How to Write When You Don’t Want To

Even the most prolific writers have to force themselves to write sometimes, so if your goal is to author a book, or even post consistently to your blog, it’s important that you figure out how to write when you don’t want to.

Like right now, as I write this, it’s 10:30 at night after a long and stressful day. I don’t feel like writing, but I am.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing. I do. I write all the time. Writing is my default, go-to communication. I write without even thinking about the fact that I’m writing. And yet, I take a lot of care with what I write. I fuss a lot over not just what I’m saying, but how I say it.

It takes energy to write, and sometimes, I just don’t feel like I have it.

So, I have to find it. I have to find a reason to write that’s bigger than my desire to avoid it.

What’s working for me in this moment is that I said I would.

I told my team I’d have a blogpost ready to go in the morning. And I can’t really see myself showing up to the morning meeting as the CEO and telling my team, “Yeah, I finished my calls at 4:30, but I did other stuff for 6-hours and then I was just too tired.”

That’s a kind of leadership, I guess, but not the kind I want to promote in my business.

Even more important than the fact that I promised my team, I promised myself I would write this blogpost. Today.

I hate to break a promise. And breaking a promise to myself is especially problematic, because it erodes my self-trust, and I also believe that it affects how I come across to others. I mean, if you can’t trust yourself to keep your promises to yourself, why should anyone else trust you?

I’m not perfect about keeping promises to myself. The odd things is, sometimes, I catch myself choosing to keep my promises to others over the ones I’ve made to myself. I have to be hyper-vigilant about not doing that. And I’m happy to say, more and more, I do catch myself before it’s too late and realign with my internal commitment to me. It’s still an area of growth.

I’ve kept enough promises to myself and built enough self-trust to know that by doing so, you can achieve amazing things, like growing a business, getting in shape, paying for your kids to go to college, and yes, writing a book.

The Bottom Line Is This:

To get yourself to write when you don’t want to, remind yourself you made a promise. And think of it as a way to build self-trust.