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Tips to Write When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

March 30, 2013
Image courtesy of stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: you’re watching tv when you know you should be writing.

The clock is ticking, you want to go to bed because you have work the next day, but you also promised yourself you would write that article, or get some progress on that novel.

But it never happened.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to write, and ended up sleeping.

But even though you’re tired, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is how writing is viewed in your mind.

If you’re like me, then you write after you do the job that pays the bills, not for the job that pays the bills.

That means writing is just a hobby, for now anyway. So what’s the fix?

Get to work

First, we have to view writing the same way we view the primary job. Even if we don’t want to go to work, even if it’s raining, even if we’re sneezing, we find ourselves at our work desk. It may not be on time, but we’re there.

We may not always start to work when we reach, but the fact is, when the boss passes, they see us by our desk, looking busy.

That’s what you need to do for your writing also.

You don’t feel to write, but unless you actually sit by your writing station, you’re not going to do it.

The same way you get to work when you don’t feel to work is the same way you should get to the chair when you don’t feel to write.

So get your butt in the chair. Procrastinate if you want, read the papers, check your email.

Just get your butt in the chair.

The 33 minute rule

A genius names Schwartz developed a method that is now called the 33 minute rule. It works on the principal that the same way you can run a horse to its death is the same way you can run your brain to its death (not literally, of course).

Cutting your productivity time to 33 minute segments is a good way of ensuring that you don’t kill your brain for the night. And because your mind knows you’re working with 33 minutes, you’re going to focus to get as much done in that time as possible.

When the times up, take a 10 minute break, stretch your legs, check your email, then go again.

I’m guessing some people can go longer than 33 minutes, and that’s fine, but 33 minutes works for me.

Still having problems focusing in that time? For the really tough days when writing is more painful than a Brady Bunch marathon, cut it down to as low as 5 minutes.

The important thing is that you get some writing done.

So what do you think about these 2 tips? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t already, click here to read Scene from a Nightmare, this month’s trailer of my latest book, King Larsen.


From → Writing Tips

  1. Eugene Schwartz is has a lot of useful tips for writing. I plan on implementing his 33-minute rule, especially on days when there are more than one writing project to work on.

    • I actually don’t know much about him. But if you say he has more useful tips then I’ll definitely check it out.

  2. Good tip! Even getting a little bit of writing done is better than none at all!

  3. Thanks J. Good advice. This will help with all my minutes and letters I write on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago Asso of Retired Persons (Central).

  4. Samuel Cassar permalink

    good advice ge, getting into the chair really helps with that procrastination liked that analogy with work

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