Updated: Aug 20
Every so often when I hear the question, How do you force yourself to write when you don’t have the mood for it? - I am perplexed. First, I can’t stand any kind of force and even more so over myself. I have had the best mother ever. She never forced me to eat if I had no appetite for it at that moment. She trusted my choices. “If you’re hungry – you will eat. Why would you be forced to do something?” Now, when I am coming across writer’s tips, accordingly to which you need to force yourself to write at least one sentence a day, I always think: Why? Why, for Christ’s sake, would you eat when you are not even hungry?
I understand that you need to have some organizational skills to keep your book going, and, certainly, these skills correlate with various variables. For example, the difference between whether you are a night owl or a morning lark. Your work schedule comes into play as well, if you are not self-employed, of course. What work hours do you have? Morning? Afternoon? Third shift? Here we go - you can plan your writing right there. If you are passionate about your writing, you can also write on your breaks. It doesn’t matter if you have a laptop with you or not. You can write on a piece of paper and even on a napkin if you must. If you have a good memory, you can even write mentally, imagining the episodes of your characters' lives. Perhaps, your co-workers want to have lunch with you. It’s okay. Don’t let yourself have an excuse for being an absent writer. Remember, along with your regular food, a good dessert – a character’s name, or his appearance, trait, or a location – could be provided to you by your lunchmate!
There is only one thing you need to have – attitude! Beautiful or ugly, but the attitude: I want to write my book as a memoir of my dear grandmother, or I want to write my book so well that my ex would regret the way he treated me! At the core of any attitudes is affect – how passionate are we about something. As you noticed, I used the word want instead of need or must. Why? Because when you must but you don’t want, then nothing worthly of keeping will come out from your quill. Wait for the right moment when you have your inspiration back. Don’t eat only because others do. Change your environment, take a walk, jump with a parachute – do something unusual, even if people are saying you are a nutcase. Get your writing appetite back but stay safe - don’t jump with the parachute, if you don’t trust your instructor!