By Lynn McPherson
Today I want to address a question a lot of writers face at some point in their career. What should I do if I don’t feel like writing? The short answer is to write anyway. My opinion is not shared by everyone. For that reason I’ve decided to give you my thoughts on how to get it done and hope I will persuade those who disagree. Let’s get started.
1. Find your focus. Writing requires a clear head. With the turmoil and difficulties facing the world over the last few months, it is no doubt almost impossible to naturally fall into that sweet space where the thoughts clear and the imagination roams free. So how can one reach the level of concentration required to get their stories down on (virtual) paper? Here are a few ideas:
b) Get up early before the mind is clouded by news and chatter
c) Go for a walk. Simple yet effective.
2. Be Creative. Writing time doesn’t have to mean adding to the manuscript every time you sit down. Editing, Plotting, and Character Development are all essential elements that don’t always require the same level of concentration first drafts do. Why not use the time to work on other parts of your book if you’re not in the mood to push the story forward?
3. Eliminate distractions. For an hour a day, whether it’s early, late, or during your lunch break, sit down in front of your laptop (or whatever device you write on) and stare at it. Make sure your phone and wifi are switched off and put your email on hold. One hour. My guess is that blank screen won’t stay blank for long.
There you have it. My thoughts on how to write even when you don’t feel like it. I’m not saying you should write every day. That’s up to you. But it’s a good idea to figure out a schedule and stick to it—whether that means once a day, three times a week, or only on Sundays. What works for me is to get up with the sun and write every weekday morning. It gives me about 8-10 hours a week of concentrated writing time. It’s not a lot but it’s something.
What works for you?
Lynn McPherson has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, ran a small business, and taught English across the globe. She has travelled the world solo where her daring spirit has led her to jump out of airplanes, dive with sharks, and learn she would never master a surfboard. She now channels her lifelong love of adventure and history into her writing, where she is free to go anywhere, anytime. Her cozy series has three books out: The Girls' Weekend Murder and The Girls Whispered Murder, and The Girls Dressed For Murder.