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Fighting the "Don't Wanna's"

I had been fighting the "Don't Wanna's" for a while. So, I turned to my peers for help. My usual tricks were not working. This was a very smart move. I got some new tricks to use and they worked. I've summarized the top 10 list my readers and peers came up with. In no particular order:

Set a specific, small, writing goal that it based on word count or time. Either 300 words or 15 minutes. Tricking the brain into "just 15 minutes" or "just 300 words" will often get you over the hump. If it does not, your day was not wasted.

Take a 30 minute break away from the desk. No email. No blog reading. Get up, go meditate, go walk, clean the kitchen, take a shower, go for a drive. Do something that is completely not related to writing/reading.

Get a sugar/caffeine boost. Get a cup of coffee, a can of Red Bull, a bar of chocolate. Something that will give you a quick burst of energy.

Switch it up. 30 minutes on writing. 30 minutes on reading. 30 minutes on writing. 30 minutes on cleaning. Or alternately, 20 minutes on writing project #1, followed by 20 minutes on writing project #2, followed by 20 minutes on writing project #3—lather, rinse, repeat.

Change your routine. If you usually write in the morning, shift to the evening for a week. Or, and this is the one that worked for me this time, stay up later than you usually do and start writing at your bedtime. You'll be tired and a little loopy and that may be enough to get you over your mental block.

Take a day off. Maybe you need the break after all. Just walk away for the day. I usually accompany this with something that includes no email, no blog reading, no tweeting. Nothing computer related.

Music. Find music that inspires and delights you. Music that puts you in the mood for the scene you are fighting with. Music that makes you feel good. Music helps.

Exercise in some way every day. A healthy body helps with a healthy mind. Often taking a near daily walk will clear out a lot of the mental junk that is holding you back.

Dress for success. Sometimes, the act of putting on work clothes or comfy clothing while thinking about getting to work on the writing project will kick you over that mental block. Clothes do make the man or woman. I dress for work every day even if my office is 10 feet from my bedroom.

Just Do It. It's one of the most successful slogans out there because it is true. Stop the whining, the excuses and the "buts" and just do it. Ass in chair and hands on the keyboard. Writing is a job and you must take it seriously to succeed.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
I have the exact opposite of the sugar/caffeine advice: that may buy me a quick burst, but the crash is likely to come just when I'm really hitting my groove. I'd much rather have a handful of toasted hazelnuts or almonds so that if I do get my write on, I can keep it going.
Feb. 25th, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
good advice
Feb. 25th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
Good list!
Feb. 25th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
All very good advice.

I am slammed at work. Do you have a moment to post this link over at the fan page?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )