As much as I love writing, there are moments, days, and sometimes weeks when I don’t feel motivated to write. Sometimes it’s because I have writer’s block, or I don’t believe in myself as a writer. But sometimes there’s not really a good reason. I just don’t want to write.
10 Tips for When You Don’t Want to Write
When I don’t want to write, there are a few tricks I use to motivate myself.
I often read for 10 or 15 minutes before I start writing. It’s a great way to wake up my mind and prepare to write. Reading a great book makes me want to write a great book and often puts me in the mood to try. As I read, I try to pay attention to what I like and what I don’t like about the book. Reading can be a great warm-up to writing. It can also be helpful to read your favorite blog about writing. 😉
2. Go for a Walk/Exercise
I love going for a walk or doing some light exercise to get my creative juices flowing. I often feel like my best ideas come while I am exercising. Whether these great ideas cure my writer’s block or just give me the umph I need to write them down before they are forgotten, exercise is one of my favorite ways to motivate myself to write.
3. Brainstorm/Brain Dump
Sometimes I’m not in the mood to sit down and work on my novel, but I feel energized enough to brainstorm what needs to happen next or to brainstorm ideas to improve an issue with my plot or character development. Once I start brainstorming ideas for my novel, I often end up writing them into my novel or at least writing my thoughts somewhere.
Doing a brain dump where I write about anything and everything that comes to mind can also invigorate me to work on writing my novel. Just like reading is a good way to warm-up before writing, a brain dump is like taking a baby step towards wanting to write.
4. Write in Your Journal
Similar to doing a brain dump, writing in my journal often leads me to want to write my novel. Writing in my journal is also an important thing to do as a writer. My journal has become a great inspiration for events and feelings that I can incorporate into my novel. As I write, I find it helpful to look for moments of my real life that may inspire elements of my novel. I never pull too much or anything too specific from my life. But writing in my journal inspires elements of my novel and motivates me to write.
5. Listen to a Podcast or Song
Listening to something, a podcast or a song, is another good baby step towards wanting to write. Listening to my favorite song or any motivational song with a good beat can motivate me to write. There is something about the creative words of others inspiring me to use my own words to create something beautiful. There are many literary podcasts and podcasts for writers that leave me with the urge to write.
6. Drink a Glass of Water
Water is essential for life. Drinking a glass of water stimulates the brain. Water always makes me feel more awake and alert. It helps me clear my mind and think harder and smarter. Typically a glass of water is just what I need when I’m sitting at my computer with a bad case of writer’s block. A nice glass of water is sometimes enough to motivate me to turn that computer on and churn out some of my best words!
7. Do a Writing Prompt
Sometimes the thought of working on my novel makes me want to do anything but write. But thinking about doing a writing prompt seems a bit more manageable. More often than not, once I’ve done a writing prompt my mind is more alert. I’m much more motivated to do some writing for my novel.
8. Review Your Novel Roadmap
I have a basic outline of my novel, and I highly recommend creating your own. I’m not one for outlining, but it’s important for me to at least have an understanding of my novel’s theme and how my main character will struggle to achieve what they are after. Reviewing this “roadmap” (as I like to call it) can spark an idea or remind me what I am writing towards. This helps me feel like writing.
9. Set a Goal to Write for 10 Minutes or to Write 100 Words
Sometimes when I don’t feel like writing, I just need to start. I usually try to write 500 words a day or revise for 30 minutes a day. I often end up writing or revising more. On days when I don’t feel like writing, I set very small goals. Once I get started, I find myself able to keep going
10. Reward Yourself if You Write
When I don’t want to write, knowing I have something to look forward to after can make it easier to motivate myself. A nice reward is taking 10 or 15 minutes to do something that relaxes me. I like to reward myself with a face mask or painting my nails. Or even just reading my favorite book. Occasionally, I will reward myself with a treat. Like a handful of chocolate chips. I try to avoid food rewards though, because I don’t want to become dependent on food every time I need motivation to write.
What do you do when you don’t want to write?