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Tips for Writing Something you Don't Want to

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Hey all 

Anybody have any good motivating tricks they use when they need to write something that is not particularly interesting to them?

I am stuck on a massive writing project because I wrote the part I was most excited about first.... and the rest of it I don't care about and am only putting in because my advisor told me to. I really, really don't care about it and it makes writing so much harder. 

How do you trick yourself into writing mode when the topic is ..... blah ?

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Posted (edited)

I'll post some articles and tips I find helpful in case anyone comes in here looking for the same help.

I found this idea and like how it sounds, I think I'll try it today:

"Word spriiints!

Those timed, adrenaline-laced and competition-fueled moments where you do nothing but barf on the page for as fast as you can in hopes of grinding your fellow sprinters’ word counts in the dirt. MWAHAHAHA!

Ahem. I wrote all about word sprints (here - I copy-pasted below):

Even though I don’t word sprint anymore for quality’s sake, there were a few times where I just had to stop worrying about how things sounded and get the stinking scene on the page.

I did sacrifice a little quality, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.

When you’re really stuck, get competitive, get going, and get fast with word sprints!


A word sprint is where you ask someone to write with you for a short amount of time – usually 10-15 minutes (though you can definitely go longer) and you race against the clock to get as many words written as possible. Once the time is up, you each report to each other how many words you wrote and maybe share the last line you typed.

Guys, I can not stress enough how much this has impacted my writing. Whenever I feel like I can’t write, I ask someone for a sprint. In an hour’s time (of which has been spent doing several sprints) I have added 1,000 words to my book and gotten so into my writing that I end up not needing to sprint anymore. 1,000 words written in an hour, where if I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have written anything. I would have given up and gone to watch a movie, but instead I persevered and managed to add a lot to my book.

It helps so much having someone to sprint with. It keeps you accountable and really forces you to write no matter what. Thanks to word sprints, I have been able to write a lot more and make tons of progress in my book!

Now you may be thinking – “Well, that’s great, Jaclynn, but what if I don’t have anyone to sprint with?”

In that case, I recommend sprinting with yourself. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how many words you can get written in that time. You’ll be surprised by the progress you make. Even if you write 100 words and find you still aren’t feeling it, at least you have written. At least you have added a few more words to your story that weren’t there before.


And here's another person's take on a similar exercise:

Set a timer and start writing. 

A good period of timed writing is about 20 minutes.  I learned this trick from the Natalie Goldberg school of free writing, and it works very well for me, and it tends to work for anyone who might be stuck for any number of  judgmental reasons. You’re judging your work too hard. Someone else has judged you and wounded your spirit. You’ve been badly rejected. Whatever.  Judgment interferes with the free flow of words, so to get by it, you have to go back to mad writing.  

20 minutes of fast writing with no judgment from you, just words piling up.  It doesn’t have to be good writing. It just has to be on topic.  If I’m going to write about how to write when you don’t feel like it, I start there.  If I’m stuck in a novel, I will choose the scene that is causing me trouble, shift viewpoint or setting and spend 20 minutes on that.  I might write 20 minutes of autobiography or skip ahead to a scene I know about later in a book.  


Edited by jujubea

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I usually make time for that. For example, 1 hour per day. I also turn off my phone and all the notifications and try to absract.
I think that works in any case, you just need to focus :) Hope, these tips will help, good luck.

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How are you going? I can definitely resonate with finding boring tasks very difficult.

I find that writing tips encourage me to write for a day or two, then I go back to old habits.. 

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