What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

If you’re anything like me, you will find yourself from time to time having the opportunity to write and maybe even thinking that you should be writing but you won’t feel like it. At these times, your mind will probably be coming up with a million excuses as to why you shouldn’t be writing such as:


“I don’t feel like it.”

“I’m not in the right mood to write.”

“I don’t need to write right now.”

“I don’t have anything to write.”

“I just want to rest.”

“I should take a break.”


What do you do when you know you should do something, but you don’t feel like doing it? This doesn’t just apply to writing – it could apply to marketing, editing, attending social events, relationships or any other area of life.

Here’s how to get back on track when you don’t feel like doing what it takes to succeed:

Just Give It a Try

Just give it a try! This is one of the best ways to overcome this obstacle to your success. You say to yourself, “even though I don’t feel like writing right now, I’m going to give it a try for just 5 minutes and see how it feels.” It’s a lot easier to do something for just a few minutes than it is for a few hours. And oftentimes, all that’s happening is that we’re associating more pain with writing than with not writing. So if you can decrease the potential pain by decreasing the commitment, it makes it a lot easier to get started. And once you get started, you tend to continue.

You could use the same strategy for other times when you don’t feel like doing something that you know you should do. If you’ve had a fight with your spouse and know you should apologize but don’t feel like fighting anymore, then just say to yourself, “I’m just going to try for 5 minutes to apologize, and if it doesn’t work, it’s okay – I’ll just walk away after 5 minutes and we can talk more later.” It’s a lot easier to walk into a 5-minute conversation than an hour-long fight with your spouse.

This same strategy works exceptionally well for other issues too. Let’s say there’s a big networking event in town and you think it would be a good idea to go for business purposes, but you’re not really feeling like socializing. Then just tell yourself, “Even though I don’t feel like going to the networking event, I’m going to attend for just 30 minutes and say hello to a few people. Then, if I want to go back home, I can.”

The reason this strategy works so well is because it lowers your resistance to the activity or behavior you know is good for you but might not feel like doing. Although we humans love to pretend that we think logically, the truth is we make decisions by emotion. And oftentimes these emotional decisions aren’t even based on facts or logic at all! For example, you might think that apologizing to your spouse would just start another fight that would drag on for hours or days – but you have no way of knowing that ahead of time! It could just be a simple 5-minute conversation where both of you are left feeling much happier and relieved of all that tension that had built up. But in our mind, that simple 5-minute conversation turns into an ordeal that lasts for hours – we see ourselves fighting, we think of what to say to get back at the person, we think of all the reasons we’ll use to justify our position. And all that “thinking” we’re doing is just making it harder to solve the problem and move on with our lives!

One of the best ways to get something done that you don’t feel like doing is to lower your resistance to it by lowering your commitment. Just give it a try!

Change Your State

What do you do if things don’t go well after you’ve given it a try? Maybe you sat down for 5 minutes and started writing, but you don’t feel like it anymore. What do you do then? Just give up? No!

There are several things you can do. First of all, you might want to take a short walk, do some exercise, breathe some fresh air, or do something to change your physical state. Our bodies influence our thoughts and behavior, and oftentimes we get into a bad “posture” physically. This could be slouching, frowning, looking down, or some unidentified physical behavior that you only know as not feeling well, being bored, or feeling uneasy. Usually, all we need to get back into a positive, resourceful and productive state is just to move our bodies and relieve that tension.

Try walking or running around the house a few times or around the neighborhood. Start doing some jumping jacks or pushups until you get your heart rate up. Put on your favorite music as loud as you like and dance around for a few minutes. Just move your body! You’ll be amazed how just a little moving and grooving can completely change how you feel and help you get back on track to being productive in just a few minutes.

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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.