1. You have some free time.
2. You’ve committed to a schedule and you need to practice sticking to it even though there’s this new show on Netflix that you need to start watching ASAP for some reason.
3. You’re happy and want to write about it!
4. You’re sad and don’t really want to write about it, but know it might help.
5. Your characters are bugging you.
6. You’re stressed.
7. You’re bored.
8. You’re feeling inspired.
9. You’re not feeling inspired but you still have to make progress if you ever want to finish this thing because you want your life back gosh darn it.
10. You have an idea.
11. You feel weirdly motivated to continue working on a previously abandoned idea.
12. You need to take a “productive” break.
13. You really want to punch a particular person in the face but instead of breaking your dominant writing hand you could probably just write that person into a story and kill them off or something (shrug).
14. You saw something weird on your commute and want to make it part of a story.
15. You had a deep conversation with someone and want to document your thoughts.
16. You just feel the urge to write, even though you don’t have an idea or a project you feel like working on — the desire to create is just there and you could totally just start writing whatever comes to mind and see where it takes you.
There are reasons to write all around you. Think of this as “passive inspiration.” It’s a huge waste of time to sit in front of your computer screen trying to “find” inspiration to write something. But when you constantly keep your mind open to the possibility of transforming every day’s experiences into stories, inspiration just comes to you. (Maybe a little too often and suddenly, unexpectedly, without asking permission first if it’s OK to come barging in unannounced …)
Write something today. Make it count — even if it never leaves your hard drive.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.