Life, On Writing

How To Write When You’d Really Rather Not

howtowritewhenyoudreallyrathernot
once more a wordy post title by one who is clearly an expert on the matter *cough, cough*

When you want to write, but can’t – that’s writer’s block. When you can write, but can’t muster the motivation – that’s … also a bit of writer’s block, but with a pinch of ‘Alas-I-Don’t-Feel-Like-It’.

You can write, but you don’t want to. Motivation has dried up, vanished. You want to read, or get up off your chair and explore the world, and do Life Things. But alas, you cannot – you’ve got a word count to reach, and by golly, you want to reach it.

Have no fear, my friend! I’ve thrown together a few pointers that have helped me, and hopefully will aid you …

Exit Your Web Browser

I’m sorry, but it must be done. Bookmark tabs you want to keep, but by all means, exit. You have to. (And you can always Restore Previous Session should everything be Terribly Important.)

Sit Yourself Down

… if you weren’t already. But by this I mean, sit yourself down mentally. Stare at the screen or paper and be ready to write. Don’t fidget or berate your mind for coming up with a dry-as-bone story. Nope. Don’t do that.

One writer I know tells me that he sits down every morning and says to himself nicely, “It’s not like you don’t have a choice, because you do – you can either type or kill yourself”

-Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

All right, the above may be a little drastic, but my point in using it is this: don’t give yourself a choice. You are writing. Right. Now.

Remember Why

Put all thoughts of comparisons, word count aims and what you wish to eat for lunch out of your brain. Recall what sparked this story in the first place, remember what got you excited and whip yourself up into a state of perpetual enthusiasm.

Don’t wait for the writing mood to come to you, go and seize the little imp with your own hands.

… and lastly

Before you is the blank screen or the lined paper, both devoid of words. Don’t panic. Set that first word down, follow it by another and another … and trust me, soon enough, you’ll be swept up in a scene. And you’ll be writing.

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4 thoughts on “How To Write When You’d Really Rather Not”

  1. I agree, that first word is the most important thing ever. Even if the first sentence (or three) is total crap, what follows is probably going to be better, because I often get sucked back into the story pretty quickly. And, if it’s the first draft, it’s probably all going to be rewritten anyway! << (What I have learned in my first week of writing my first novel.)

    Thanks for the tips!

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