Don’t Stop Now: Writing Without Inspiration

Some days you can’t wait to get at the keyboard. Maybe you’re like my friend Ronie Kendig, who stayed up way too late because a terrific idea appeared just before midnight. But what about the times when writing is the last thing you want to face? Times when getting even a paragraph down takes herculean effort? How do you get your word count in when you don’t like your writing life?

Writing Tip for Today: Deadlines are great inspirations to write. But what if you have to self-impose that deadline? Try one of these simple tools:

  • Reread the last scene or couple pages you wrote.
  • Tell yourself you can erase every word of today’s session.
  • If you like writing exercises, find one and use it to get warmed up.
  • Time yourself and write for five minutes without stopping. Write anything, even, “I can’t think of anything to write.”
  • Resist the urge to put off writing until you are inspired. Sometimes I’ll read another author’s work for a few minutes to get inspired, but use caution: some writers immediately begin to write in that author’s style.
  • Give yourself permission to write crap. Really stinky stuff. Lower the bar. The pressure to produce great work is often a detriment instead of a help.
  • Above all, write every day. Inspiration is fickle. Don’t stop now.

Don’t forget: The clock is ticking on the Free Kindle deal for The Fence My Father Built over at Amazon. Do you really want to be the one who sees my disappointed look when you say, “I meant to get my copy, but I didn’t make it.” It only takes a couple of minutes–maybe 5 if you must create an id for Amazon. No purchase is necessary. Thanks from the bottom of my pea-pickin’ heart.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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