What Can be Done If the Desire to Write is Missing.


Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Hi SEers, John is with you today. I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend. I know I am. Today’s post is all about providing some perspective on those times when no matter how much a writer knows they should get to their writing, they just dread it. I have had those moments. It’s that awful time where writing sounds like it will be a miserable experience.

These times may not last long, but while they are there, they become a cause for unreasonable concern about the future as a writer. I mention unreasonable since, like most things that go bump in the night, these concerns under the white-hot light of reality tend to fall away.

So, what kind of white-hot light can be switched on to expose these feelings of not wanting to write to a reality check. The title of this post gives a hint. Some things can be said out loud that will chase the specter of doubt to St Louis. I am suggesting some things can be said when faced with a lack of desire to write. Once any of these are expressed, writing will take on a revitalized characteristic. Some of these are meant to be humorous to show how laughable it is not wanting to write.

What to say if the desire to write is missing.

1 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go grocery shopping.” Personally, I would rather get a root canal than go grocery shopping, so saying that would get my butt in the chair fast.

2 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go clean the garage.” First of all, it’s cold out there. Second of all, I would rather go grocery shopping than clean the garage. Again, butt in the chair.

3 “Instead of writing, I’m going to ask the kids if they need help with homework.” Truly a self-destructive alternative. Even though there are no kids in my house, I think contemplating helping with homework in a house with kids might be the cure.

4 “Instead of writing, I’m going to volunteer to chaperon the high school dance.” I mentioned some were humorous. I did not say some were downright dangerous. This would be the equivalent of running off a cliff.

5 “Instead of writing, I’m going to do the ironing.” Yes, it has to be done, but as a conscious decision over writing? Faced with some steam time, I think I would head for the writing desk.

6 “Instead of writing, I’m going to give the dog a bath.” If anyone knew my dogs, then they would understand that just the idea would have me pounding out a thousand words an hour.

7 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go wax the car.” I can’t think of an activity that I enjoy less than putting a coat of wax on the car. Besides, does anyone do that anymore?

8 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go remove the wallpaper in the bathroom.” Yeah, no.

9 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go and clean the gutters.” Said no writer, ever.

10 “Instead of writing, I’m going to go on Twitter and read all the trending political rants.” If anyone has ever read those trending statements, they know that action could be something to push one over the edge.

Writing can be the best choice when taken in context, even if there is no desire to do it. It is all a matter of not letting the mind take control of those things that we should be happy to do even if they present a challenge. In the end, after the reluctance to write is overcome, the fun is still there.

How about you? Had struggles with the desire to write lately? If so, how did you overcome them? Let’s talk in the comment section. I hope you have a super weekend.

108 thoughts on “What Can be Done If the Desire to Write is Missing.

  1. Pingback: What Can be Done If the Desire to Write is Missing – The Grapevine

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  3. A fun and interesting post, John. I have days where I find time to write but just don’t feel like it. Then there are other days where all I want to do is write but have so much work that needs to be finished. In the end, the writing does get done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the joy you’ve given me with that list of displacement activities! Like Jacquie, I’ll often pick up a book and do some reading or, Like Pete, I’ll go and work on something mindless in the garden – several plot holes have been sorted there. It was great to come across Gwen’s iron comment and to see others saying the same thing. I’ve not used one since I read somewhere that Jackie Kennedy had to have her stockings ironed…it made me look at the bigger picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John, thanks for this fun post that reminds us that, when we feel we can’t write, there are many more things we’d enjoy less. I’m totally with you on the grocery shopping/root canal thing! That would be enough to put me in that writing chair. Thanks for the smiles and a great tip, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for mentioning, John! You will not believe, but i also have had all these thoughts, more then once.Also writing of simple documents can be horrible. Its true, you just have to stay seated at your desk long enough. No apologies, and maybe even just a pen and a few sheets of paper. Eventually the brain gets fed up and begins to work as it should. Have a nice weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: What Can be Done If the Desire to Write is Missing. – The Grapevine

  8. John, I am struggling at the moment and I agree with @coldhandboyack that the struggle is real. I can tick all the boxes of the excuses you mentioned above. I have tried all sort, having a walk, get swimming do yoga sometimes I ask myself is the joy of writing still there?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah, all of those would be a distant 2nd to writing for me as well. If my brain is fried and I think I’m done for the day, I might choose one of those undesirable activities. When I’m not feeling it, I either like to get some exercise or do some yard work, as doing something physical gets my creative juices going.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Funny timing with this post, John. I’m off today. I should be writing. Instead, I went grocery shopping!! And not just to one store, but two.
    Then I came home, made vegetable stock, chicken stock, and breaded cauliflower. Ran the robot vacuum, cleaned out the fridge and did two loads of laundry. I think I’m out of excuses, and your post is the final club over the head to say—“get your butt in the chair and write!”

    Loved the humor (and the motivation), John! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Made my morning, John! I loved every one of these, starting with the grocery store. While I may not hate it QUITE as much as a root canal, I detest going up and down those aisles, looking at the same ol’ stuff. (Why don’t they ever have any new and exciting FOODS???) I coerce Mark into stopping on his way home, or order online and have it all delivered. Best. Thing. Ever.

    Great post, and I’m still laughing at some of your options. I’m struggling with writer’s block right now, but I’m blaming it on Long COVID. It has left me too tired to do much of anything, and thinking is especially difficult. But this won’t last forever. I expect to be back in full writerly form as soon as I feel a wee bit better, and you’ve inspired me to look at this subject quite differently. THANKS! 😄😄😄

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Loved your list, John! Amazing incentives and I’m right there with you. I paused on #5 because I realized I no longer own an iron. 😁 Thank you for the laughter and inherent wisdom.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I would venture to say this your best TOP TEN ever! We all have times when writing feels more like a chore than a joy. When comparing it to doing many of the things on your list, I’d have no trouble keeping my butt in the chair! Great post, John. Have a fantastic weekend!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. This post is timely for me, John. I’ve had my usual “January woes.” I’ve come to believe January just isn’t a good time for me to write. But yeah, I’d rather write than do any of the things on your list. (Especially that high school dance!)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “Said no writer, ever”! … that one had me chuckling away. For me, the absolute worst thing I can say is, “I’ll do it tomorrow” 😂

    Thanks for a fun post, John, which totally puts things in perspective. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone 💕🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Writing tends to come after many activities in my life, some of which are unavoidable, but I never stopped to think about whether I’m choosing to put things in front of writing. I think I may start using the phrase, “Instead of xyz, I should be writing.” Lol! Great post, John. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

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