When You Don’t Want To Write

Here is a challenge we all face as writers: how to make yourself work when there’s nothing enforcing it.

When you don’t want to go to work in the morning, there are reasons you get your butt dressed and out of the door anyway.  You may have to report to a boss, or you might not get paid if you don’t show up.  Maybe there are other people depending on you, or responsibilities you have to fulfill.  Even without personal motivation, you have lots of external motivators keeping you on track.

If writing isn’t your full-time gig, then it’s probably something you do for your own fulfillment.  There are plenty of ways to enforce motivation (I like competitive pressure, like NaNo, myself) but the trick is to find the right combination so there’s always something there.  Without it, on days when you’re tired, or busy, or just not into it, it won’t happen.  I’m trying to stay on track, even with a lot of other pulls on my time, but tonight I’m finding it a bit of a challenge.

To all the authors out there: What do you use to motivate yourself to write?


Someone Stole My Motivation

I have a lot to do.

My “weekend” at work has switched, so last week I only had one day off before going back to work.  This means that very little got done around my apartment last Saturday, so the to-do list for this weekend is longer than usual.  While I was anticipating being very good and conquering the list, I have found that my motivation to get anything done is completely gone now that the day has arrived.

This goes for my writing as well.  I’ve done very little since I finished Dragon, and my brain is enjoying watching movies, reading, and knitting without characters for company.  Currently I’m back to reading non-fiction, which is an excellent time to start a novel, but again, the motivation is gone.

Does anyone have some spare drive and enthusiasm they can loan me?

Just Make It Happen

The last couple of mornings I’ve woken up feeling less than stellar.  Tired, sore, and generally blah are really good excuses to use for not biking to work.  Wednesday I figured that part of the problem was that I’d had poor sleep and hadn’t really exercised while my sister was here.  Today I know the fault lays entirely with my dog (who was incredibly irritating last night and kept waking me up).  It was incredibly tempting to just take the excuse and hop into my car.

I didn’t.  On both days I forced myself to get out of bed and onto my bike.  Do you know what happened?

I felt better when I got to work.

Why does this relate to writing?  Easy.  Sometimes things come up and your habit of writing a scene or two every day gets interrupted.  After a few days or even a week of not writing, your mind doesn’t want to do it anymore.  It seems useless and perhaps even painful to sit down and force yourself to write.

Guess what?  You’ll feel better if you do.

The longer you let yourself slide into not writing, especially without deadlines or readers or any other impetus, the longer you’ll end up going without writing.

So, if you find yourself without motivation, make it happen anyway.  Push through the struggle.  The stuff you produce might not be up to your usual quality and you may have to trash it, but who cares?  The point is to find the rhythm of daily writing again.  You’ll be glad you did.