What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing


Don’t feel like writing anymore?

Or maybe you just don’t feel like writing today.

Perhaps you set aside two hours to do some writing … but when push came to shove, you just didn’t feel like it.

It’s a tad scary. After all, weren’t you placed on the planet to write? Isn’t this your mission, your calling?

Did God ever say, “Uh. Kinda don’t feel like doing any miracles today. Think I might just go for a walk or something” ??

Probably not (though maybe, who knows?)

But you know what? It’s okay to have those day when you don’t feel like writing.

It doesn’t mean you’ve fallen out of love with writing. It just means something’s going on in your life, your brain or your subconscious that’s put you in a weird mood.

Now, when you don’t feel like writing, it doesn’t mean that you’ve got writer’s block. It’s not the same thing. In fact, writer’s block doesn’t really exist anyway.

Instead, it just means that you’ve temporarily lost your motivation, drive and mojo.

So what do you do when you don’t feel like writing?

It’s important that you stay productive and don’t get lost in Netflix, boredom or - gulp - existential loops of thought, wherein you believe you will never ever write again.

Here are some tips on what to do when you don’t feel like writing but still want to be productive and writerly:

Do Some Editing

I try to do some editing whenever I don’t feel like writing. I mean, I’m personally a big fan of editing, but I know a lot of writer’s aren’t.

So when you just don’t feel like writing something from scratch, why not return to an old novel, short story, essay or poem and improve it?

Proof your stuff.

Prep your stuff.

Add things, subtract things, multiply things.

Read it all through to objectively assess it.

Editing isn’t always fun, but it means you’re still working on a piece of writing without properly writing. And it’s one of those jobs so many of us put off for ages.

Search For Publishers

If you’re like me, you’ll be very good at finishing off a novel, or a collection of short stories or poetry … but really bad at searching for publishers to get said work into book stores.

I see searching for publishers as a chore that takes me away from writing. If I could hire someone to search for publishers for me, I would.

If you’re working on a novel but have never taken the time to search for publishers (because this bit is so boring and stops you from writing), now’s the time to do it!

Read

I find that reading something amazing is the easiest way to get me all pumped-up and ready to write again. Maybe you’ll come across a turn-of-phrase or a badass paragraph that gets you in the mood again.

If you don’t feel like writing, pick up a book and at least practice your craft a little. Absorb the way the writer polishes their sentences, analyse how they’ve put their story together. Learn how storytelling is done.

I always say that a writer isn’t a writer unless they’re also a reader. Use this time when you’re not in the mood to write to do a spot of reading.

Read About Your Favourite Writers

Don’t feel like reading a book? So how about you read about your favourite writers?

I love to read about my favourite writers, as these are the weirdos and magicians who inspire me to keep going. Reading about their eccentric routines, their burnouts, their glories, and their amazing writing feats could be just what you need to get you back typing again.

Go For A Walk

Sometimes, you need to do something utterly non-writing related to get you back in the mood.

At the same time, I’m still writing when I go for a walk because walking lets my imagination run wild. It’s while walking that I come up with new ideas, piece together sequences of dialogue and flesh out characters.

Refresh your mind with some sunshine or moonlight. Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of nature. Stop off at a coffee shop, watch some people, and let life and nature itself inspire you with some new ideas. Get invigorated once more.

I hope all this helps you to figure out what to do when you don’t feel like writing!

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