With that disclaimer made, let’s discuss solutions! If you’re having one of those days when writing seems a chore, here are tactics to consider.
- Take a walk to wake up your senses; pay attention to what surrounds you, whether it’s a crisp wind or the smell of gardenias.
- Shower to feel more refreshed.
- Indulge in a nap. Sometimes, I assign my almost-sleeping brain with the task to solve my current writing dilemma; other times, I just get rest.
- Eat a light meal. Your overworked brain might need fuel!
- Drink a tall cold glass of water, perhaps garnished with a fresh slice of lemon.
- Play music in the background.
- Light pleasant-smelling incense or candles.
- Experiment with a magnetic poetry set.
Other times, you simply aren’t engaged in your topic. If you have some control over what you’re writing about, try tweaking the subject at hand to something you find more intriguing. If you’ve been assigned a topic that doesn’t thrill you, try putting it away and working on another writing project for a while – or another task that isn’t related to writing at all. Sometimes, taking a break is all it takes and you can return to your writing project with renewed energy.
You may need to banish the editor’s side of your brain, the side that wants everything perfect from the start, to another room. If you find yourself struggling over the ideal first sentence, that’s a sign that you’re in the grips of perfectionism. Let yourself write a so-so first draft, knowing that you can make it sparkle after a draft is composed.
If you can’t change your topic and none of these ideas seem to help, then just start typing. Let’s say that your topic is Ten Tips to Clean Your Attic. You could just start ranting:
This is the dumbest subject in the world! Why did I ever agree to write about cleaning an attic? I mean, DUH. I hate to actually have to CLEAN the attic, so why would I think that writing about the process would be any better???
Soon, you’ll probably find yourself writing something like this: Everybody knows that the best way to clean a really messy place is to first throw away stuff that is clearly junk, because that way you’ll have a better idea about what really needs organized . . .
See? In spite of yourself, you’ll probably start writing the article (although you may need to edit the phrasing used).
What strategies have you used? Leave them in the comments below!