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  • Writer's pictureLaci Felker

How to Write When Your Fingers Do Not Want To

I never knew it was possible to have so many different thoughts running through your head constantly but then never be able to write them down. Now, I’m in this place a lot. I have so many ideas and so many places I can take them, but when I finally sit down to write I can’t even seem to touch the keyboard. I stare at my screen, my mind racing, and I can feel myself wanting to write everything down. Except, I can’t. I may type out a couple of words or maybe a sentence, but then I’m back to where I was only moments before. So, what do I do? Well, I work on something I haven’t touched in a while. I have so many stories that I’ve started and never completed, even if I know I want to complete them at some point, and I take the one I don’t ever feel like writing and I start typing. Now, that isn’t me saying that I like what I’m writing, but I find that writing anything is better than not writing at all. I can get one page in, maybe two, and then if I don’t feel like writing for that story anymore, I move to another one. Now, you may be wondering, “but how does that get you anywhere?” Well, it gets me back into the writing mood more often than naught. I work on one story, lose motivation, move onto another story, lose motivation, then I find that I usually migrate towards the story I really want to write.

Here's how I see it: it’s better for me to get myself writing when I don’t want to because then it’ll make it easier for me when I do. This plan isn’t fool-proof, and you could very well be sitting here reading this and thinking, “this would never work for me,” but all I ask is that you try it. If it works for you, then great! If it doesn’t, then that just means back to the drawing board. But one thing I will say is that you never want to just sit there and not write. Many wonderful works have been written on napkins, the backs of menus, or in Google Docs or the Notes app while using the bathroom or commuting. Never let the ever-creeping feeling of your fingers not wanting to do the typey-type prevent you from doing just that–writing. I find that if I go any time without writing I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. Just as much as reading helps me feel like I’m escaping reality for a little while or exercising my imagination, writing does the same thing. It can feel exhausting, sitting in front of your computer or a blank notebook and not having the energy to write, but I’ve done my best to prevent myself from ever experiencing that in future. So, I encourage you to at least write something. It doesn’t have to be good. That’s what editing and revising is for.

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