If You Can’t Write for Fun, Write to Learn


Writing isn’t always fun. That’s just the way it goes. No matter how much you love it and want to strive to improve your skills and write more captivating content, there will always be moments you wish you didn’t have to.

And really, technically, you don’t.

But that doesn’t mean you can, or even really want, to stop trying. With so many other things to balance on top of your personal writing time, it’s very easy to just put it off, tell yourself it’s okay, you don’t feel like it today but maybe tomorrow. Writing does require some brain power, after all, and sometimes your brain just wants to rest.

Maybe you’re one of those people who loves to learn. No, seriously: they exist. Learning comes in more forms than sitting in a classroom and taking sloppy notes. Whether you know it or not, writing is a form of learning, too—one you can engage in anywhere, whenever you want. This might be the kind of motivator you’ve been looking for to give your writing a little push.

Research those random facts you’ve always wanted to know 

Then, write about them. Researching “at random” is something we all do when we’re bored (aka, procrastinating), but you can use this tactic to your advantage if you haven’t been in the mood to write lately, even though you wish you were.

If you find something interesting, open up a Word document or a notebook and just start jotting down pieces of what you’re reading about. Give yourself your own prompt and see where it goes. It’s both fun and learning disguised as writing, and it might even lead to a new story idea you can run with for a while.

Develop your skills at your own pace

While it can be healthy to write every day, the world won’t stop spinning if you don’t. The problem with writing “because you have to” is that the deadline and time constraint puts your creativity in a box it doesn’t always belong in.

Writing for work or for school is different, but when you’re on your own, give your work the time it needs, even if it’s sparse. There’s no law that says you have to write a story in a certain amount of time, and when it’s really up to you, let it be your chance to experiment, write in styles you’re not used to, launch yourself out of your comfort zone—all ways to develop your writing skills, and hey, you might even have fun too.

The thing about writing is, it is never a constant. Some days you just can’t stop; some days you spend 10 minutes staring at your screen before walking away to do something else. Some days you write, but don’t feel satisfied; other days you might only write a paragraph, but it’s the best paragraph you swear you’ve ever written.

Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not. But writing is like a brain workout that doesn’t involve shoes or sweating, and often without realizing it, you’re always learning something. If that’s the only thing that keeps you going, it’s a pretty good start.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

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