Unmotivated? What if you could write anyway, no matter how you feel?
Here’s a simple (but weird, sort of) strategy.
Firstly, how did I hear about this?
In a recent meeting of our writers’ group, we talked about how challenging writing can be if you’re unmotivated.
Write anyway, even if you’re unmotivated… But what if you’re blocked, or depressed?
One of our writers felt completely unmotivated. “My best friend made me come tonight,” she said, and smiled ruefully. “I’m glad I did, but I’ve completely lost my motivation for writing. Some days I struggle to get out of bed.”
A member said she’d experienced something like this. “That happened to me. I don’t think it’s a block. Maybe you’re dealing with burn out or a form of depression.”
Three members who’d suffered burnout or depression separated to offer help, and share their experiences and insights.
After that Beth, the group’s veteran author, shared this weird strategy: “whenever you feel stressed and unmotivated, imagine something, and describe it. Your mood will change. I’ve done this for years if I’m just not in the mood; it works.”
Write anyway: imagine something and write about it
Beth days she usually imagines something from a movie. “I like scenes from classic movies, like the scene where Felix is crying in the bathroom from The Odd Couple… Then I describe the scene.”
We discussed our favorite scenes from movies for a while. I decided that the next time I felt unmotivated and wanted to write anyway, I’d try the weird trick. If it didn’t work, no harm done.
To ensure that I’d remember the strategy, I explored YouTube and made a little playlist of favorite movie scenes.
Can you write anyway, if you’re unmotivated?
Oddly enough, I had a chance to try the trick the following Sunday afternoon.
We enjoyed a family lunch, then I settled down to get a head start on writing a presentation for work because I had a busy week coming up. I opened Obsidian, my favorite writing app, but I really, really wasn’t in the mood—and then I remembered my playlist: watch a scene, and describe it.
Did it work?
Yes, it did, even though I didn’t expect it to. I created notes in Obsidian, as well as the text for a series of slides. At work the next morning, I sent the material to our in-house designer, who created the deck.
So—next time you’re struggling to write, try the weird strategy. You will write anyway.
Write anyway, according to Louis L’Amour
Here’s a famous quote from bestselling Western author Louis L’Amour about writing anyway:
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
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