Saturday, I encouraged you to write even when you don’t feel like it, but I didn’t explain how exactly. It’s easier said than done, and there isn’t one answer. There are more than one ways to start a fire.
Identify why you don’t feel like writing. For some of you it will be easy to pinpoint the cause.
- You just don’t know what to write
- You had a bad day at work
- You had a fight with a spouse, sibling, or parent
- You are experiencing a loss or illness.
While it would be nice to put writing on hold until all your problems sort themselves out, you have to keep going. You do have to face your problems, but writing can be the perfect distraction from the things distracting you from writing. I know that sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it.
To get back into writing, start with an outline. You can outline the entire book, a chapter, or just what is going to happen in the scene you need to write.
Example: Buttercup goes on a horse ride and encounters three strangers on the road claiming to be lost circus performers.
I can hear your collective groans. I know a lot of people hate outlining. If you don’t like to outline, just call it summarizing. Same thing really.
Get some rest
It’s hard enough writing when you don’t feel like it. Now try forcing the words with no energy. If the thought of writing with no motivation makes you want to lie down and take a nap, go right ahead. Take a nap or a quick break. Once you’re recharged, get back to it.
Skip to the good parts
Someone once told me I had to watch “Brokeback Mountain.” I didn’t feel like watching it, so I skipped to the good parts. You know which parts I’m talking about. Don’t make me go into detail. It was a long movie, and I was just curious to see how Hollywood was going to pull that off. So I watched, collectively, about twenty minutes of the movie.
Sometimes, I feel this way about my own writing. I don’t want to write a particular scene because it’s boring. You can identify, I’m sure. Maybe you don’t want to write at all; perhaps it’s just the scene you are working on.
I prefer to write linearly from the beginning to the end. This is also how I eat cake and pizza. I start at one end and work my way back. Some people like to eat the icing-covered edge first or the crust of the pizza. They may even eat the bubble out of the center or scrape the icing off the top. This is how some people write. Feel free to skip to a scene you could feel motivated to write.
Play a movie or music
Whether it’s your inspiration, background noise, or the soundtrack to your novel, a movie or music can help you write. I like Pandora and YouTube. I created a separate playlist for each character.
Read to write
Reading can be very relaxing, inspirational, and motivating. A good habit to start: Read before you write. Everyday, I read ten minutes before I start writing.
That’s right, just write. The very act of writing will help your writing flow. Be prepared to write utter crap. Be prepared to only write a hundred words.
There are numerous other ways to force yourself to write. Force is such an ugly word. How about motivate. Do what works for you. You must write. Remember you can’t wait for things to get better, for more time, or for more motivation. If you wait, it may never happen.
You, that’s right, you, staring at your computer screen. You’re reading this blog, you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, IWasteSoMuchTime.com. Close the extra browsers, like or comment below, and then get back to writing, right now.