It’s Sunday afternoon. You’ve been putting in a lot of extra time on your nights and weekends lately, trying to make progress on a personal project you hope will turn into something more … eventually.
The bottom line: You’re exhausted. You’re also hungry and cold (because the weather went straight from summer to winter somehow and you just weren’t prepared for that, were you?). You haven’t even logged into Netflix for over a month. You don’t want to do anything. You certainly don’t want to do any writing.
But you know you should write anyway. Either that, or you realize with a sinking feeling that you have a deadline coming up. It was one of those “oh, I’ll get to it when the due date gets closer” promises that has suddenly turned into “if I don’t start working on this today, I’m never going to finish it in time.”
Whether you want to write or you have to, “not feeling like it” definitely doesn’t make writing any easier. One of the hardest parts about being a writer, after all, is writing even when you’d rather not. Sitting down to write is often more challenging than the actual writing — yes, it makes sense. You might be shaking your head right now, sadly, because you know it does. You know all too well.
Maybe you’re afraid. Not of writing, not of what your final product might turn out to be, but that you’re going to write when you don’t want to write and it’s going to be bad. Bad writing, a bad story, a bad idea — it doesn’t make sense, writing when you’re not in the right “mindset.” What if it’s not good? What if you waste hours of work on something you’re just going to end up redoing or throwing out later?
This is not an uncommon fear. This is not a fear that you should be ashamed of, or one that anyone should judge you for. All of us want to write good things. None of us want to waste our time writing something that we’re just going to have to go back and rewrite later.
But here’s the thing: Sometimes, you aren’t going to have any other choice.