Writing Motivation: What to do when you don't feel like writing.

It’s a very common thing to see in writing forums for a writer to come along and say, “Sorry I haven’t been around, but I just didn’t feel like writing recently.” Then in the same stroke of the keyboard, they’ll tell you they want to be a writer for a living.

I wonder how your boss at your J-O-B would feel if you sat at your desk one day, surfing the internet, and said, “I really don’t feel like working today.”

That’s one of the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with writing. If you’re going to make a living at it, you have to write, even when the passion is burned out of you and there is no desire in that moment to write anything. Another reason for the love/hate of it is the times when the passion IS there and the desire is burning through me, and I have no choice BUT to write.

It seems that writing controls me more than I’ll ever control it.

Now, I’m not talking about Writer’s Block here. There’s a difference between lack of motivation and desire to write and feeling ‘blocked’ as though you ‘can’t write. If you’ll read the article below:

Ten Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block!
A 10 point article on ways to overcome writer’s block. When a writer gets ‘stuck’ and cannot write, this article provides tips for getting ‘unstuck’ and letting the writing flow.
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I don’t actually believe in Writer’s Block. you can always write. I just think that sometimes we lack motivation or desire, just like we do with everything else in our lives.

So what do you do when you write for a living and you don’t feel like writing?

Me? Well, if I don’t have a deadline or anything pressing I absolutely MUST write, I will spend that time taking care of the non-writing business end of being a writer. I’ll go through emails, work on my website, do a little promoting of my content that gets paid for by page views, network with folks, catch up on reading (which is part of writing, whether we like to think so or not), or do anything else that needs to be done as part of the writing as a job.

I mean, if you’re writing for a living, these other things DO need to be done, and if you’re lacking motivation and desire to write, chances are you are not going to write your best stuff.

Unfortunately, though, sometimes you’ll have deadlines to make and that desire to write just isn’t there. What then?

Write anyway.

You know, if writing really is part of you, you can write well enough to get by. Not every single thing you write has to be award-winning here, and not everything has to be perfect. Yes, it’s easier when you are feeling it, but it’s not impossible to write when you are lacking motivation. We’re human – we do lots of things in our lives that we HAVE to do, even when we are lacking motivation, so I’m not sure why writers think writing is any different.

I mean, if it’s just a hobby, then you only write when you feel like it, but for a living, you write, even when you don’t feel like it. You’d be surprised though how sometimes just forcing yourself to write, how once you start, get a little into it, the inspiration WILL kick in. The hard part is forcing yourself to do it.

I know I write about this a lot, but the thing is, it’s the single most common reason writers don’t make it trying to write for a living. THIS is the #1 freelancers fail.

It’s not because writers don’t know where to write. There are literally hundreds of thousands of places taking submissions for print, online and content.

It’s not because writers don’t write good copy/content. There are many mediocre writers making a good living writing SEO copy and sales copy. There are even really bad writers making good money.

It’s not because you can’t think of what to write. There are writing prompts, calls for content, assignments, blogs, and more. Shoot, you can do a product review of any product in your home you’ve ever purchased.

While sometimes not managing the business end of freelance writing can cause a writer to fail while working for themselves, it’s not the primary reason for failing.

The #1 reason a freelance writer, novelist, author fails is because they let the lack of motivation kick in, don’t push past it, and stop writing either permanently or for long stretches at a time, making it financially impossible to make a living as a writer.

I’ve done it myself. After I wrote my first novel, I didn’t write another piece of fiction for over a year. I found an agent who was interested in representing me, but he asked for my ‘other manuscripts’. He didn’t want to go to the trouble and expense of setting up a file and maintaining it for a one-hit wonder. He wanted a writer he knew was going to be able to produce.

So if you are going to make it as a freelance writer or a novelist, I hope you’ll type up what I’m about to write below, print it out, and put it up somewhere so you can see it, so it haunts you. Tape it to your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, computer, bathroom mirror, in your car:

  • Even when you don’t feel like writing, write anyway.

  • Even when it’s hard to write, write anyway.

  • Even when you can’t find the time to fit writing into your schedule, make the time, and write anyway.
  • Even when it’s emotionally painful to write, know that writing will actually make the pain stop, so write anyway.

  • Even when you think you’re not good enough, write anyway.
  • Even when you think what you’re writing sucks rocks, write anyway.
  • Even when no one else is supporting you, write anyway.
  • Even when you feel there is no one in the world who understands (come visit my forum, because there’s plenty of folks who DO understand there), write anyway.
  • Even when you can’t think of what to write, pick something, anything, and write anyway.
  • Even when (fill in the blank with your own excuse)____________, write anyway.

Keep writing. It’s the only way to make money as a writer, and it’s the only way to calm the voices in your head, the burning in your heart, the need inside of you that makes you a writer.

Write anyway.

Write anyway.

Write anyway.

Love and stuff,