You’ve written yourself in circles. It’s dizzying. I mean, really, resistance is giving you everything it’s got — it’s like fighting a whole person.
Getting a complete sentence down feels like rocket science. Your mind feels uneasy. You can’t focus.
Nothing, and I mean nothing is working.
Look, I’ve been there. I’ve given into resistance, told myself it wasn’t that serious and buried myself in YouTube videos.
And the very next day, I felt embarrassed — like I’d let my future self down.
Believe me, you don’t want to give in just yet. Even if you write very little and that very little is bad, it still could be worth something.
Below are four hidden rewards of writing when you’re just not feeling it.
If you’re a writer, these are things you likely know already. But need to remind yourself of. Because when we’re in the moment, we often forget the benefits of moving forward, even when things aren’t going our way.
You‘ve Told the Truth About Yourself to Yourself
Over 81% of Americans want to write a book. How many of them do you think have written one?
My guess would be less than a fourth.
This may seem small but it’s not. When you follow-through on something you’ve set out to do, no matter how small, you’ve exhibited self-integrity.
We human beings are very goal-oriented. Our every behavior is scratching an itch — whether it’s to avoid pain or maximize pleasure.
And every day, whether you know it or not, you’re betting on yourself to become better. You’re hoping that you might learn, grow, and succeed — even if by unrealistic standards.
But when we make measurable progress, inch forward, and become more like the person we envision ourselves to be, it’s powerful.
It’s like we knew all along we had it in us to do this thing and our follow-through is positive reinforcement.
Telling yourself the truth about yourself makes you proud.
You don’t have to move mountains. Just committing to your own growth is groundbreaking enough.
Because so many people — most people, in fact — let themselves off the hook too easily. Especially when no one is looking.
The hidden gem: Integrity
You Stay in Rhythm and Build Momentum
“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.” ― Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
Have you ever started writing after a couple of days off?
Difficult is an understatement. Newton was right —as an object in motion, it’s a lot easier to stay in motion.
Stopping and starting requires a lot more energy than continuing.
Also, when you continually write, you can start to create a rhythm. You set your writing time accordingly, give yourself cues, and make it a little easier for yourself.
For example, most days I write at the same time, the same place, and the words just flow. My fingers move the beat of the jazz I’m listening to.
But that hard-earned rhythm, much like a ritual, is broken when I miss days.
Even if I write horribly, it feels better than nothing.
You’d be surprised how much better you feel writing, “I don’t know what to write about,” for 30 minutes, compared to seeing an empty document.
Building momentum isn’t the sexiest of topics. But it’s definitely worth sticking to, even when you don't want to write.
At the very least, just showing up every day will save you tons of energy upfront.
The hidden gem: Consistency
The Opportunity to Polish Up Existing Work
Writing is not a one-time thing. Nothing is set in stone.
The beautiful thing is, if you continue writing through the discomfort, you get a chance to tell the story once again. With new eyes and a new vocabulary. If you write it once, you can attempt it all again.
You can always edit, rework, and bring new life to what you’ve written. You always have the opportunity to rewrite.
Articles can be edited and republished. Books are often expounded upon and rereleased. Even our favorite writers go back and reflect on what they missed and how their points could’ve been conveyed clearer. And perhaps this point should be articulated more in the writer world.
As a writer and creative, in general, you want to get in the habit of creating and figuring out the rest later. In fact, most of your best work will happen after everything is on the page already.
If you want to write, you can’t afford to wait until you feel inspired or ready or skilled. Writing is a skill you build.
And only through writing do you get better at it.
But those ideas you never wrote or forgot to write, risk the chance of never being published.
As a writer, you have the opportunity to look at older work from a new perspective. And that’s definitely a reason to write as much as you can, now.
Write now, edit, rework and repurpose later.
The hidden gem: Clarity
You’re Living the Life of a Professional Writer
“The sure sign of an amateur is he has a million plans and they all start tomorrow.”
― Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
Professional writers write when they don’t feel like it.
They take whatever haymaker resistance throws at them and keep going.
And if you want to play at the professional level, whether it’s client work or writing for yourself, there will be days where you have to slug it out.
You won’t feel like a writer. But luckily that’s not a requirement.
You just need to get the work done.
Night after night, you’ll learn how to tame the voice in your head to shut it while you write. It can be very difficult at first — but continual writing, through discomfort is what grows you.
Not only is this a writing lesson but it’s one that applies to life. Whether you’re adopting a healthier lifestyle or becoming more financially savvy, this kind of resolve will be needed.
Writing perhaps is one of the best tools for personal development in this way. Because it forces you to face your own mental demons.
Will you stick with it when it gets hard or will you push through?
Yes, we all have bad days. But that’s never worth giving our dreams up over.
The hidden gem: Personal & Professional Growth
One Last Thing to Remember
If you give yourself the chance, you have the opportunity to grow into the writer you aspire to be. But you must first give yourself the time to practice.
Just write how much you’re capable of. Don’t overthink it. Don’t waste a second doubting yourself.
As Jim Rohn says, “Discipline weighs ounces. But regret weighs tons.”
You know what you want. Go after it, with no hesitation.
The more you delay your time of being a writer, the more you also miss the hidden benefits along the way. Don’t allow a small moment to further delay the rewards of becoming who you want to be.