Don’t Feel Like Writing?

DancingThere is no shortage of challenges in every life. We’re all being pulled in several directions at any given time. Even those of us who are full time writers are distracted by challenges other than those posed by unruly characters or a topic that requires copious amounts of research.

I’ve lost count of the number of writers who have told me in the past 12 months that they are “done” with writing. (And thank goodness, they aren’t, really.)

I had the benefit of “growing up” (as a professional writer) in a writing community with many traditionally published authors. I was warned about keeping my butt in the chair no matter how I felt about it. I was told there would be days I’d rather clean the gutters on my house with cotton swabs than write. I didn’t understand then. Twenty years later, I do.

Blogger Ginny Carter calls this “writer’s apathy.” Whatever you call it, there are some things you can do to weather this storm and come out whole. And it starts with understanding that this condition isn’t unique to you.

  1. Instead of beating yourself up, set up a new writing plan. Go get that kitchen timer that looks like a rooster (or in my case, a lady bug) and set it for 15 minutes. Get in front of your computer, your typewriter or your notebook/pad for 15 whole minutes every day. That’s it. If you’re on a roll, keep going. If not, do your 15 minutes and then go wash the floors. Either way, pat yourself on the back for keeping your word and accomplishing some word count!
  2. I know folks who take their laptops to the library or the local coffee shop and work there instead of in their homes, especially when they are “stuck.” Maybe drive to the local park and set up at a picnic table. If you end up where there’s no Wi-Fi you’ll be cooking with fire – no social media temptations or distractions. Wahoo!
  3. Remember to give your mind a rest! Take in a movie – a matinee with big bag of popcorn and a bottle of water. Enjoy a reprieve from all things pressing! You’ll feel rejuvenated. Then see suggestion #1.
  4. Don’t neglect the basics of good health: laugh a lot, dance a lot, love a lot, drink a good amount of water, eat good foods, and make some time to just be quiet – EVERY DAY.
  5. If none of the above work, then JUST DO IT. See suggestion #1. We can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!

Keep reading and writing! And remember – you can’t edit a blank page.


About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014. Author of Murder in Black and White, Still Shot, Merciful Blessings, and numerous published short stories.
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