What to do when you don’t feel like writing

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There are two of you – one who wants to write and one who doesn’t. The one who wants to write better keep tricking the one who doesn’t.

Maria Irene Fornes

We all experience those moments – where something we love to do, like writing or creating art, feels overwhelming, or lacks that wondrous sparkle, or we are simply buried by the minutia of life’s responsibilities and obligations. So we park our creativity on a shelf. Thinking we will return to our dreams in just a moment or when things simmer down in our lives.

But the reality is that the risk of never moving forward with our artistic aspirations or creative goals becomes incrementally higher until it is something we can no longer surmount.

Letting the part of ourselves that just doesn’t feel like writing take over can be a subtle and insidious process. And once we arrive at that place, it becomes a destination. That is hard to get away from.

So putting one foot in front of the other, or the pen to the page and going through the motions may be likened to exercise. The more frequently you do it, the stronger the “muscle memory” you will be able to call upon during those times when you just don’t feel it.

We all have days when creating a piece of art in any form is just not within the realm of possibility. But the trick is to make that the exception rather than the rule. Learning to take small steps and just do one thing that contributes to your craft will keep you moving forward and strike a note of manageability at the same time.

So even when life places more demands on you than expected or you simply don’t feel emotionally able to write a word, if we are just able to focus on the simple act of writing anything at all, or any activity that supports your writing goals, then we haven’t given up, we are just managing our own expectations.

Then when the time is right, you are able to resume your practice without having to scale those mountains of self-recrimination, shame and blame which may keep us from experiencing the joy of our artistic practice as a writer.

Stay healthy and safe and happy writing!

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