, which was gradually whittled down to write-any-bloodything-a day to no avail. I've tried 'an hour's writing before you do anything else - even have a wee,' but that didn't get off the ground. In a houseful of people it's impossible to not do something on the way to the PC, laptop or notebook, and something has a horrid habit of leading to something else unrelated to writing.
I thought about getting up an hour earlier to squeeze in some writing, but I need my sleep, dammit, or I'm good for nothing.
I've even bribed myself - i.e. If you write 500 words
you can have a slab of cake or some crumble with custard, or a family sized bar of fruit n' nut (note how bribes are all food-related?) but the very thought makes me so hungry I can't concentrate on writing 'til I've eaten.
I've tried shaming myself by pointing out that I could be writing instead of watching Heroes or The Apprentice, but immediately excuse myself by calling it Research. I've gotten Ideas off the telly before now, I'll have you know.
What about that period between evening dog-walk and watching telly? Well, actually I'm working on that one.
I can see now why people employ Personal Trainers to help them get fit. They probably wouldn't get out of bed otherwise. What I need is a Writing Trainer. A scary woman in army fatigues who'll stand over me and holler, "DROP AND GIVE ME 2000 (words) CLARKEY! NOOOWW!!"
Failing that, I think I need a proper, external deadline. One I can't wriggle out of or put off or ignore. Like the time I stupidly submitted three chapters and got a request for the whole manuscript before I'd even written it. Not that I want to go down that route again! The worst part is knowing I CAN do it.
So why aren't I?