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Sunday

Writing When You'd Rather Do the Dishes

Let's face it: sometimes we don't feel like writing. Even on days that turn out to be my most successful writing days, I start my writing time by fighting a desire to finish the housework, water the plants, or even take a nap.

One of my college professors once told our class that anytime he has a big paper to prepare for a conference, his house ends up being extremely clean because he will exhaust every possible means of distracting himself before sitting down and writing the paper.

In previous blogs, I have discussed ways to cultivate a creative environment, and those are certainly important. However, sometimes, especially if you write as a full-time occupation, you simply will not feel like writing. Here are some tips I am learning from those times when I don't feel like writing.

1) Realize that it is a normal part of the writing process to feel unmotivated sometimes. Don't beat yourself up or convince yourself you are a bad writer because of it.

2) Take small steps. Don't tell yourself, "I've got to write 20 pages in my novel today!" because you will overwhelm yourself. Tell yourself, "I am going to sit down and start writing the next page I need." After you finish a page or two, you will most likely find yourself back in the writing flow.

3) Remember that revision is not only an option, but a necessary next step in the writing process. Don't get so caught up in writing something perfectly the first time that you squelch your productivity. Just focus on getting it written, then wait until a separate time to revise.

Questions for Comment: Have you ever struggled with the feeling of not wanting to write despite needing to? What did you do to overcome this feeling?

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