When It’s All Right Not To Write



There’s no getting around it. Sometimes, when you sit down at your computer/notebook/tree carving, you just don’t want to write.

And sometimes, that’s ok.

I mean sometimes, obviously, it’s not. When you’re working to a deadline, or have to get that essay done. THEN you need to write. But occasionally (very occasionally) it’s ok if you just want to sit with a book instead of typing out word after word. When is it all right not to write?

  • If you’re ill. Serious one to start, but writing + illness [can sometimes] = more illness. Don’t stress yourself out. Writing requires a lot of brain power and obviously physical work, unless you’re dictating it – and then it requires you to say every single thing, even punctuation. Don’t make yourself sicker by trying to hit that goal. Wait until you’re better, then smash it.
  • If something else more important has come up.  For example, your little brother’s sporting award night, or a dance. Don’t stay up just to write a few shitty words. You want to have good stuff to work with later. Just relax, enjoy the night, and then write the next day.
  • If you just don’t feel up to it. You’re not ill, but you feel it. Been dumped? Watched something depressing on the news? If you feel physically sick at the thought of adding another word to that god-damned document, wait until you’ve had a sleep, and feel a bit better.

Sometimes, however, you feel like you don’t want to write. So you don’t. But the next day, you don’t want to either. So you don’t. But the next day… 

If it’s been a while, and you’re just procrastinating, you have to start writing again, if that’s what you really want to do. If you don’t want to be a writer any more? Well, quit. But remember not to look back and think about all those characters you’re abandoning, or the plot line someone else may use to become a millionaire, or…

Yeah, you wanna keep writing.

Um… How do you start up again?

  • Find something interesting, and rewrite it in your own words. By far the easiest, and gets the juices flowing again.
  • Find something you wrote a long time ago, and rewrite/edit it. Alternatively, use the crappiness to egg yourself on.  No doubt about it: you’ll have improved.
  • Find someone better at writing than you. Try and write something better than them. Aim high, hit low.

Basically, if you wanna write, write. Sometimes it’s good to have a break: go for a walk, have a bath, take the dog for a swim. But sometimes you just gotta grip your teeth and get those words on the page.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

4 thoughts on “When It’s All Right Not To Write

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