What do writers do when they don’t feel like writing?

This blog is written by four writers of Paddle Creek Writers Group. The title line was our assignment. And I am supposed to post today.

It is 4:14 am and I am finally putting words on the “page” on my computer screen. What do I do when I don’t feel like writing? Apparently, I just stall and put it off until the last second! Plus:

  1. I think about the fact that I should write.
  2. I scribble a few words in the notebook in my purse and count it as writing.
  3. I ponder.

Number three is what I’m really good at. Pondering. It is a great way to spend time not writing. It feels like writing. At times it leads to writing. Oftentimes it improves the final product if, and should, you ever actually get to the writing stage. And it’s fun because there are no editing rules. You can play with your thoughts as if they are balls in a giant ball pit. Just toss up the thought, throw another one up with it, give them a pop as they come back down and watch them bounce and soar. It’s fun. Not really productive, but fun.

Over the years (read decades there) I have had every experience of writing and not writing (like any other writer I am sure).

Through the first years of this century I could have written the e-book “How to Get Yourself Writing When You Do NOT Feel Like It”. It would have been 55 pages of practical how-to’s and charts and examples and my story of how I produced dozens and dozens of children’s ministry products. I was diligent and excited and productive and I loved it.

The end of the last decade if I would have written the same e-book it would have been 16 words long: “I really wish I knew because I have a ton of writing I want to do.” The end. Eighteen words if you count “The end.”

Oh the phases of a writer’s life. You can smile here if you are a writer. We all have the same stages. Yes, indeed, misery really does love company.

It’s comforting to know that my writer friends struggle with the same thing. It’s tremendous to have others to reach out to when you need to be encouraged or receive a kick in the seat of the pants. And it’s lovely to have someone who will say: “Let’s meet for lunch!” when you both know you should be doing something else.

At our writing sessions on Saturdays invariably someone (or someones) will not want to write a prompt. But someone will say “Let’s do it!” and we do it. And we are glad that we did. Then, when it is time to work on our personal projects, most of the time we set a timer and work away for a while then break and chat and work again. But sometimes someone (or multiple someones) has to be goaded into working (and, by the way, that someone can be any one of us on any given Saturday) so someone goads and we work. And we are glad for it.

And sometimes there is a void of someone to do the goading and we do this:

Monopoly Deal

Pathetic, aren’t we? But we have fun! And we do have written credits each of us so somewhere along the line we have actually written productively.

I read this phrase the other day “You can do hard things.” I love that. And it’s true. I can. And I have. And I will again.

Just not when the Monopoly Deal cards come out.

What do you do to get yourself doing what you don’t feel like doing?

Pat Meyers



3 thoughts on “What do writers do when they don’t feel like writing?

  1. Yes, that Monopoly Deal game is a lot of fun. Won’t say which one of us suggests playing it on a Saturday morning, but she does hate (dislikes very strongly) prompts after all. 🙂


  2. Pingback: My Big Blank White Marker Board Brain | Paddle Creek Writers

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