Let’s face it. There are times when I simply don’t want to write. Writing is hard work, and writing consistently is even harder. This is especially true if you have pain or other challenges that make it even more difficult. In this article, I get into writing in the midst of pain and other challenges.
If you find it hard to write not just because writing is hard, but because you’re experiencing some challenges, read on for some tips and encouraging words.
Here are some reasons why we find it hard to write, as well as some tips for writing in the midst of pain.
The Impact of Lack of Discipline on Writing
The main reason why I hesitated to write this article is that sometimes lack of discipline is at the root of inconsistent writing. I didn’t want to write an article that would give people excuses for not writing, that would make them feel good about writing inconsistently, or that would perhaps demotivate rather than motivate.
I likely don’t personally know most of you that are reading this. And even if I do know you, when it comes right down to it, it may be hard for me to evaluate why you do or don’t write consistently.
So my challenge to you is to search your own heart, and answer the question, “Is my real problem with writing a lack of discipline?“
If it is, own it, rather than making excuses for it.
I have to admit that sometimes I don’t get things done not because of my physical pain or other challenges, but because of laziness, lack of motivation and other distractions.
In addition to the lack of discipline being an issue, some people struggle with writing consistently because they feel inadequate.
For example, perhaps you feel that you’re not a great writer. Maybe English is your second language. Even if it’s your first language, you may have had teachers who put down your writing via the liberal use of a red pencil. Or in today’s world, you may have put your writing out there only to have grammar “police” come by and point out all of your mistakes, leaving you feeling embarrassed and inadequate.
But even if you have strong writing skills, there are other reasons to feel inadequate as a writer. For me, I often feel inadequate when it comes to my ideas or insights. I may feel that I have nothing special to offer and that it’s all been said before.
If your struggle with writing consistently is due to feelings of inadequacy, I want to encourage you.
If You Feel Like You’re a Bad Writer
First, if the grammar is an issue, check out tools like Grammarly. Grammarly is a tool that helps you spot mistakes in your writing and gives suggestions for improvement. You can read my Grammarly review to help you determine if it’s a good tool for you.
Also, if your finances permit, you can hire someone to proofread your writing before it goes live. I recommend that for books more than articles, but you can do it for both if desired.
Feeling Like You’re Nothing Special
A lot of us feel that we’re nothing special. In fact, I’ve struggled a lot with what is referred to as imposter syndrome, which is essentially the feeling that I’m not as good as people think I am.
But in addition to that, I’ve often felt that I have nothing new to say. That my insights are nothing special. That there’s no reason for me to write an article or book.
Perhaps you feel that way sometimes, too.
Now to be fair, there are times when this is true. There are times when writers simply rehash content written by others. But I believe that only happens when writers hold back from sharing their hearts. When writers, out of fear, don’t let people on the inside. If as a writer you play it safe and never share anything controversial, or personal, or if you’re afraid to let your personality shine through your writing, then yes, there’s not much point in putting that content out there.
But if you share your insights in YOUR UNIQUE way, then you do have something of value to share. There is, after all, only one you. You are the one best equipped to impact the people you were put on the earth to impact. No one else can do that. Only you.
Writing in the Midst of Pain
Some of you may struggle with some type of pain. It could be physical pain, or it could be emotional. Perhaps you struggle with some type of chronic pain or disability. Or perhaps you’re dealing with emotional pain such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, or an adult child making bad life choices.
In the midst of such pain, it’s easy to find reasons not to write. And perhaps for a season, you need to take a break from writing. Or maybe not.
I say maybe, maybe not, because everyone’s situation is different. Your pain may be so intense that your current biggest need is healing and refueling. If that’s the case, I recommend limiting the amount of time you take a break from writing. Literally, plan out your break, and put the date you’ll pick up the pen once again on your calendar.
Or maybe you need to simply shift the type of writing you do or the way you do it.
Write to Bring Healing
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re going through some type of emotional trauma, such as a divorce or an issue with one of your children. Maybe your emotions are so raw and all over the place that’s it’s hard to make sense of things.
In this case, I suggest use writing as therapy. You don’t need to publish what you write. Just write. At some point, you may choose to publish what you write, but don’t put yourself under that kind of pressure now. Just write. Don’t censor. Pour your heart out in the secret pages of your journal.
When you write in the midst of your pain, writing can relieve stress and untangle your thoughts and emotions.
Writing With Physical Limitations
Whatever your reasons or whatever contributes to your difficulty with blogging consistently, I hope you gain some inspiration like I did, from Jon Morrow. Jon Morrow is a man with muscular dystrophy. He is in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down. He could just feel sorry for himself, but instead he has found ways to blog consistently in spite of his disability. His secret weapon is voice recognition software.
Jon could easily focus on what he can’t do, or what he’s lacking. Instead, he chose to focus on using what he has — his voice — to write.
Not knowing your situation, I can’t say if using something like voice recognition software is a good option for you, but it could be. If so, Dragon Naturally Speaking is considered the best, but there are also free options out there such as Windows Speech Recognition.
The Greatest Tool For Writing in the Midst of Pain is Grit and Determination
The book, From Welfare to Bestseller chronicles the story of a woman with severe illness and other major life setbacks. She became a bestselling author in spite of all of her hardships. The first half of the book goes into great detail regarding all of the bad things that happened to her. To be honest, at times I felt like she went on too long about all that, but once I got into the second half of the book, the details in the first half made a lot of sense.
The bottom line is that she had every reason, every justification to quit. But she didn’t. She pressed on in spite of everything. Her determination got her off welfare, and she now provides a good income for her family as a writer. So if you feel like the obstacles you face are too great to ever succeed as a writer, I recommend checking out her book. My guess is that it will give you a fresh perspective on your own challenges.
My Challenge to You
I don’t know what challenges you’re facing as a writer. But here’s what I do know. I know that writing in the midst of pain and other challenges is possible. It may even help you deal with your challenges. If you have physical disabilities or some sort of chronic health issue, writing may provide income in a way that a traditional job can’t. If your pain is emotional, writing may help you sort through it.
I recommend you take the following steps:
- Be honest with yourself.
Only you know if you have a legitimate reason to stop writing for a season. If it’s laziness or lack of discipline, own it. Stop making excuses.
If you do need a break from writing for a season, determine when you’ll get back to writing. Mark that on your calendar.
2. Determine how to use your challenges.
Whatever challenges you’re facing, it’s possible that they can make you a better writer. Or perhaps you can help others with similar challenges, and use writing as the vehicle to do so. Often the difficulties we experience have a purpose beyond ourselves. Ponder if that could be true for your struggles.
3. Come up with a plan to compensate.
Jon Morrow’s story is a great example. He could have said, “I can’t be a writer because I’m paralyzed and can’t type.” Instead, he found a way to write in spite of his disability.
4. Make a commitment.
Writing in the midst of pain often comes down to a choice. It’s saying, “I WILL write today” no matter what. It could mean writing in the margins of your day, in between doctor appointments, or diaper changes, or a full-time job.
I’m Right There With You
I wish I could say that I have it all together in this area. But I don’t. I do write a lot every single week, but often that’s client work, and my own writing suffers. So I wrote this post, not just for you. It’s for me as well. Let’s encourage each other on the writing journey.