The One Thing That Will Get You Writing (Even When You Don't Feel Like It)

Evening was gathering in all the corners of my house. The house was quiet enough that I could hear the wind blowing outside and I was snuggled under a blanket. A long, productive day, I reflected. Pretty sure I checked everything off my list except....sigh....except for writing.

I'd love to tell you that I always feel like writing. Truth is I don't. At the beginning of the day I always want to write. When the day is closing, my daughter is in bed, and I have a few quiet moments to myself, I don't want to pull out the laptop. I'm usually grateful if I do force myself to do it. But I hate forcing myself to do anything at the end of the day.

So instead of getting out the laptop and staring grumpily at the blinking cursor, you know what I did? I got out my phone and opened Pinterest. I made a new inspiration board for my novel. And I gathered. I collected images that spoke to me, images that stirred my imagination, images that looked like my characters and gave me ideas. And suddenly I wanted to write. No forcing required.

Gathering is rapidly becoming one of the most important pieces of my writing practice. Too often I try to force myself to write on empty. No wonder I don't want to write. Lately, I've been looking at my writing from an input-output perspective instead of just output. When I'm feeling dry, I take time to fill up. Gathering, for me, can mean reading inspirational quotes, reading a book about writing, reading books in my selected genre (fantasy right now), collecting inspirational images, or talking with other authors and artists. 

I encourage you to incorporate gathering into your daily writing practice. A writing practice doesn't have to be all about putting words on paper. In fact, I'd argue it shouldn't be all about that. That's just not sustainable.

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Action Items:

  • If you haven't already, download my Creating Your Writing Practice Worksheet and plan out how many days a week you will gather, create, reflect, and share your writing.
  • Make a list of ways you can gather inspiration; refer to this list on those days you don't feel like writing. 
  • Share your favorite ways to fill up on Instagram using the hashtag #sharingwithinkandgrace. Browse the hashtag to get new ideas and find new writers to connect with.
Ashly HilstComment