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Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Why Do I Suddenly Need to Vacuum Every Time I Sit Down to Write?

In these dog days of summer, when the heat and humidity have sucked the energy from me, sometimes I cannot get motivated to write. I try to write every day but sometimes I'm lucky to write once or twice a week. I'm too busy, or too tired, or can’t think of anything to write about.

Sometimes I have to ease myself into the writing process. It looks something like this:

  • Turn on my computer then go do something else in another room.
  • Come back to my computer and open a blank word document - or the document that I want to work on - and then leave the room again.
  • Come back to my desk, look at the word document, and then maybe check my e-mail - which I probably had just checked 5 minutes earlier.
  • When there’s nothing left to respond to in my inbox, I’ll return to the word document and read over the last paragraph, maybe even make a few minor edits - ex: add or remove a comma.
  • Next, I might check Twitter to see if anyone has sent a message or posted anything new.
  • At this point, I either return to the word document, dig right into the writing, get lost in it for hours...
  • ...OR I decide I can’t sit at my desk anymore so I leave my computer to start something completely different - like making a snack or reading a book or watching TV. This is also when I realize how messy my office is and how badly I need to vacuum.  

I go through this agonizing process more frequently than I'd like to admit, and much more frequently when I haven’t been writing every day.

Motivation for writers is not a new topic. I’m including some useful links that provide tips for staying motivated to write, but I can sum up all the tips for you and save you some time:

  • Just sit down (or stand, or whatever) and write! A word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page. Just write. Every day. 

Links to Stay Motivated to Write

How do you stay motivated?

Written by Anne Greenawaltfollow me on Twitter for a fusion of creative writing and competitive sports with a twist of feminist intent.

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Blogger Margo Dill said...

I feel like I have no tips for this right now. :) I need motivation. My critique group does help me. I think being accountable to someone is helpful. I enjoyed this post.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

Ugh! My blog entry yesterday was When Writing is Hard. I'm taking a bit of a break to unplug from everything next week while I'm away on retreat. I hope to come back energized, rested, and with a clear head when it comes to writing.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Robyn Chausse said...

I'm still laughing--because this is exactly the day I'm having! I managed to type up, and post, one piece--that was a few hours ago. Since then? Make some tea, water the plants, fret over what to work on next, check Twitter... Ugh! Yes, the office is a mess, I can hardly move an envelope much less think.
When I get like this it's time to just sit quietly and "feel" what direction my interests are pulling me. Am I feeling artsy? Do I have any deadlines (they come first)? Do I need to clean my desk so I can think? Is there something I'm worried about? If so, journaling about that topic for a few minutes might free up some grey matter.
Another trick I use is to put on one of my Brainwave Symphony CDs--the Energize and Focus is my go-to; it assists the mind into entering the Beta state. I just play it low in the background--it clears my thinking in no time!

10:59 AM  

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