When you can’t face writing: 5 tips

It happens to everyone: You have to write something. But you can’t make yourself do it. But you have to.

Yes, it’s weird. And normal.

Here are five ways to help yourself move forward from Publication Coach at How to write when you don’t want to:

  1. Start doing something different, instantly. When you notice you’re stewing about not wanting to write, walk away from your desk immediately. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend. Break the cycle of negative thinking.
  2. Immediately reduce your goals. Sometimes the reason you don’t want to write is because the task you face is overwhelming you. Break it down to smaller goals until you’re facing something you know you can accomplish. You can come back for the rest tomorrow.
  3. Adopt a growth mindset.
    Having a growth mindset — meaning you believe it’s possible to learn to do anything better — means you see problems as obstacles to overcome, not roadblocks. Researcher Carol Dweck has shown that a growth mindset predicts success far more reliably than talent. As well, if you do more of something you’ll inevitably get better at it.
  4. Abandon perfectionism. Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft. You’ll fix it later. Really, almost all first drafts are crappy whether you give yourself permission or not. Write in the real world, not the fantasy one your perfectionism creates.
  5. Take better care of yourself. Be nice to you. Make sure you’re comfortable, not hungry, warm or cool enough. It’s easy to let discomfort get in the way of progress — because some part of your brain says you “deserve” to suffer.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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