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How to write when you absolutely don’t want to

How do I find inspiration to write when I have no idea what to write about?

The short answer is: I don’t.

I don’t wait for inspiration.

Instead, I make writing an absolute and not a perhaps.

I think it is equal parts discipline, part intrinsic motivation, part desire.

Definitely ties back to being disciplined in order to achieve success.

I have to be disciplined with my writing in order to achieve the overall goal I have set for myself.

These are the steps that I take and that you can follow to write when you absolutely don’t want to.

You have to take the emotion out of it

Right now, I have absolutely no desire to write.

It’s not that I’m tired or in a foul mood or doing anything better. I have no valid excuse not to be writing.

I never do. You might not either.

Still, I don’t feel like it.

It’s easy for me to give in to these feelings of not doing shit, but (very obviously) it has hobbled my progress and chances for succeeding at anything.

So I take the emotion out of whatever it is that I want to do in order to guarantee that I’ll do it.

I can make a million excuses not to do it, or I can use the same time to do it. I go for the latter so I can pat myself on the back later.

It feels amazing, believe me.

It’s easy to wait for inspiration in order to start writing or to do most things.

The thing is, you can’t wait to feel like doing something if you want to achieve anything.

Trust me, I’ve tried it. The most you get out of life is a series of starts and stutters, ups and downs.

You don’t want to wait for anything when you’re chasing after a goal. Just go.

Your fears and doubts will always find a way to throw emotions at you to keep from getting out of your comfort zone.

Be brutish. Rip the emotions out of it.

I let myself get lost in the words so I don’t have to think about how I don’t want to do anything. I focus on the joy of writing my ideas down instead.

And look at that. I find myself in the zone. A place so many strive for and can’t find.

I always find it in my words. I take the emotions out of my head and put them into my words so I can accomplish my goals.

Try it for yourself and see what happens.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you produce, but not while you’re writing it.

  You have to get past really bad writing

Bad writing aka the first draft of anything makes it difficult to keep trudging forward when you don’t want to write.

If anything, the bad writing that pours out of you only confirms your initial desire to avoid writing.

When the muses aren’t with you, every word seems awful and idiotic. A massive waste of time.

Right now, I can’t bear to read any of the previous sentences because I know they aren’t conveying everything exactly as I want.

I can blame it on the free writing, but really I just suck right now.

That’s totally normal.

So I push through the self-loathing that is instinctual to every writer so I can (you guessed it) achieve my goals.

I want to capture all of my thoughts into words that others can benefit from. I have to write everyday and make it a daily ritual.

I have to write then edit and finally publish. I can’t let bad writing stop me mid sentence. I have to push past it so I can share my ideas at scale.

That’s what you have to keep telling yourself as you push to reach your word count or until you’ve finished the first draft of your content project.

It’s okay if it’s terrible.

You get to go back and fix it before anyone sees what you’ve done.

I think that’s why no one writes in front of an audience. No writer wants anyone else to confirm how bad their writing is. At first.

Most writers want to cultivate that air of mystery and sexiness that comes with being a creative.

I don’t.

Writing is fucking hard and I want everyone to see what a bitch it is to make it look easy.

It’s easy to write words. The trick is finding the right words to write.

Unfortunately, you can only find the right words to write after you’ve written the wrong words.

You have to mire through shit and mud to find perfection.

And all the successful writers do because they know that by getting past it they get to where they want to go.

Keep your eye on the prize

Everyone’s prize (aka overall goals) are different.

Some are lofty, some are not. Some are self-serving, some are not.

Goals are meant to be personal. If they aren’t, then you can’t motivate yourself to achieve them.

For example, I can’t motivate myself to sit through rounds and rounds of interviews for a job I will only end up hating.

Meanwhile, there are others would kill for my job application to first interview ratio (it’s up there and I just waste it like a fool).

I don’t want to work for others, I want to work for myself. It’s much harder, much lonelier and it takes a greater toll on you.

Still, it’s what I want so I push myself to do what it takes to get my prize.

Financial freedom in the form of my own business is the obvious one.

Using my words to create financial independence and leave a legacy is the more lofty one.

I can’t get motivated to fight for a 401k and a “steady” job. It’s not for me.

I can get motivated to fight for something that will always be mine. And will potentially earn more.

I’m learning to remind myself of my goal (and to create clear goals) every time I find myself losing steam.

Which is often.

Freedom means no one else is pushing you to do what you need to do. Day in and day out, I have to be the visionary and the workhorse.

In this war of art, I am the general and all the goddamn Roman legions.

Being in business for yourself is more than finding a service people want to pay for.

It’s everything.

Everything from ideation to marketing to sales to customer service to business intelligence to learning and development to research to customer success.

All while being some visionary CEO that can steer themselves and their team to success.

So yeah, I remind myself to keep my eye on the prize because it’s worth so much more than the pain I put myself through now.

I hope.

Lather rinse repeat

When I have no idea what to write about, I find myself doing all of the above to find a way to put words on the screen.

Nothing else matters except what it takes to reach my goals. Little by little makes a lot and I have a habit of getting lost in the details instead of focusing on the big picture.

Does it matter that this essay is a bit rambly?

Not really. I achieved my goal of writing it.

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