By Lynette Eason
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, the people I work with, and the flexibility being a self-employed writer 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.
Ha-ha. Just kidding.
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 or you stutter and stumble your way through a scene description, you’re the only one who will hear it. And you can edit it when you get it in the computer.
- 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 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 only 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 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—even when they love what they do. 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. As long as it’s the exception and not the rule.
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!
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor, as well as the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, the Hidden Identity series, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com