On Not Wanting to Write

I’ve worked two types of jobs in my life. I’ve had jobs that I hate. These are the jobs where I’ve dreaded getting up in the morning, and I’ve had to put a sticky note over the clock on my computer to keep myself from checking it every minute. There was one job that, more disturbingly, led to quite a few tear filled car rides because I was so upset with my life. On a few occasions, I somehow subconsciously made myself physically ill because the thought of going to work made me so miserable. I am currently working the second type of job. These types of jobs leave me feeling emotionally fulfilled. There are some days when I might want to spend a little longer in bed in the morning, but I usually don’t mind coming in. Some days, I even look forward to it. For the most part, writing falls into this second category. But just like with the best day jobs, there are some days when I just don’t want to write. Lately, I’ve been going through one of those phases.

When I come up against one of these “ugh I don’t want to write!” phases, there are three ways I can react. One, I can push myself through it. Sometimes, if I can just get about twenty minutes in, things will get easier from there. The second way is to switch to a different project where I’m required to exercise different writing muscles. So if I’m revising something, working on a rough draft of something else can be a pretty good idea. The third option is to take a couple days off and come back (at least, in theory) refreshed.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty bad at is knowing which method to use. Sometimes, writing doesn’t get any easier after that first twenty minutes, and you’ve done more harm then good. Sometimes, switching projects is equally frustrating, and you end up wasting precious writing time. And sometimes, taking a couple days off can easily snowball into a week, or month, or more. Suddenly, writing isn’t part of your life anymore. You’ve become one of those dreaded people that talk and think about writing, but never really do any of it.

Most of this month has consisted of playing this game. I tried all three options, eventually taking the last couple of days off from writing. Today, I managed to have a pretty decent day working on Hero of Darkwood, and I hope that indicates that I’ve made my way past this mini funk. A large part of me feels that I’ve wasted a huge amount of time over the past ten days, but there’s nothing much I can do about it now. I just wished that I was a little better at figuring out the best way of dealing with not wanting to write. I never really get writer’s block, but I do get into these mini funks multiple times a year. It would be great to know how to deal with them better. But I guess it’s just like a job. Even the best ones aren’t going to be perfect 100% of the time.

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2 thoughts on “On Not Wanting to Write

  1. I wish you the best of luck getting through these funks. The whole “taking a couple days off can easily snowball into a week, or month, or more. Suddenly, writing isn’t part of your life anymore. You’ve become one of those dreaded people that talk and think about writing, but never really do any of it” is something I’m intimately familiar with. It’s not a fun place to be.

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