1. Set a word count goal, sit yourself in the most uncomfortable place you can find, and don’t move until you’ve reached your goal. Here are some ideas for uncomfortable places: the sharp tip of a sword, a shark pond, a fire ant hill, etc. The more uncomfortable the better. Just don’t kill yourself.
2. Challenge someone to a word war. This one’s no good if you’re not competitive, but I think most people are. Don’t be afraid to get animal! Growl at your computer; it helps. Trash talk as much as possible with your opponent, and if they like candy, yell, “FREE CANDY IN THE STREET!” to keep them distracted.
3. Pretend pirates have taken your pet and if you don’t hand over 1,000 words within the next couple of hours, your sweet doggy/kitty/fish walks the plank. Except in the case of the fish. He gets baked with paprika and butter. With nice crusty bread on the side.
4. Imagine an agent wants your book so badly that she’s threatening to steal your novel and finish it herself if you don’t hurry up and hand it over. She’s demanded you write [your goal] many words by the end of the day or she takes all your works in progress and publishes them under her own name, becomes a millionaire, and pretends she never knew you.
5. Picture a caveman standing over you with a giant club saying, “ME WANT BOOK.” No matter how many times you try to explain that you have writer’s block, he just thumps you on the head with his club and repeats his demand. If you don’t hurry and write, you’ll have mush for brains, and then if you ever finish your book, your head will be so misshapen you’ll be too embarrassed to have an author photo, and nobody will ever know who the author of your magnificent book was.
That’s how I keep myself motivated. How ’bout you?