I can’t think of any writer that hasn’t ever had a day where they just don’t want to write. It’s just too hard for them to do so. I am guilty of this, although I am happy to say that I have been pretty consistent with working on my story. Here are some tips and ideas on how to keep that word count going up on a consistent basis…
1. Sit Down. I know, I know. This is pretty obvious, but the sad fact is that many people make an excuse about not being able to write or not wanting to write before they even sit down at their desk, or wherever they work, turn on their computer, and pull up their current Work in Progress. The simple truth is this: You don’t have any right to make excuses when you haven’t even put yourself where you are actually able to work.
2. Have an Accountability Partner. Although I do not have one myself, I have seen many writers who have one of these, and they are glad that they do. How do you find an accountability partner? Well, first off, you need to find someone who is as excited as you are about your goal of finishing a novel. If you choose one that isn’t, there is a good chance that they won’t give you the accountability and the encouragement that you are going to need from them. After you choose someone, ask them to check in on you at different time intervals to see if you are meeting your goals. This could be from once every couple hours, at the end of every day, or at the end of every week. One of the things about accountability partners that I have always been leery on is the fact that there is really no incentive for you to make sure you meet your goals; or for your accountability partner to fulfill their duties as an authorsitter. Try coming up with an idea that works great for the both of you. Example: If you don’t meet your goal by the time your accountability partner checks in on you, you give them $5. If that amount doesn’t mean that much to you, go even higher. Maybe $50 or even $100. Money is a great motivator, and as a “starving artist”, you don’t want to give what money you have in your pockets or savings account to another person just because you didn’t write those two thousand words you planned on writing by the end of the week.
3. Try a Different Setting. Sometimes I wonder if, when a writer says that they just can’t write, they aren’t getting tired of their story or the process of writing itself, but the atmosphere in which they write. For some, writing in the same spot day after day gives them a sense of familiarity, prompting the working mindset. Others are not like this. Perhaps you are one of them. If you are, try writing in your kitchen one day, outside on the back porch (weather permitting, of course) the day after, and the local independent coffee shop the next. The sense of newness just may rejuvenate your mind and open the creative floodgates, allowing new ideas to flow freely once more.
4. Write. This is definitely not a novel idea. You have heard it many times, I’m sure; but there is no better advice than to just write. Whether it be a dozen words of genius or a thousand words of pure and utter detritus, you must put words down on the page. The simple act of putting words down on the page just may spark a match in that wonderful and imaginative mind of yours. Tell me about the times you have found the act of writing to be difficult or repulsive, and how you overcame that feeling. Share your advice down below for others to read. You just may help the author of a future world-changing story!
3 thoughts on “On Writing Even When You Don’t Want To”
I like what you said about having to actually put yourself in the conditions to write. So many times, I decide I have writer’s block or am just not inspired, when the truth is, I haven’t even sat down and tried. I do believe being a successful writer takes effort. It’s just like working out — the only way to get it done is to put on your clothes and head to the gym (or wherever you work out).
In addition to trying a different setting, I’d recommend trying a different medium – pen and paper rather than the computer. Sometimes it’s good to leave all the words you’ve already written behind you, and to make progress on a literal blank page.
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