On Forcing Yourself to Write…

First of all, if you have to force yourself to write, you may be in the wrong business.
Just wanted to make that clear from the beginning that this is my ultimate stance on the matter.
I love to blog and I love my blogging community. One of the future literary masters that I follow on wordpress posed the question “How do you make yourself write?” I have been pondering that question for a few days, and now that I’ve thoroughly chewed it over, I’m ready to give my answer.
The answer is, for me at least, YOU DON’T!
That’s right boys and girls. I’m just going to come out and say it. If you’re resorting to forcing yourself to write, you’re probably in for a rough existence.
I love writing. When I first discovered the joys of creating my own worlds at the age of 14, I was in awe of what could be done with a simple blank sheet of paper. I loved the library and I loved books. I was one of the fastest readers in my grade and I was a sponge for stories and information, but I never thought about where those books came from. To think that one person had to sit in front of a typewriter all day thinking of all this crazy entertaining stuff…it just blew my mind. Then I though, “I can do that! I’m nuts!” From that day forward whenever I got a writing assignment I would basically do the assignment, but slant it in a fantastical way, or I would just write whatever the Hell I wanted. Most of the teachers thought, “Well, she wrote something,” and gave me a good grade anyway.
I skipped field trips in favor of staying in a classroom of failing students and writing all day. “OOPS, I forgot my wittle permission slip. Guess I gotta stay here all day.” Besides, the kids with the bad grades are more interesting than any movie they packed us into a theater to see. 101 Dalmatians the live action movie was not a big loss. Sorry Glen Close. I absolutely loved those days!
I’ve heard other writers say “You have to be productive every day bla bla bla. Write this many sentences a day bla bla.” That may work for them, but it’s just not my style. All of the forced stuff usually gets edited out anyway.
The days I spend not writing always get made up somewhere down the line.
I have to run the same scene in my head a thousand times over before it reaches the page. Once the scenes are thoroughly thought through and I can’t stand it anymore, then I open the dam and let the carnage flow out. On days such as this, I can write ten to fifteen pages in a matter of a few hours. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can write the whole day and the whole night and come out with about 30 pages (250 words a page). On nights when my brain will not shut up and let me sleep, that’s an opportunity for genius to come out.
I like to go to bed at 9. If I’m not asleep by 12 I just say, screw this, and I get up and write, usually till two. Those are some pretty wild nights because that’s when I write with reckless abandon. I keep going until my brain, and Aric are satisfied with the work. I go until I can’t hold the pen up anymore. Poor Aric, when I don’t sleep, he doesn’t sleep either. We work together…always.

I love to write, and I happily pick up my pen every time. For me, writing is an adventure that I get to take every day. Normal people don’t go on adventures every day. I’ve been given a great gift, talent on loan from God, and I’ll be damned if I will waste it. I see book ideas everywhere, and I know that’s not just a coincidence. For the next 100 years, I’m pretty well set for book ideas…God, I better live for a hundred years cause I can’t write that many books in a lifetime, or maybe I will. Who Knows?

I would like to thank the ten people who purchased my ebook “To Love a Beast” currently available on smashwords. You all are the greatest and it feels good to get the book out there and have people interested in seeing it. Money is nice, but readership is better! Thanks!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * M.S. Fowle says:

    We can’t force ourselves to want to write…we just write…’cause we’re writers. It’s nice to have a few projects going at once, though sometimes I get flustered on which one I want to work on more. We fall in love with the stories we write and the characters they create, which is why we get so excited about selling a handful of ebooks. Someone else is (hopefully) falling in love as hard as we did. It’s an empowering feeling.
    Thank you for sharing!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
    • * bflyzone says:

      Oh yes, I am definitely in love with my characters. I feel like I know them inside and out, but then sometimes they surprise me. Sometimes they jump out and say, Ta da! I’m a bad guy. Then I’m like, oh no, are you sure? And the nod and say, definitely. I’ve also had the opposite happen. Weird.
      One thing I will never forget, is the first time anyone ever spoke to me about my book and how strange it felt to hear other people say my character’s names. Its just another layer of icing that makes my characters feel like they’re real.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  2. * robincoyle says:

    I don’t have to force myself to writer either. I should knock on wood but I have never experienced writer’s block. Well, maybe a time or two when it came to coming up with an idea for a blog post.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
    • * bflyzone says:

      Writers block should not effect you if you have plenty of material to edit. I say edit with joy and gusto until your muse decides to come out and play again. Yea! I love to blog.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Satis says:

    When the inspiration is lacking, it can be difficult to see the purpose in sitting in front of the screen (or typewriter, or pen in hand) and writing word after dismal word. Still, not writing can be a difficult stance to take when a hard goal is in mind. This could be a deadline set by a publisher, or a self-imposed goal (my own currently is to write twenty-five chapters in twenty-five weeks, so that I can read a new chapter to my son each weekend).

    With that in mind, sometimes the words have to come out, whether they want to or not. As M.S. Fowle points out, we write because we’re writers. This is what brings us back to the page even after the agony of hours spent in futile creation. The words that come when they are forced – yes, they are awful, and yes, they get edited out. But if they weren’t on the page, there’d be nothing to edit. I don’t expect my first draft to be perfect; in fact, it might be downright terrible. Brahms burned more drafts of his music then ever were published.

    Mind you, I don’t disagree with you, and there have actually been studies that show that the chance of inspiration can come from states of distress – including a chronic lack of sleep! So keep going on the all-nighters, keep letting the ideas fllow, and above all – keep writing. After all, you’re doing something right – you’ve got a book out long before I have! My, I’ve just written a lot. Thanks for the thoughts now in my head!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
    • * bflyzone says:

      I do have to admit, it is harder to wait around when you have a deadline. I was going to address that, but I forgot the word deadline and my brain just would not give it up. Everybody is different. I’m more in in for the fun than the money.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
      • * Satis says:

        I feel exactly the same, and I thankfully don’t (yet) have the pressure of writing to a publisher’s demands. My story is my own and I write for myself, but…I’d be fooling myself if I said I didn’t want it to be read by other people. I would like to think that, someday, my writing might be finished and done, and out there for the world!

        Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  4. * Kate Patrick says:

    Excellent post! I can relate to the midnight writing. That’s when I do my best work!:)

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  5. Sometimes I do force myself to write a defined number of words, but only if I have the inspiration but would rather be in my bed. If there’s no inspiration then I’ll only end up deleting in the next day, so on those days I just head to bed! With two troublesome toddlers, sometimes bed is the only place to be!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: