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Things To Do when You're just not "Feeling It" as a Writer

10 ideas to help you find motivation

By KJ AartilaPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Things To Do when You're just not "Feeling It" as a Writer
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Snow and gloom are the view outside, and it’s cold in here. And my husband is still home on holiday break - I need some alone time.

As creators, we all have those days, moments, periods, whatever, when we just don’t feel the inspiration to write. We want to write, but just can’t find that drive to get started. Here’s a list of activities to engage in, besides writing, that may help you find your spark. Take an hour, take a day, take a few days - sometimes we need to take a break from productivity to regain productivity.

1. Read

I like to read fiction books by my favorite authors. I like to read a story that compels my need to escape from this world into the writer’s imagination. Despite that, my writers mind is questioning why this particular story captivates me, or how were the characters developed, or what is the structure here? I also like to read non-fiction. It tends to distract me from writer’s mind.

2. Stream of consciousnesss

I know this is writing, but it’s usually not good writing to put on display, It can help jog your mind into feeling inspired by a thought, or just provide the catharsis of getting some rambling thoughts clogging up your brain onto paper. It can help you clear your mind.

3. Clean/organize - declutter

A clean working environment always helps me feel better and in a more creative flow.

4. Nap

Sometimes, I’m just tired and need a power nap to liven up the energy and help me feel refreshed.

5. Drink

Not alcohol, or even sugary beverages, but water or tea. These things will help your focus and energy. Alcohol and sugar sap it. Sad, but true.

6. Walk/physical exercise

Since there is 2-3 feet of snow right now covered in ice, walking outside is not a good option for me currently. Given my physical limitations, it’s usually quite destructive, but for “normal” people, it can be very healthy and energizing to get outside for a walk or some activity. Even in the snow! Basically, as essentially a shut-in, if I feel the need for movement, I like to do some stair-walking or stretches.

7. Watch tv or a movie

This is good for distraction, or education if you want to look at story. Sometimes, just zoning out to a decent movie requires not examining it for it’s plot (or lack-of).

8. Listen to music

Find good music that speaks to your soul - your heart-beat and let it transcend you hypnotically.

9. Internet research/scrolling

This can be research for a book, or for something you just are interested in, or just for online conversation with peers.

10. Gaming

I am not a true “Gamer” per say, but I have played many hours of Solitaire on my laptop. It’s a very effective distraction.

The idea is to give yourself a break. Let your mind wander and focus on other things until it decides to return, feeling re-energized and inspired. If you try to force the issue, not only does your mind and body rebel, your output suffers and you feel guilty for not being”good enough.” It’s not true. Don’t feel guilty. Give yourself a chance to relax, let yourself go with it, then you’ll be surprised at how quickly the feeling of creativity finds you again, opposed to what happens the more you ignore the desire for your mind to take a break and force your creativity.

The trick is to take breaks as needed for creativity to flow, without sliding into the habit of procrastination, but sometimes breaks are important.

Thank you for reading! What is your favorite go-to for regaining focus?

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About the Creator

KJ Aartila

A writer of words in northern WI with a small family and a large menagerie.

My Substack

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (5)

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  • Gina C.about a year ago

    Wonderful advice, Keila! It’s so true, taking a break from creativity helps build it up again. Well done!

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Outstanding advice!!! Loved it!!!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Great article with some good suggestions. Well done.

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    I love the ease with which your articles flow. They don't feel rushed or drag on, just right! These are great tips, some I've thought of and some I haven't. Thank you!

  • Some great pointers in there, a great read

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