in Personal

When Writing Feels Wrong

writingI’m sitting here right now and I’m not sure what to write.

Ever been there?

Since taking on the challenge to write every day, this issue has come up a few times.

I have a bunch of good drafts I could work on, but my head isn’t in the right place for any of them right now. I don’t feel the same way I did when Iw rote them.

I’m tired, I’m not feeling creative and I just want to skip out on writing right now.

I guess this would be a good time to address those thoughts and write about writing when it isn’t coming easy.

If you’re just not feeling it tonight, try these ideas:

1. Play your writing music.

Mine is usually Jazz radio on Spotify.  Gets me in the right mood for writing.

2. Just start writing.

The ideas are in your head already.  Sometimes you can pull them out gradually. This one sounds obvious but when you’re faced with that blank sheet it feels daunting. Start by writing how you’re feeling right now and take it from there.  Start with “hi I’m David”. Just start. Get the words flowing.

3. Acknowledge your thoughts.

Whenever I feel stressed or unproductive, it helps to write down my problem and then write down a solution.  I’m essentially doing that with this post.  I wrote down how I felt then I wrote down logical solutions to change how I feel.

This can work any time you feel stressed, not just with writing. Address the thoughts in your head, write them down, say them out loud then identify solutions.

4. What did you learn today?

The reason most of those drafts aren’t inspiring you right now is because inspiration is usually in a moment.  That’s why it’s always good to write out posts while they’re fresh in your mind.  You still have the context and the emotion around it.  What’s one lesson, even if it’s super simple, that you learned today?

5. Write in a different style.

If you’re like me, you write a lot about business related topics and sometimes it starts feeling a bit bland.  Try throwing yourself a curve ball.  Take on a creative challenge to write a poem, a fantasy story or a speech.  Write in the third person.  Write as if you’re someone else.  Sometime’s it’s not that you can’t be creative, but rather that you’re not being creative enough.

6. Remind yourself of why you’re writing.

What’s your goal? Who are you writing for? What need or problem are you solving for them?  What’s a question they might ask you right now?  Knowing why you’re writing will help you come up with new ideas and put how you’re feeling into context.

7. Get comfortable with putting out shitty writing.

Of course, this depends on #6. If you’re writing for a job or for something official, you’ll want to make sure it’s refined.  If you’re writing for yourself, like I am, you have to get over your urge to perfect every post. For one, you have NO idea what other people will enjoy and what they won’t.

Sometimes the post that took you 5 minutes has a huge impact, and sometimes the one that took you 3 hours completely flops.  Just get your ideas and words out there.  Don’t stress over making it perfect.

Your turn.  What works for you when you want to write but just can’t get going?