How To Write When You Don’t Feel Like It

Every writer I know has trouble writing.
Joseph Heller, American Author and Novelist

Here I sit, unable to devote my full attention to today’s top tasks.  Why?  I’ve been exercising regularly lately and now every muscle is protesting.  Vehemently.  In fact, I’m so sore that my arms refuse to rise much higher than at-rest elbow height.

Rather than sit here and write when it feels like even the tips of my fingers want to stage a revolution, I’d prefer to be on the sofa reading a book.

But no.  I am a copywriter.  And as copywriters, we have to produce, especially when we don’t feel like it (or in this case, the body is tired of walking up and down a mercilessly steep hill every day only to lift weights when it finally gets home).  Because we have clients to care for and deadlines to meet.

So, how do we keep our tasks moving forward when we ourselves are not at full power?

  1. Practice, practice, practice.
    Every day, devote a block of time to practice your writing.  Whether it’s a full hour or twenty minutes, make time to practice.  The more your practice, the easier the words will come when you least feel like pouring them out.
  2. Take it with you.
    Writing is portable. In line at the store? Waiting for your car’s oil to be changed? Take a journal with you and write, write, write. You’ll be amazed at just how good you get at producing when conditions are less than ideal.
  3. Be forgiving.
    That dream we all have of creating perfection every time we put pen (or keyboard) to paper?  Let it go.  The end goal is to produce results that make the client happy.  And if you have to dig a little deeper to turn crap into gold, just remember – we all have those days.
  4. Make your craft a priority.
    We all struggle with this.  There will always be a reason not to practice.  One more chore.  One more errand.  And they’re more appealing when you’re unmotivated.  Forcibly ignore the excuses and stick to the keyboard.

Every day that we practice, we get better.  And when we prioritize that over our aches and pains, chores and excuses, we take another step towards being the writer we want to be – the crackerjack that can come up with the lines clients love at a moment’s notice despite whatever is bugging us.

But it takes practice.

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