If you’re a writer, then you probably know that one of the hardest things to do is actually write. It’s also one of the easiest things to do, which makes the whole writing thing that much more confusing (to both writers and non-writers alike). Anyway, a common theme I’ve seen on writing blogs and Twitter is writers bemoaning their struggles in writing. And I have certainly experienced my share of not writing. Like, a lot. So, why don’t writers write? Well, here are some of the most common struggles that I know about:
1. No Time to Write
There’s never a good time to write, or ever enough time to write. Even during recent quarantine times, when we were all stuck at home with nothing to do but write, many found it hard to write (myself included). Why? Because I was stuck at home, so I could work on ten thousand other little projects, instead of writing. So what can you do when there’s no time to write? Find a minute here, ten minutes there, and write two sentences, two paragraphs. Just write.
2. No Ideas
Writer’s block. The muddle in the middle. Stuck. Whether it’s in the middle of a draft, the final scene before typing “the end,” or an attempt to start a new project, every writer seems to run out of ideas at one point or another. The cure for “no ideas” is often just to write something—even if it’s a blog post or journal entry about having no ideas to write about. Just write.
3. Too Many Ideas
This is often my problem. I have too many ideas for my current WIP, in addition to ideas for at least three other stories besides the one I’m working on. Writing on multiple projects at once is fine, but it can make the whole “finishing a book” thing take way longer because of divided attention. Sometimes focus is better. Just write.
4. Doing Research/Editing/Promoting Instead
These are actually very important parts of the writing process, and shouldn’t be neglected. Some writers do research/editing/promotion/etc. while they’re writing a draft of something else; others devote weeks or months to the research or editing processes exclusively, then do their writing. Neither method is wrong or better than another method. However, it’s very easy for a ten-minute Google session to research one quick thing to turn into two hours of rabbit-hole browsing, and no writing gets done. I know I’ve fallen prey to that more than a few times, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. So, don’t neglect research, social media, and so forth, but also make sure that you just write.
5. Don’t Feel Like Writing
From what I’ve heard, even full-time professional writers don’t feel like writing a lot of the time. But they do it anyway. If you don’t write something, then nothing gets written. Just write.
I hope these tips have helped you! And believe me, I wrote this post for myself as much as for anyone else. So let’s all go write something!
3 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Writers Don’t Write (and What You Can Do About That)”
I’m guilty of all of these! Especially #4. I’ll go on Twitter to reply to a few tweets and share a blog post and spend half an hour mindlessly scrolling/liking in the name of “promoting.” It’s definitely a tricky trap to fall into, because it feels productive even when it’s not. I’ve gotten better at writing even when I don’t feel like though, which is a massive plus! Let’s see how long I can keep it up, ha ha. Great advice!
I’m so guilty of all of these, too. I wrote this post to preach to myself as much as anyone else! And yes, while social media is important, it’s so easy for it to become a huge timesuck, too! And way to go with writing even when you don’t feel like it! 😉
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