Staying motivated to write is something almost everyone struggles with from time to time. The problem really is that writing is just one thing, and there is an infinite list of other things that our mind tells us we could be doing. Other times, it seems like we just have a problem coming up with ideas of things to talk about and our motivation to write fades. In this article I will help you get motivated to write by sharing the three tools that I love to use when I feel I need a bit of motivation!  

Tools for Motivation:

StumbleUpon:
The first one is simply StumbleUpon. If you haven't used StumbleUpon before, it is a webapp that allows you to select some of your interests and then "stumble" the Internet. Other people have found things in that category that they find interesting or funny and submit them. With StumbleUpon, you can quickly flip through websites that you have never seen before, and rate them as you go. As you continue to rate them, the program starts to learn your tastes and picks things more relevant to your interests. I usually set a time (generally five minutes) to find something that I haven't seen before. Then I give myself another set amount of time (depending on length of what I want to write) to do research. At this point I have a new, interesting topic that I have looked into, and I am ready to get writing and stay motivated!
Now at this point you are probably thinking, "Wait, this seems like the worst possible way to stay motivated, my procrastination habits will keep me at this for hours!" Well you are probably right, which brings me to my next great piece of software for staying motivated when you write:

StayFocused:
Stay focused is an amazing extension for Google Chrome (if you aren't using Google Chrome, you should really think about switching!) StayFocused lets you set certain websites that are on your "procrastination" list. For me these would include Facebook, tumblr, Gmail (yes, compulsively checking email can be a problem) and a number of blogs that I can read for hours. Once these are set, you can ban them from certain times in the day, or even set a timer until you are able to access them again. If you feel the real need to be able to check your newsfeed you can set a certain amount of "cheat time," just set it low! You can also set "allowed sites"  and then will only be able to access these. This removes distractions and keeps you motivated while you write.
Write or Die
The last tool that I use is for when I actually start writing and is called Write Or Die. This is just about the ultimate in motivational tools for you to use while writing. The program lets you set a word goal and a time within you must accomplish it. Then it gives you a text box in which to write and off you go. The trick is that if you procrastinate and do not write fast enough it will inflict a series of "punishments" on you. These range from mild mode (a stern pop-up reminder to get back to work you procrastinator!) to Kamikaze mode (if you don't write fast enough the program will start deleting your words! Now there's motivation for writing!). It usually takes me about 15 minutes to write a five hundred word article (slower that some) but you will quickly learn where your comfort zone lies. Once you find it, just keep pushing it a bit faster each time! For example, I am writing this article in the Write Or Die, since I hadn't been very motivated to write and I kept getting distracted. I had set it to be 500 words and take 15 minutes, but it is over 650 and i still have a minute and a bit left. There is very little editing capability in the program, it is purely a motivational writing tool, so you will want to edit and format it later!
5 Step How-to Guide for Procrastinating Writers: Instant Motivation!
 
Step 1: Using StumbleUpon, spend five minutes looking for something that interests you.
Step 2: Spend 10-20 minutes researching this new topic.
Step 3: Install StayFocused (Free) for Google Chrome and select your time wasting de-motivational sites. Set yourself a time-frame in which to write and block all sites you don't need.
Step 4: Set a word goal and time limit in Write or Die as well as a punishment level.
Step 5: Write your amazing article on a new topic fast! See, getting motivated to write isn't that hard!

I hope this guide helps you get motivated to write and keeps you from procrastinating too much! Now stop reading articles and get to work! But before you do that, I would love to know in the comments if you have any more great tips for staying engaged and motivated while writing!