We’ve all had those periods when writing feels like a chore instead of an activity that we actually love. You’ve probably proclaimed how passionate you are about writing more than once – especially when you’re applying for a gig – but the “I hate writing” moments do come now and again.
What are you to do when you just don’t feel like writing? Here are five things that have proven to be effective for me. Sometimes, when I really, really don’t feel like writing, it takes a combination of these activities to get me back on track.
1. Force yourself.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you are a professional writer – or at least you think yourself to be. But, professional or not, those “I don’t feel like writing” times still happen. When they do, remember this quote. Don’t quit.
Force yourself. You can do it.
2. Go out for coffee.
After that rather direct piece of advice, I have to admit that it doesn’t always work – at least not always in a positive way. Sure, forcing yourself is always an option, and if you’re determined enough, you will always get the work done.
The question is: what is the quality of the resulting work?
So, I will eat humble pie and admit that forcing myself when I don’t feel like writing isn’t always the best option. And while I’m at it, I’ll drink coffee with that pie. Literally.
If you can’t force yourself, go to your favorite coffee shop, cafe, bistro, pub, or whatever and have something to drink and/or eat. After that, you’ll probably feel much better and ready to write again.
3. Browse entertaining web sites.
If you can’t – or don’t want to – go out, then by all means stay at home and stay connected. Don’t write, but waste time on wonderfully, sillily, and entertainingly sites such as Reddit, 9GAG, College Humor, or whatever your guilty pleasure may be. Spend 30 minutes to an hour relaxing your brain on your favorite sites (which may require you to actually NOT think). See how that helps you want to write again.
4. Play a game.
If you like playing video games, then it’s a no brainer. You don’t feel like writing, and forcing yourself doesn’t work? Grab your iPad, iPhone, PS3/Xbox controller and game to your heart’s content. A brilliant blog post idea or two might even hit you while you’re playing. (Yes, it’s been known to happen.)
Skyrim vs Fallout – Which is better?
5. Take a nap.
If all else fails, nothing works better than a nap. If you take a look at my Twitter bio, you’ll understand. I’m a pro at napping, and it does wonders for productivity (there’s science behind that), mood, and creativity.
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