Writer Woes 2.0—How to Keep Writing When the Words Disobey (How Dare They)

We’ve officially hit the halfway mark of Camp NaNo… and we’re slowly dying.

At least some of us are? I mean, I’M DOING GREAT. Partly because it’s a THREE-DAY WEEKEND WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL NONSENSE???

*cries* I’m fine.

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I think I’ve used this gif before. #oops


I actually am doing fine, though. I’m ON TRACK and starting to go a little bit above my daily goal, which is SUPER AWESOME, because I really want to surpass my word count goal of 15K. #overachiever

(Okay, I’m not REALLY an overachiever. I just want to SUCCEED.)

(And succeed a little more.)

But just like in books, the middles always sag. You’re probably feeling down, unmotivated, and just plain uninspired. (And if you aren’t, WUT TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.)

I’m feeling pretty unmotivated myself. On Wednesday, when I posted my Writerly Update, I actually caught up. But then on Thursday I failed. BUT NOW I’M GOOD but still having trouble motivating myself to reach that daily word count goal.

SO, I decided to write a Writer Woes post on that! If you haven’t checked the first edition of this writing advice series, check it out here.

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What Writer Woes is

Writer Woes is a writing advice series brought to you by MOI (May). The advice given will be decided upon by whatever MOI (May) is currently suffering with. Because if she talks about her problems, there is a 97% chance that they will be solved. (The other 3% chance is that she’ll just end up agonizing over her life choices and ranting about all her other problems. #oops)

If you have requests for any advice you’d like to get, contact me through the form on my Contact page, or let me know in the comments.

Today’s advice will talk about how to keep writing when you’re feeling unmotivated (if you couldn’t tell by the long intro).

Sadly, this Writer Woes doesn’t compare writing to taking over the world. I’M SORRY.

1. find someone to word war with.

Okay. So this is like THE most motivational writing tool ever. And possibly sprints.

A word war is basically where you challenge a person to write from this time to this time, and whoever writes the most “wins”.

For example: I challenged Violet to a 5 minute word war from :45 to :50. Naturally, I won (at like 221 words), but she was close at 178. I HAVE A GOOD MEMORY usually DON’T ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS

But honestly in two or three word wars, I can meet my daily word count goal for Camp. (But this can apply to ANY writing, not just for NaNo!)

Word wars are especially motivational if you’re competitive (like me).

You can also do fun sprints and things like that at websites like Write or Die.

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2. read some good books

This was a tip I included in my last Writer Woes post, but it works. Good books and good writings can inspire you to want to write something good as well. Just simply reading amazing books can make you go HEY I’M GOING TO WRITE A NOVEL AS GREAT AS THAT.

And who am I to stop you???

Well I am a queen but shh.

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3. read your previous writing(s)

This can either be previous parts of your current writing project, orrrrr just anything you’ve written before. Horrible writing can make you want to write better (because face it, we were all terrible at writing before). Good writing makes you think, Holy cow I was actually good at writing??? This is enjoyable??? Let’s do more of this???

Or maybe you’ll just end up reminiscing about those good ol’ days where everything was less stressful.

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4. set up a spreadsheet/graph to see how much you’re writing

This would be something to do if you’re trying to motivate yourself to write every day, but it can work for just trying to write a lot too! If you can make a graph of how many words you write a day, it gets REALLY motivational to see bars go up as you write more.

You can either make it day by day (500 this day, 600 another), or you can go day PLUS day (500 this day, 1100 another). Oh dear that probably made no sense ASK ME QUESTIONS Y’ALL.

For me, especially because I’m a visual (and competitive) person, seeing how much I write each day makes me want to write more and more and more because I WANT TO REACH THE TOP.




(If you’re doing Camp, the website makes a graph for you already. 😉 )

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5. talk about writing and/or your novel

You guys know me. I LOOOOOOVE TO TALK ABOUT WRITING! Whether it be about my charries or how I worldbuild or my writing goals, I can talk for hoooooours.

And most of the time, when I do talk about these WONDERFUL THINGS, I end up wanting to write and do what I mentioned. Like I talk about developing characters and suddenly I want to GO AND CREATE ALL THESE MAGNIFICENT LITTLE CHARRIES. Or perhaps one of my writing goals is to write 100K a year (HAHAHA NO) so then I’ll just fly off on my little mango chariot to WRITE 50K* SO I’LL BE HALFWAY THERE.

And you can either talk to yourself or talk to another person. I prefer talking to myself because no one listens to me better than meeeeee.

(Also no one is there to judge you on your weird writer-ness. *cries*)

*btw this would never happen. i don’t think i could honestly write 50K in a year???

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6. skip around

This more applies to novels, but the #1 cause of lack of motivation, as confirmed by me, is LACK OF INSPIRATION. So if you’re not inspired to write the scene you’re currently on, skip around! Write a scene that’s to come later on, one that you’re excited to write, or maybe write scenes from your character’s backstory—which is good for pantsers who don’t know what they’re going to write in the future.

Writing the parts you want to write will inspire you again, and therefore motivate you to write even more! So don’t be afraid to skip around. (Just make sure to make your way back to wherever you were to continue writing from that point.)

I 100% guarantee this will work. (I’ve obviously tried it.) And if it doesn’t, feel free to file a customer complaint and send it to me at i.dont.care@yourproblem.com.

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7. reward yourself but NEVER punish yourself

Promise yourself that when you reach a certain amount of words, you will allow yourself to eat one (or two or three or ten million) chocolate bar. And make sure that when you reach that certain amount of words, YOU ACTUALLY REWARD YOURSELF. Because sometimes we’re all mangolds like Mahriya and forget things.

However, you should NEVER punish yourself if you DON’T reach your goals. That just teaches your subconscious mind* that whenever you fail, you get horribly beaten and abused. That may make you not want to fail, but SELF-PUNISHMENT IS NOT GOOD FOR THE SOUL. OR THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. DON’T DOUBT ME. I SPEAKTH THE TRUTH.

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*Scientific investigations have been made on this. I do not lie. Ask anyone. It is true.

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8. force! your! self! to! write!

Sometimes, nothing works but FORCING yourself to sit down and just WRITE. You can do this without exing out all your tabs, or clearing away any distractions. Just pull up whatever you’re working on and TYPE. (Or write, if you’re a smol traditional writer.)

Okay, so you might end up staring at a blank screen/sheet of paper for some time, but you HAVE TO START. You’re not going to get anywhere if you do!

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9. remind yourself that you’ll never get better if you don’t PRACTICE

How are you ever going to be a #1 New York Times bestselling author with five million famous (and well-written) books if you don’t WRITE? Just think about all your books in a bookstore, with fabulous covers and your name printed on them… and now imagine that they DISAPPEAR BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST BECAUSE YOU NEVER WROTE BECAUSE YOU WERE UNMOTIVATED AND TOO LAZY TO FOLLOW THESE TIPS.


Nothing’s more motivating then visualizing a future where you live in a crumbling apartment with your half cousins and struggling to pay rent and feed yourself because YOU. DIDN’T. WRITE.

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shall we chat

are you wondering what a mangold is now? do you think these (wonderful) tips will help you? (and have you “done” some of them already?) what do YOU do to motivate yourself to write? chaaaaaat wiiiiiiith meeeee. (please.)

sign off 2.0

100 thoughts on “Writer Woes 2.0—How to Keep Writing When the Words Disobey (How Dare They)

    1. I agree! And I loooooove skipping around. It’s super helpful.
      A mangold is a mango-goldfish hybrid. Because we’re all #goldfish sometimes with bad memories, but we’re also mangoes, so Mahriya and I just had to combine it. 😉


  1. Do you know what you should add to this??? COME UP WITH AWESOME CHARACTER NAMES *cough cough nudge nudge*

    Ahem. These are great! And I actually do all of these so #yay for me! I’m super proud of myself because I set a goal of 30 chapters (but like I told you, they aren’t really conventional chapters soooo. But! I wrote four today so I’M DOING GOOD for having started on the 11th XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the featured image with the chocolate BECAUSE. I’m so glad NaNo is going well for you! Let me feel jealous while you have fun, word war, and can actually talk about your writer’s life BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONE *weeps*

    I ALWAYS Fangirl whenever you mention me or a mangold reference in your post *fangirls*. I let out a little squeak, and carry on reading your marvellous post XD YES, REWARDS! Maybe I would forget to reward myself. But I NEVER FORGET ABOUT FOOD- well maybe. BUT IF IT’s CHOCOLATE OR MARSHMALLOWS, then NEVER!!!

    well, maybe.

    Reading my previous writings always helps with writer’s block because I just think: HOW THE MANGO DID I WRITE SO MUCH? And then that inspires me because I know I CAN do it! #workseverytime

    Setting up a spreadsheet or graph would a)waste my precious time b)make me feel bad because i don’t write and c)FORCE ME TO ACTUALLY BE PRODUCTIVE – aha. So No, I will not! I SHALL NOT MAKE. Though it is fun for real writers XD XD 🙂

    OMG YES talking bout your writing or novel is the best because YOU GET TO TELL ALL THE MANGOES YOUR EVIL PLANS AND YOU DONT HAVE TO FEEL BAD ABOUT not WRITING so?? It’s THE BEST.

    By skipping around I thought YOU ACTUALLY meant skipping around and was about to get up and skip. Well, I wasn’t because that would be weird. BUT I PLANNED TO – because I’m a mangold like that. I’m like ALWAYS skipping around (not literally) when I write. I just write ALL THE EXCITING SCENES because otherwise, I GET BORED of my own writing which is quite bad #help.

    I don’t think I CAN do number 8. HOW DO YOU FORCE YOURSELF TO WRITE – explain this witchcraft?
    No.9 is the most MOTIVATIONAL ONE – In fact, I will start PLANNING MY STORY NOW! If I remember to do that. What was I talking about? Ah yes, my stories is a store and MY NAME (or pen name 🙂 ) *Dreams*.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gersh CHOCOLATE IS LIFE. And WUT NO. You have a writer’s life. It’s in an alternate universe BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO WRITE. *wails* *forces you to write*

      Oh, of course, yes. My posts are fangirl-worthy, as well as mangolds. Haha, I just end up caving in and eating the reward food while I’m writing. #oops

      Yes! For some reason it makes me want to write. Either because it’s horrible or because it was surprisingly good.

      YEAH LOL LET’S TAKE UP WRITING TIME AND MAKE A SPREADSHEET/GRAPH. But being productive is goooooood! And stop iiiiiiit. You ARE a real writer!

      I JUST LIKE TALKING ABOUT IT BECAUSE I LIKE TALKING ABOUT ME. *flips hair* But then I’m tempted to spoil everything which is like #NON.

      And OMG I should skip around! I think the movement would be good for brain… stuff. Although I’m a hermit and camp out at my computer only to get up when it’s time to eat (FOOD) and get the mangoes.

      It’s like forcing yourself to work on homework instead of read that book — it’s almost impossible, but still accomplishable. Even if it’s not wanted. And YEEEEEEEEEES PLAN THAT STORYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought MANGOES were LIFE? Actually, FOOD AND WORDS ARE LIFE.HAHA YES, I’m a whiny little baby WHO WILL NOT DO ANYTHING.

        I love watching the innocent mangoes asking ‘what is a mangold’ BECAUSE IT’S EVIL AND FUNNY (but not punny ) 😦

        Why can’t we procrastinate FOREVER (and everly) instead of being productive. WAS THAT PUNNY OR WAS THAT PUNNY!? #punny

        a)eating false compliments
        b)MUAHAH I love talking
        d) MEEE
        HAHA YES. #hermitlife

        I WILL PLAN THAT NON-EXISTENT STORY –> If I remember too XD

        Liked by 1 person

      1. *cries* i can ww alllll week tho because #AprilVacay lets goooooo
        my month even has its own VACATION. What’s in May that’s so good? OH YEAH. My BIRTHDAY!! bam. so i own april AND may. well i have to leave my house for an hour anyway so s’all good. but still. I RULE EVERYTHING

        Liked by 1 person

  3. somehow i’ve never visited your blog before?! (what is wrong with me?!) your blog is so cute and i loveeee your name!! i wish i could have done camp nano but tbh i am way too busy right now 😦 loved reading this post though!

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  4. Hello. Look at me, I took the time to say hello! Anyways, WONDERFUL TIPS M’DEAR!!!!!! As you know, I have been in a writing rut lately but these tips really will help. Plus, WORD WARS ARE AMAZING for those who do not know. How do you remember that, May? How? Creepy…. Just kidding you’re amazing. Goodbye frand! We should word war…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on getting halfway! I’m also halfway!!! I hit my 15k goal today so I’m super excited! We should word war together! I’ve never tried that but it sounds like fun ☺
    These are great tips!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love love love all these tips, I think they’re super helpful for all the aspiring writers out there! I am currently super busy (and lacking inspirati on) so I won’t be writing for a while but I will come back to this post when I DO start writing!
    I love the idea of a challenge and having a word war with someone else! I’m quite competitive so that might REALLY help!! And also reward yourself ALWAYS! I even reward myself after I finish writing a blog post LOLLL 😀 IT MAKES ME FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT MYSELF SOOOOO *shrugs*
    And you’re totally right; PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! This is something I need to remember because I’m always like “uhhhh your writing sucks anyway why do you even bother” BUT HOW AM I GONNA GET BETTER IF I DON’T WRITE!!!?! Get. this. in. your. head. Jackie.
    Anyway sorry for rambling, I totally loved the post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, yay! It makes me really happy to hear that my tips are helping you guys. 😊
      Yes, word warring is awesome! And rewarding yourself is great too, unless you’re like me and give yourself the reward in the middle of the task. XD Aww, I’m sure your writing is AMAZING! But yes, if you want to write, you have to write.
      Aww, I’m so glad, Jackie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. are you wondering what a mangold is now?: kinda. I’ve never heard of anything like that before … *glances at May sideways*

    do you think these (wonderful) tips will help you?: those are great! I really enjoyed them. And so many of them were so true! I love how they were kinda funny but mostly just true …

    what do YOU do to motivate yourself to write?; I just write. Plus that I have an awesome cabin this year, so they help me along. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *recites* A mangold is a hybrid between a mango and a goldfish. This term was created when Mahriya @ My Bookish Life was a #goldfish and forgot many things. However, she was also a mango, and we needed a word to describe both. Thus, the word “mangold” was born.

      Aw, I’m glad! And haha, I know right… And that’s awesome that you have a good cabin!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yep, talking to myself REALLY works. I can’t believe someone actually gets that?? And rewaaarrrrdddsss they are le best! But I suffer writer’s block almost ALL the time. I can’t seem to find I story though I really can write. *cries*. I’m having a feeling that I’m building a story up these days but AARRGGHHH I can’t seem to know anything about it! Am I the only one who feels like EXPLODING???

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Top tips, May!!! Loved all the advice and all your honest and humourous ramblings. Great fun to read as always. 😁🤣

    Word warring sounds so fun, even though I’m not entirely sure exactly how it works?

    Oh my gosh, I love talking about writing too. I think about it all the time. Is that a good thing? *wonders and ponders* Like, even now!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure! Well, can you explain the process to me? I’m not exactly sure how and where it would take place? Do you do it with friends or other bloggers? Thanks so much! I like to be informed!

        I try not to let blogging get in the way of my life too much because however amazing it is, I tell myself that family and real life has to take priority. Writing though? Different question altogether! 😊😁

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Basically, I could challenge you to a five minute word war, from :40 to :45. We don’t use the hour, just the minutes, because of different time zones. Then when it gets to :40, you start writing, and when it is :45, you stop writing. Whoever wrote the most in that time wins.
          And I’m slowly learning not to let blogging dominate my life! It’s hard, but I’m getting there. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post, I love these tips!! I’m currently failing at Camp Nano and deciding that’s okay. I’ve used this time to take a step back and think about the direction that I want my book to go, so I’ll jump right in whenever I’m ready! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. YOU CAN DO THIS! NaNoWriMo is intimidating, but once you conquer it, it’s all downhill from there. And I second the “no-self-punishments” rule. It’s not good for you! Is a mangold anything like a marigold?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is awesome! I’m not participating in Camp Nano, but it’s been hard for myself to find time to write. I’ve made a resolution for 30 minutes a day, and it’s been working miracles! I have plenty of chocolate to reward myself too… 😀 😉 XD
    ~Sam ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are so funny!! I LOVE reading your writer woes! I wish that I can join Camp NaNoWriMo too but Unfortunately I have exams 😭 but at least I can support all of you! I love love love all your tips too! Also,Word Wars sound awesome! Also…if you don’t mind my asking…What is a Mangold? 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m loving your use of Supernatural gifs. I find that the only way I’m going to get my novel written is if I stop worrying about everything being perfect and I’ve just been writing scenes that come to mind and so (hopefully) in the end once I’m done writing everything I can rearrange the scenes to form a coherent book

    Liked by 1 person

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