How to write

How to write when you don’t Feel Like Writing

“Just ten more minutes and I’ll definitely start writing, I swear!” said my writer-friend when I pushed him to complete his sixth chapter. I texted him thirty minutes later and he replied stating that his friends got him a ticket for a movie and that he was on the way. I wasn’t surprised as I’ve seen a lot of people procrastinating their writing schedule and doing things that seemed more interesting to them. It happens, most often. The anxiety with which people decide to write a book and start off eventually fades away as days pass. It is natural because writing is something that consumes a lot of time and takes a lot of effort. Despite having clear ideas on what to write and how to go about it, one will feel writing less interesting in some days he or she starts writing. A lot of bestsellers still remain somewhere in drawers or cupboards, amidst dust. Regardless of whether it’s your day job, your friends and family, social media, or just lack of interest that’s keeping you away from writing, the bottom line is that our manuscript remains untouched.

While it’s true that we cannot be perpetually enthusiastic about what we do, we can, however, make sure we get the motivation we need to keep our writing process running. Now, if you feel this is similar to writer’s block, you’re wrong. Writer’s block is when you are hell bent on writing something but you cannot because words and ideas don’t seem to strike you. But here, the problem is with us. It is us who want to procrastinate writing and spare our time to do something else. I’m sure you would have been through this; trust me, everyone goes through this, including most of the bestselling authors. But what we are about to see are tips on how we can come back on track on our writing schedule and rekindle the interest to complete that book we have in our mind. These tips work at psychological level and involuntarily offer you the enthusiasm you need to sit down and bleed words. Check them out.

Catch up with Writers

One of the most comforting and inspiring things that will for sure kickstart the urge to start writing again is hanging out with other writers. When you don’t feel like writing but you feel the guilt is killing you, call up your writer-friends and ask them if you all could meet up. Having a conversation with them, sharing ideas on storylines, discussing about word count, writing schedule, balancing day-job and writing, and writer’s block will all help you get back to writing. You will be amazed to notice the efforts other authors put in completing their book and the benefits they see on publishing it. This will hit your guilt and involuntarily push you to your desk and get you to write again.

Visit a Bookstore

Now, this has personally worked for me. There was a time I started off with a manuscript and gave up on it halfway through. I swore that I would come back to completing it in a day or two with more enthusiasm but it never happened. However, once when I accompanied my friend to a bookstore, I was totally inspired by the fabulous books out there. The innumerous book covers, the myriad of concepts and storylines, and the blurbs just rekindled the inspiration to complete my book, which I did soon after that. I feel, somehow, that more than readers, it is authors who find joy in visiting a bookstore because it just makes them want to write more and place their book amidst the other books in the market. I’m sure this will happen to you when you find writing least motivating. This is a simple concept that when we work on a book, we don’t have a visual idea of how the product – our book – will look like in the end. So, when we gaze at other books in the bookstore, our mind just replaces the books we see with the ones we write and triggers neurons that put us in front of our manuscripts again. Explained enough?

Travel or Change your Location

A change in environment can make a huge difference in writing. One of the reasons that may be stopping you from writing is the thought that you’ve to get back to that boring desk of yours and start typing words. Try changing the location you write in and you will be amazed to see the perspectives and inspiration you get to start writing again. If needed, take a small break for a day or two, book a hotel room with a good view on a hill station or a sea-facing one and take your laptop with you. Be in an environment that keeps you fresh and rejuvenated and immerse yourself to the place you’re in. You will find the motivation to write your manuscript seeping through your body. A change is necessary for all of us and for writers, it is way beyond essential.

Make a Public Announcement on Social Media

Sometimes, nothing works like an insult does. If you want to begin writing again, make a public commitment. Go to your social media profile like Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and even Instagram, and put a status announcing that you’re writing a book and that it will be out in a couple of months (depending on how much you’ve written). Making a public announcement will instill a commitment and help develop in you a sense of fear. Fear is good sometimes, as it keeps things on check. This fear will ensure you come back to writing and get your book out within in the time you’ve announced on social media. Your mind will realize that if you don’t publish your book, people, especially, other writers will come and ask you about it. So, making a public announcement is just beneficial to your writing.

Find your Creative Muse

Most of the famous writers out there had a creative muse or an unusual practice they followed to get that motivation to write. As we said, psychologically, these muses worked in triggering the urge to write and even showered them with ideas and perspectives for their book. You can find loads of interesting habits of writers over here: https://notionpress.com/blog/crazy-rituals-of-famous-authors/. To get the urge, have a creative muse to spark that writing flow again. If you feel writing in a coffee shop or a lounge will help you write more, go ahead and head to one. Or, if you feel you can write facing a particular direction can offer you scope to write, do so. Your creative muse can be anything – wearing your favorite shades, comfy clothing, the sound of the waves, or just a dim-lit room. Find yours and get writing.

Recall where it went wrong

When you ventured into writing a book, all you could sense was excitement all around you. You were filled with this zeal to become a published author in a year but in days or weeks, the enthusiasm just got drained away. When nothing of the above mentioned techniques work, just sit back and think where things went wrong. Now, writing was a passion for you; so, why did you refrain from writing? Think! Did you take it too seriously that the moment you thought about writing, all the fun involved got eclipsed? Did you face any difficulty with developing your storyline? If that’s the case, rework on your plot and think of other directions you can give it. Sit back, relax, and think about the reasons you loved writing and your plot. Think of why it was so important to get your ideas out to the public as a book and visualize the benefits of becoming a published author. When you realize these, you will automatically get back to writing.

See, life isn’t a fairy tale and we don’t live in a fantasy land, where every day is just sunshine and happiness. As writers, we cannot expect that every single day will be as exciting as the day you wrote really well and were content about it. There are days you won’t feel like picking that pen up and writing your book. That’s natural. But what isn’t is you getting complacent to it. Do not fall for the trap, as it will just crush your dreams of becoming a published author. So, if you are really serious about your dream, get up, and start writing. If you can’t, follow the tips and get back to work. There’s a book you’ve to complete.

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Aravind S

Aravind, works as a publishing mentor at Notion Press. His articles help aspiring writers realize their dream of becoming a published author. He has several years of experience in the publishing industry and has researched on digital media and the future of print-publishing. He is an active mentor for a community of writers to educate and guide them toward writing a book that sells.

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