Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for writing. But if you have a deadline to deal with, or if you are writing content for a client, you don’t really have much of a choice! You might not feel inspired to write, but you have to write anyways.
I have now been blogging for more than seven years. And for most of those seven years, I’ve been blogging at least three times each week (if not more). Besides blogging for my personal site, I’ve also written promotional materials, weekly blog posts, newsletters, and more for clients. That is a whole lot of writing—and a whole lot of potential times when I might not have felt inspired to write.
These are some of my best tips from over the years to help you if you need to get some writing done ASAP:
1. Zoom out of the page.
This seems like such a silly little trick, but it works wonders! When you zoom out of a document (for example, choosing “100%” instead of “Page Width” in a Microsoft Word document), you can see more of the text you have already written, and you can see how much more of the page is empty.
Seeing a blank page will make you subconsciously want to fill it. I’ve found that no matter the size of the page, if it is zoomed out, I will always write more (and faster, too!). This is a super handy trick if you are trying to meet a specific word count!
Alternatively, if your problem is that you’re always 500 words over your limit, zoom into the page before you even begin so that you’ll write less from the start.
Seeing a blank page will make you subconsciously want to fill it. #writertips #amwriting
2. Do some research before you get started.
If a client wants you to do work for them, you can’t just start writing if you don’t have any background information! Make sure you always know what you’re writing about, what the purpose of the writing is, and what you want your writing to do, before you even begin.
3. Write things down as they come to you.
I find this is very effective when a particular phrase comes to mind—especially if it happens while I’m still in research mode.
You might have a document with a bunch of random words and phrases jotted all over it before you begin the actual writing, but at least you’ll be able to grab them and insert them where appropriate once you start writing.
4. Step away from your work if you’re really struggling.
I recommend spending at least 30 minutes trying to write if you’re having a tough time. It’s long enough that you might be able to get something good out of it, but not so long of a time that it will be a complete waste if you don’t get anything out of it.
After that half an hour, walk away and do something else (reading a book for pleasure or doing something monotonous like washing dishes works really well for me) for an hour.
5. …And then come back to the page and force yourself into writing.
After you’ve had some time off, give yourself another time limit and bang out as much as you can in that time. It doesn’t have to be great or even good. The point is you’re getting something on paper. And that will feel a whole lot less daunting when you go back over it and start making it read better.
There you have it! Those are some of my best tips for writing when you’re really not in the mood.