Different writers need different motivations. For years I imagined that professional novelists were self-motivated, writing daily as many people go to work. That was before I started writing and meeting other novelists.
What I’ve learned in the last few years is that most writers love to write, but they are no less immune to procrastination than any other person. The tools for motivation are varied. I have a regular writing group; our weekly meetings keep me moving along in times when I don’t feel like writing. That works well for my creative work, but for academic work, not so much.
To help me stay on track with articles and my second academic book, I’ve turned to 750words.com. It’s a great web based platform that gives the writer a blank page and a daily calendar. If you write every day–and the site will send you an email every day to remind you–then you start to earn badges. Write every day for a month and you join the sites hall of fame.
It’s a great tool for archiving as well. I write more than I use, but every now and then I want to go back to an idea that I once thought was a non-starter. It’s there on the 750words.com site, ready to download and search.