In this week’s column, I want to look at the advice that’s out there for those days when you just don’t feel like writing. Whether you’re stressed, overwhelmed, coping with difficulties, or simply suffering from what I like to call lockdown fatigue. There are so many reasons why you don’t want to write and the links I’ve chosen this week will hopefully answer some of the questions you might have and offer some simple tips and advice on how to get through it. For me personally, lockdown has had a drastic effect on my writing and I can honestly say, the links this week are as much for me as for anyone who is struggling right now.
- https://writingcooperative.com/how-to-write-when-you-just-dont-want-to-27165b2b7bc7 – How to Write When You Just Don’t Want To: This first article is a short 6 minute read and it begins by talking about the reality that everyone goes through times where they don’t want to write. Your brain takes a holiday and the words don’t come or the motivation to get them on paper doesn’t. This article states that the easiest way to write when you don’t want to is to just set a word count goal and a low one at that and force yourself to do it. Maybe write about something you’re interested and have fun until you hit your word count goal. It could be 100 words up to 250 but it is about building the habit and doing it every day.
- https://writerunboxed.com/2009/07/29/6-tricks-for-writing-when-you-dont-feel-like-it/ – 6 Tricks for Writing When You Don’t Feel Like It: In a perfect world there would never be a day where writers didn’t feel like writing, but we don’t live in a perfect world. In this article the author talks about how she tricks herself into writing and how she has developed some tools that help. These 6 tools include showing up, rewarding yourself constantly, change your scene, set a timer, and evaluate your results to see what works for you. There are some great tips in this article and I personally know that using a timer is a great way to get things done.
- https://www.thesideblogger.com/how-to-write-when-you-dont-want-to-write/ – How to Write When You Don’t Want to Write: This article begins by summing up the number one thing you must do when you don’t feel like writing and that is to write. After getting that out of the way the article moves into discovering why you don’t want to write and this is where things get interesting. Perhaps you’re writing the wrong thing for you or you don’t know enough about the topic or genre to write it. Perhaps you need to focus on a different element like brainstorming or research to get your writing going again. And perhaps, you are listening to your feelings too much. We all have days where we don’t feel like doing things but we have to do them anyway, so maybe that is the approach you need to take with your writing.
- http://writingandwellness.com/2017/01/31/how-to-get-out-of-the-i-dont-want-to-write-funk/ – How to Get Out of the I Don’t Want to Write Funk: Writers go through ups and downs and it is not unusual to go through a stage of being exhausted or tired of it all. You might just need a break. If you’ve just launched and book and submersed yourself in all things marketing, then it simply could be the case that you don’t want to write because you are worn out, and that is okay. Give yourself some time to recharge your creative well. Give yourself the time you need. Of course taking a break won’t help if tiredness isn’t the cause of the problem and this article also looks at how to tell if you’re in a writing funk and how to get out of it. There is a lot of really great information in this article that is well worth reading.
- https://medium.com/the-1000-day-mfa/what-to-do-when-you-just-dont-want-to-write-anymore-d8c598edea50 – What to Do When You Just Don’t Want to Write Anymore: This article begins by looking at what writing mojo is and what you should do when it goes missing. It includes tips like not stopping writing altogether and perhaps writing for ten minutes every day, maybe sign up for a writing workshop to get your creative juices flowing again, join a writers group, or work on short stories or something totally different. There are some great tips in this short read and hopefully one or two to suit you.
- https://thewritepractice.com/dont-want/ – I Don’t Want To Write: This wonderful short article from Joe Bunting has a great heading and the first line says, “But I will.” You see, as writers we all procrastinate and lose the will to write at times. This is normal. I love how he makes the article about characters as well and how they will try to avoid the conflict they face, flee from the pain you want to inflict on them. How many times have been thinking about conflict or struggles your character will face only to find yourself procrastinating the following day when you should be writing the scene?
- https://thewritepractice.com/never-write-again/ – Why I Quit Writing: This is another of Joe Bunting’s articles and it really resonated with me as I’m sure it will with many writing. Wanting to quit is inevitable at some stage but it’s often just a short phase especially if you’re in the middle of a novel. Often, wanting to quit tells you that you are almost there, so don’t give up.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the links this week and can see that it’s not always a bad thing to have days where you don’t want to write or to have the feeling that you want to quit. It’s actually quite normal and so is moving past it. If there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.
(c) Amanda J Evans