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How to write when you don't want to?


We have all been there. You have a paper that is due soon, an article with a looming deadline, a novel that is waiting to be finished, yet you lack the motivation to write. What do you do?

One option is to procrastinate--busy yourself with nonimportant tasks, sit and do nothing, or roll up into a ball and cry. But deep down, you know that is not going to be helpful.

The second option is--just do it! Sit at your workstation, ready your fingers, and start typing. Now, this is easier said than done. You wouldn't be reading this article if it was that simple. So this article is going to try to help you mentally prep so you can get yourself there.

  1. Give yourself a personal deadline. Start by saying: Okay, I will write in 10 minutes, then pull out your phone and set an alarm time. When that alarm goes off, make sure you at least go to your workstation.

  2. During the ten minutes, do a small activity to get you ready to work. One that helps me is to wash dishes for 10 minutes. Washing is a quick way to help you feel cleaner, organized, and accomplished. Another great activity is going for a 10 minute way. Walking is a great way to release anxiety and subconsciously helps you to feel like you are moving forward. It also helps to calm and clear your mind.

  3. Once you are at your workstation, give yourself another small goal. Say to yourself: All I have to do is write one line, just one sentence. After you finish that one sentence, give yourself a small reward. An easy example is giving yourself a small treat or candy. Be sure not to reward yourself so greatly that it pulls you away from work again.

  4. If nothing is coming to your mind, read a page from a book. Sometimes reading helps to get the words, ideas, and creative juices flowing. Another note, make sure not to read so much that it pull you away from work. Be sure to set a small limit.

  5. If you still are feeling frustrated and anxious, and nothing is coming together. Write a random sentence, anything really. Write a couple of clear sentences, easy topics that you can easily and instantly write about. After you finish it, try going back to your writing assignment, words may flow more easily to you.

  6. If nothing seems to be working, force yourself! Honestly, it is all about discipline. That's it, and that's the real secret. Just do it. Even if you don't want to. Even if it is terrible, it is okay. The important thing is to just get yourself into the habit of doing, so it will be easier for you in the future.

Again, all this advice is easier said than done. But at the end of the day, you know what you need to do. And if you still feel some inward repulsion, perhaps your gut telling you this may not be the career path for you. If you feel an instant panic, that no, you love writing and want to continue and are just in a funk. Then that is perfectly understandable. It is very normal. No judgment. But stop reading this article now and write. I hope you have a great day! :)

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