Writing When You Don’t Want To Write

So there you are. You’ve had a hard day at the day job, you’re kids need help with homework, it’s your night to prepare a meal for your family, you need to spend some quality time with a roulette of family members and you just don’t feel like writing.

What to do? That novel isn’t going to write itself. Here are a few things I try when I get into this mode:

1. Take Fridays Off – This particular week was very stressful with state testing, some regular job stress thrown in and a minor crisis to boot. My mind just needed a break, a chance to unwind, and simply do little to nothing for an evening. I’ve spent it playing with the kids, watching Ladyhawke with my oldest daughter and sitting outside with my wife watching the storms roll in.

2. What’s Done In The Dark – I wait until everyone is in bed and then the laptop comes out and I get to work. I can usually motivate myself after the noise dies down. For some reason I do my best writing at this time, and therefore find it most productive. Afterward, my mind is usually so tired that I go right to sleep as well.

3. Saturday Morning Quiet – I don’t know about you, but I’m an early riser – not one of those people who sleep in. I grab a cup of joe, plop down and get to work on the stuff I thought about as I was falling asleep the night before (if I break suggestion #1) or things I thought about during the week but didn’t get to write about.

4. Form A Routine – I have a scheduled writing time during the week to ensure that I meet weekly word count goals. Scrivener helps me do this since it has a “project targets” tool that calculates how many words I have to write each day to meet my deadlines and then recalculated if I miss a day. It allows me to see my target goals and set a realistic schedule that I can see in real time.

5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up – You are going to have days where you don’t feel like writing, but don’t punish yourself with marathon weekends and long weeks of sulking. Get back in there, sidle up to those keys and start typing. The only thing that will get your book written is bum glue and fingers moving, after all. It is ultimately up to you.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

4 thoughts on “Writing When You Don’t Want To Write

  1. Howdy fantastic website! Does running a blog like this
    take a lot of work? I’ve no knowledge of computer programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject however I simply needed to ask. Appreciate it!

    1. I simply signed up on WordPress and it was pretty easy to get started. Their blogging site is fairly simple to navigate, and it can be customized to your liking. It just takes some patience.

  2. I wish no. 5 was as easy as you say! 😉 I’m early morning writer too, although for me the evenings are for reading and crashing after the dark lords of the sith (my two young ones) have finally given up to the land of nod.
    Great shout on Scrivener targets. Hadn’t realised there was a daily target element hidden in the options.
    And kudos for the shout out on Ladyhawke. In the top 3 of best sunday afternoon films ever.

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