How to Make Yourself Write

You can’t.

There isn’t some magic trick that will suddenly motivate you, something that will compel your body to suddenly be obedient to the drive to write. Because writing does actually take discipline, despite how it might seem like some ephemeral moment of inspiration. There are many lists about how to make yourself write, and they tell you all manner of strange things like go numb and let the vibe run through you or imagine a story you’ve always wanted to tell.

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Writing or being a writer seems like such a glamorous gig. You spend hour upon frustrating hour until the eureka moment when you write the best thing you’ve ever written and then you get published and receive praise or money and never have to commit to “real” work. Right? No. That’s really fucking dumb. Who thinks that? Who even lives like that? That’s not a real thing.

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If you’re writing to get rich, godspeed. With enough perseverance and dedication, you might become the next JK Rowling. But unless you’re incredibly sociopathic, there is no way that you can sustain all that drive for something you don’t really care about and are looking to make a quick buck off. You probably won’t have enough stamina for the long con. In this day and age, with the market and public imagination about the arts as they are, I don’t think anyone is dumb enough to become a writer for the money. But humans are pretty dumb sometimes. Some people might do it for the ego, which is a more likely form of payment (or deposit for entering, whichever) in this field, but that’s a different kettle of fish. I’m no one to judge the reason why you start. Fulfillment, ego, whatever—that’s between you and your god.

Are you a writer because it seems cool? Because it seems like not a lot of work? Because you want to be famous? Because you want an excuse to be an alcoholic? LOL.

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(You don’t need an excuse to be an alcoholic.)

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Personally, I don’t write because I can’t make myself. And then I see the trash being published by most magazines and journals and side-eye the fuck out of the publishing industrial complex, then just write blog posts like these that probably won’t go very far.

I don’t think you can make yourself write without having some deep need to in the first place. whether that’s self-expression, ego, or fulfillment, that’s also between you and your god. I cannot give you a formula for how to write. There is no formula for how to write. People write because they have something to say, and have a deep intrinsic need to. Something to prove, a parent to impress, a receptacle for their neuroses.

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There are a few tricks to make yourself write, like give yourself a word count to fulfill each day, or a time limit. Maybe sacrifice your first born, make a deal with the proverbial devil. But these tricks might only work if you already really want to work. If you want to become a writer, prepare to hustle and grind and have maybe the least glamorous life ever, unless you’re a straight white man with daddy money or fucktons of connects in the literary world.

Otherwise. Well. That’s that.

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