Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When We Don’t Feel Like Writing

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason 

What do you do when you don’t feel like writing? Gasp! Not feel like writing? Is that even a real feeling?

Um…yes. Unfortunately, it happens. At least to me. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. I adore my job and the flexibility it affords me. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted. But I don’t wake up EVERY SINGLE day thinking, “Oh boy! I’m just so excited, I can’t wait to hit the keyboard!”

For those of you who do this, we are not friends and you can go away.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Anyway, for those of you who are occasionally afflicted with this “I don’t want to write today” thing, I have a few helpful tips on how to get past that.
  • Sit down in front of your manuscript and edit. Sometimes when I edit, I’ll get a new idea to flesh out. That will generate some excitement about moving forward with the story.
  • Get your voice recorder out and start brainstorming the next part of the story. Just start talking. It’s okay if you sound like an idiot, you’re the only one who will hear it.
  • Do something physical. But read the last part of your manuscript before you go. Then while you’re working out or walking around the block, you can be thinking about the next scene, fleshing it out in your mind, getting it ready to be put on the screen.
  • Email a brainstorming buddy and cry on his or her shoulder tell her the story in a stream of consciousness telling. Don’t stop to breathe, just talk. When you’re finished, say, “Now what happens?”
  • Sit down in front of your manuscript and tell yourself you can’t get up until you write at 10 words. Yes. 10. Then you’re allowed to go do something fun. Because I can’t write just 10 words. I always write more. Granted, sometimes it’s 20, but at least I met my goal! Ha. Seriously, I’m willing to bet that would happen to you too.
  • And last but not least, adopt the Nike slogan. “Just do it.” (Most necessary when deadlines loom.)

Yes, I know you think that that last one is not really the most helpful suggestion, but actually it is. I look at it this way. Everyone who has a job has days where he/she doesn’t want to go in to work. Writing is the same thing. It’s your job.  Unless you’re sick or otherwise incapacitated, you go to work. Although I will say this, like some dedicated people (who are unappreciated in the office environment) sometimes you go to work when you’re sick. The good thing is that, at least if you’re a writer and you work from home, you won’t spread the yuck.

Honestly, I really do love writing. I’m very excited about each project God lets me work on. Like I said earlier, I don’t take it for granted that I get to do what I get to do. I’m not whining or complaining. I’m just being honest. Some days it’s just plain hard work and some days I’m just not in the mood to go to work.  And that’s okay.

And I would like to also point out that these suggestions are great for pre-pubbed writers as well. You may not have publisher deadlines, but if you don’t get a manuscript finished…you won’t have publisher deadlines.


So, what are some other suggestions you could add to the list? What do you do when you MUST write and you just don’t want to? I can ALWAYS use more ideas!

TWEETABLES



Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason @lynetteeason on Twitter, and www.lynetteeason.com.

25 comments:

  1. Been there. Done that. Thanks, Lynette, for affirming it's normal to, at times, not feel like writing. Sometimes it happens as soon as I sit down at the keyboard and my mind goes absolutely blank. Your suggestions are great. I've used the editing one many times. Sometimes I go back and just read the last one or two chapters. This can get me going, can stimulate new ideas, get the fingers moving over the keys. Thanks for reminding us we can do it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Henry. :) Yes, I usually go back and read the last chapter or so. It does help. :)

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  2. Great post! So glad we can just...be honest. :) And admit it. It happens!

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    1. LOL. Yes, just be honest. It happens to us all!

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  3. Until I got a real deadline, I'd be horrible about "feeling" like writing. Now it's BICHOK and amazing what happens. I've learned to do Nike's motto, "Just do it. The beginning may not be so hot, but nothing stirs creativity like writing.

    And I will go back to the day before and edit what I wrote there. That use;;y pulls me right back into the story. :)

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  4. Sometimes I'm just plain tired, and my brain refuses to work anymore. Then I need to take a break and find enjoyment elsewhere. Other times I feel discouraged, and that hampers me. Eventually, I get over it. Not writing is not an option! In my heart I know that, and it spurs me on.

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    1. I agree, Linda. I know how you feel, too. I have an autoimmune disorder and fatigue is one of the most aggravating symptoms. Sometimes you just CAN'T do it. That's why it's so important for me to work when I CAN. :) Don't get discouraged, if NOT writing is NOT an option then you'll find a way. Hang in there and God bless! :)

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  5. Great post. When I don't feel like writing, I set a timer for ten minutes and write. Usually when the timer goes off, I keep writing. But I do agree with Ane: BICHOK. And that's where I am today. Enough procrastinating now.

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  6. This post was comforting - just to know that it's a common feeling and issue. I also liked the tips, especially the one about reading the last bit of the MS before going to do something physical. Brain primer!

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    1. Unfortunately, there is that. :) Sometimes, we just have to schedule the writing time. Nothing else is allowed to interfere. :) Sometimes that means leaving the house and going up to Starbucks, getting a hot chocolate and focusing. When I stay home sometimes I get too distracted.

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  8. Yup, this happens to me often. I just don't feel like writing. Good points and I am glad I'm not the only one. :)
    Beth

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    1. Nope, not the only one. :) Hang in there and press on! :)

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  9. Did you write this for me? :-) I'm off to Panera in a few hours, whether I feel like it or not.

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    1. Haha. Nope, I wrote it for me! LOL. But glad it's helpful. Have fun at Panera. Can't wait to see how productive you are!

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  10. As a homeschooling mom, there are only a few hours each day where the house is quiet, and I have to be focused at that time whether I want to or not. So, I'm going with the Nike answer. But honestly, if I'm stuck, I'll try to go sketch or do some artwork related to my story, and it helps me to flesh out some of the details. Nothing like having something visual to inspire something new. Or, I'll go research some aspect of my story. But don't let me fool ya... Sometimes, I just put it away until the next day. =)

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    1. Lol. I totally get it! Sometimes I put it away too. :) I'm a homeschooling mom, too, so I know what you mean about being focused. Blessings!!

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  11. Good tips! I was actually thinking of asking you this same question! I have had a lot of days when I just don't want to write, but that has gotten me no where. I usually try to give myself the goal of a hundred words, but maybe if I shoot lower, I may end up writing more. Because some days, those hundred are hard to get out. Thanks!

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  12. Thanks Lynette for your encouraging post! I love your tips, especially the one about talking into your recorder. :-) I had an idea for a blog while I was trying to be 'still' in my yoga class (and that's exactly what the post was about!), so as soon as I got in my car I recorded my thoughts so I wouldn't forget. P.S. Love your books! :)

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  13. Thank you for the helpful article. Sorry but I don't know what BICHOK means.

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    1. Pat, BICHOK is Butt In Chair; Hands On Keyboard. thanks for clarifying that for others!
      Blessings, E

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  14. I jotted down some ideas the other day and fleshed them out in long hand. When I got to my desk, I transferred those thoughts to my WIP. Viola! 200 words with almost no effort. I managed 1,028 words in that session.

    Re-reading what I've already written and using that to trigger new ideas for the story also helps keep the words flowing.

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