Daydreams and Discipline
Writing creatively is great fun! It's why we do it. Many of us would love to do it for a living. So why don't we? The buzz we get from being inspired is but one side of the creative coin. On the other side is the whip-crack of discipline. Setting up a regular writing practice is one of the most important - and one of the most difficult things to do for any writer, no matter how experienced.
Dream Big, Step Small
Firstly, consider your big-picture writing dreams. What do you really want to do? What would you love to achieve? Publish a best-selling novel? Win a poetry slam? Some find it a great motivation to have a picture or some other reminder on their desk or wall to remind them of this. Then decide on a daily "quota" for yourself: what is the absolute minimum amount of work you must do to make that dream a reality.
Another Link in the Chain
Make the process of moving towards your big dream a part of your daily routine. For example, instead of thinking "I'm going to become a published author," consider the small steps that will take you to that: "I'm going to become a published author by writing (or editing) at least 500 words (or 5 pages etc) a day. Then fit your daily "quota" into the habits you already have, using "when/then" or "if/then" phrases:
"When I'm waiting on the kettle to boil in the morning, then I'll get my notebook ready."
"When I'm drinking my tea, then I'll read over the last few paragraphs I wrote yesterday."
"When I finish my cup of tea, then I'll write for half an hour."
"If something interrupts my writing time in the morning, I'll set aside half an hour at lunchtime to write."
If you're not feeling motivated, you can also use this technique to help.
"If I feel too tired to write before I go to bed, then I'll just go sit at my desk and listen to some music/read a poem to inspire me."
If you've ever wanted to get fitter (and most of us have!), you'll have probably wrestled with a lack of motivation to get to the gym. Maybe it was just far too much effort to get your gym clothes on and head out on a chilly morning. What you could have done was make it as easy as possible to exercise, so laying out your clothes the night before so you'll practically trip over them when getting up out of bed. The same could be said for writing - make it difficult for yourself to NOT write. Have everything ready and set up. Keep your laptop or notebook handy for when you need it.
The Magic of the Mundane
We have millions of decisions to make every day. Making these choices wastes the energy you could be using to write! What aspects of your life can you make into a regular routine so that you don't have to make decisions any more about those. That will free up a huge amount of thinking space for you!
It may be a good idea to write these things down in a contract to yourself - even feel free to mail it to me as a means of sealing your writing contract!