1. You feel guilty for not writing anything. I don’t know when or how we learned that not being productive 24/7 is something to feel guilty about, but I wish we could instantly un-learn this.
2. You’re just generally having a hard time right now. If getting out of bed is a struggle, writing might be too much to handle right now — AND THAT’S OKAY. You’ll get there. See #6.
3. Everyone else is writing things and you don’t want to miss out. Not the worst reason to try a new story, but not the best one either. See #4.
4. You only want to start something because you think you “should” be writing. If you start a writing project for any reason other than you truly want to give it a try, you’re not going to make it very far.
5. You’re already working on something else. While there are some instances when “project-hopping” is OK, you shouldn’t abandon your current work-in-progress just because there’s something new and shiny off in the distance.
6. You have Big Life Things going on right now. At the time I’m writing this, all of us do, but this applies to everything from family drama to moving to starting a new job. Writing won’t always be your first priority, and that’s OK.
7. The thought of writing is really stressing you out right now, and you know you’ll be able to do better work if you don’t force yourself into starting something new yet.
8. You have a lot of ideas and want to give yourself time to choose the one that’s right for you right now.
9. You’ve tried to “failed” to start a few new projects in a row recently. Maybe you need to really nail down a solid idea before you try again (which is also totally normal).
10. You often don’t get far in new projects because you’re convinced every sentence, paragraph, and page has to be “perfect” before you can move on to the next. It might be a good time to learn to write terribly first. :)
11. You can accept that just because you aren’t ready to start something new right now doesn’t mean you won’t be tomorrow, or next week, or a month from now. Sometimes it’s not the right moment for creating something. That’s normal.
12. You’d rather just sit back and sit in the present for the time being. No pressure to tell a story, no stress about not writing anything today or tomorrow. Do it. Let yourself rest. You deserve it.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.