Saturday, March 20, 2010

Writing When You Don't Feel Like It

Jenn here.

Today my daughter has strep throat. I'm operating on a lack of sleep and recovering from a long busy week at my day job. This is my day to write, but my eyes are wanting to close and my brain is begging to shut down and rest. I know if I don't get my word count written, Monday will be here and I'll be starting a new week--behind.

So I'm asking you, what do you do when you don't feel like writing and you need to? Do you force yourself through it? Allow your body time to rest and then work to catch up? What are your strategies for days like this?


  1. Hi Jenn:

    It all depends. If it is a hard deadline, I do whatever it takes. This can mean a lot of coffee. If there is no great pressure other than falling behind, then I always promise to do a little bit of work. Like one or two paragraphs. Often doing a little wakes you up like you had a jump-start. If not you may really need to rest.

    I learned this from my doctor who demanded I do five minutes of exercise at the health club. She knew I was not going to drive all the way to the health club, get changed, and then just do five minutes. I always did more. This has worked for me, to a limited extent, for writing when I don’t want to.

    Good luck,


  2. Hi Jenn,

    If I'm tired to the point of exhaustion, I know that it will do me no good to sit at the computer because I will probably fall asleep.

    However, if I'm just tired, i will sit down and work if I can think clearly. Once I'm past the point of thinking clearly, I know I'm done for that day.

    Hope this helps!


  3. Thank you for the responses. I opted to write a little bit and then slept. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish my scene and maybe stert a new scene today.

  4. Jenn,
    I know I'm a little late, but I do find if I sit down and start I usually can accomplish something. Vince is right on with that advice.

    But if I'm soooo tired, I usually just skip it.

  5. Good questions. I guess all I'd be able to do is pray for the strength to get at least a little bit done. Other than that . . .

  6. I'm at a point where I get paragraphs written here and there, but it seems to be working--inch-by-inch.

  7. I'm sorry about the strep. I hope she's better by now!

    It's hard to work when exhausted or sick. I usually make myself work on something besides my book--like a blog that's due or some promo (answering reader letters or whatever). It's work that needs to be done but doesn't take as much brain power.