Write Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Hustle

One of the hardest things to do when you decide to become a Real Life Writer is writing when you don’t really feel like it. More than anything, that is what separates working writers from hobbyists. Hobbyists write when they feel like it. Working writers write even when they don’t.

That’s a hard shift to make. When your job depends on your creativity, not feeling like it can turn a piece into complete trash if you let it. You don’t have to let it but you can’t just skip it either. This job means writing even when you feel like your muse is taking a smoke break.

There are going to be some days when you don’t feel like it. That’s OK. Everyone needs a day off now and then but you can’t wait until you feel like it to start again. You have to show up even if putting the words on the page are like pulling teeth. Take a day off, that’s fine, but don’t take off for an undetermined amount of time that’s controlled by your mood.

Every piece you write isn’t going to be a masterpiece. Sometimes it’s going to just be passable. If you’re not running up against a deadline (side note, be better about not procrastinating) then just call it a draft and look at it again tomorrow when you do feel like it. You might find some hidden gems in the prose that you missed when you just didn’t feel like it.

See, the trick is, you can always fix a bad page. If you don’t write anything at all though, there’s nothing to start with and even if you have to scrap the whole thing, at least you know what not to do next time.

Write even when you don’t feel like it. Show up, put the words down. Edit them when you feel better. The more you do this, the easier it will become.

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Novels Aren’t The Only Fruit: A Friday Pep Talk For Writers

You're ok.

You’re ok.

Not every writer is a novelist, although many of us who get into the profession hope to be one. This doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of people out there making money with the written word who do not have books out. Even if you dream of writing a book someday, you’re not failing at this whole writing thing if all you have are articles published on the internet.

When I tell people that I’m a writer and then respond to their question as to where they can find my books, they often lose interest when I tell them I write articles. Even though people consume a great deal of writing in today’s content heavy atmosphere, there’s a sort of disconnect between the articles that we read and share on social media and the novels we read for pleasure. In many minds, a novel makes you a writer. Anything “less”, well, not so much.

I don’t know what people consider the media they read online or in magazines to be but the people who write those things are no less successful or noteworthy than people whose fiction adorn the virtual shelves of Amazon.

In fact, there’s a greater chance that the person whose work appeared on some online journal or even in a throwaway article created to pick up Google spiders made more money doing what they loved than the person with a book on Amazon. This isn’t a jab at self-publishers, it’s hard in that market, this is a statement that some people’s purpose for writing is to be paid rather than to share a story.

Even if you’re writing to turn a buck, you’re still a writer. Maybe not a sexy one, but you’re still doing the job. And that is commendable because it doesn’t matter if you write for magazines, craft novels, churn out content articles, or blog like it’s going out of style, this is a hard gig to be in. Keep at it. You’re doing great.