How to Write Even When You Don’t Feel Up to It by Torri Myler

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Denise Alicea

This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

How to Write Even When You Don’t Feel Up to It


Whether you’re a blogger, a professional writer or a marketer responsible for delivering great copy every day of the week, at some point you’re simply bound to lose all motivation for writing. Creating captivating and engaging content on a constant basis is a challenge and when you find yourself utterly unable to write a single word, you might feel frustrated and lost. Keep calm and have a look at those tips to help you in writing even when you feel it’s the last thing you’d like to do.


  1. Take yourself to a creative place


Sometimes it’s enough to change your surroundings to feel a surge of creativity coming your way. Do you remember how the author of the celebrated novel The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman, actually thanked a museum café inside the book? He said that every time he would go there, all issues he was trying to solve with his novel would magically solve themselves.


What you need to do is find your creative nook – a place where you feel comfortable and which instantly inspires you to see the world from another perspective. The right location can do wonders to your work – especially if you’re going through a crisis. Do you feel most creative indoors or outdoors? Would you prefer a silent library or a buzzing café?


  1. Know yourself


This point requires some work in self-awareness. Do you know what inspires you? Over the years you must have noticed that in some moods or settings you simply become incredibly creative, while others stifle your writing capabilities and every word costs you a lot. All it takes is some observation and self-understanding – it’s worth your time because it can help you a lot. Once you’re aware of what works for you, it’s enough to put yourself in the right mood.


But it’s not enough to know what inspires you to write – you should also have an idea about what makes it difficult to work. Even when you’re in the best mood, you’re still susceptible to creativity killers. Every writer has their own creativity killers, but in most cases they appear to be beneficial to you, while in fact they’re actually making your life difficult without you even being aware of it.


It can be the TV, the Internet or even snacking – just ask yourself and closely observe your work to spot what exactly you’re doing when you’re supposed to be writing that great content. What do you like to do that prevents you from delivering this content?


  1. Read


This is simple. This tip is excellent if you’re writing at home and you’ve got many books at your disposal. Have a look at your private library and find a work by another author which is similar to what you’re writing – it can be another essay, another story or another presentation. Read this text for a while and enjoy its style – mind the language and text organization.


This exercise is not about you trying to copy another writer’s style or even worse – steal their unique content. It’s mostly about being exposed to quality written content, which is something that helps writers to create their own works. Trust me, it just works.


  1. Research the blogosphere


Another great strategy that might help those of you writing content for the web and marketing purposes. Think about your favorite blogs and list 2 or 3 of them. Then have a close look at their content to see which posts are the most popular – this is something you can easily see in the sidebar. Carefully read those posts to determine what they have in common – this is a process that will help you to establish what are the key features that make a post go viral.


The problem is of course that your content might be addressing a completely different audience, so copying those tactics won’t be the most efficient strategy for you. Instead focus on more abstract qualities of those posts – check how the headlines are written and how entire posts are structured. Monitoring the competition is something most bloggers do periodically.


  1. Listen to music


There are moments when you’re writing in an environment where music isn’t allowed. You might be one of those people that cannot focus with music on. But if you don’t need absolute silence and you can listen to music while writing, go for it! Music is a great measure to change your mood – it can give you lots of energy that you didn’t even know you had.


While some writers like movie scores, other prefer instrumental music – take your pick and see what works for you best. It’s important that the music doesn’t distract you and that it makes you feel full of energy and ready to face any challenge.


  1. Go for a walk


Moving around always helps when you’ve got a lot on your mind and no strategy for putting your thoughts on paper is better than having a breath of fresh air. Going outside for a minute or two is an excellent tactic to help you manage stress or exhaustion. Sometimes discovering that there’s life outside the office helps to develop a new perspective on a problem.


It simply makes office workers less overwhelmed when they become aware that their files, computers and assignments are not all there is in  he world. If you find yourself stuck on a single sentence or paragraph, it’s a good idea to think about something else for a while and walk away to change the scenery. You’ll surely return to your desk with a new way of phrasing what you wanted to say that would never occur to you before.


  1. Relax


This isn’t going to be easy, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Most writers find it hard to follow this piece of advice because it’s counter-intuitive. Good writing stops when you begin to consider your work bad, insufficient or slow. Thinking negatively about your writing won’t help you write faster or better – it will stop your writing altogether!


What you should do instead is focus on the words and sentences themselves – not on the ways you feel about them. And just keep going. It’s normal to revise your work, making it stronger and compelling – even if right now it’s nothing like that. Just relax and write.


Being a writer isn’t an easy job, but if you develop a fair degree of self-awareness, you’ll be able to face any challenge that arises during your writing career.


The article was contributed by Torri Myler of

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