Less Commitment, More Writing

Want to write more? Commit to less.
Credit: linenandsilk-weddings.com

I’ve talked about this once before. Okay, twice.

But this time it’s important.

Why? Because it’s a big reason why you’re not writing.

And it come down to your mindset.

The thought of writing intimidates you. It’s a big reason why you don’t write. You expect big things to come out of your writing sessions. When you fall short as a writer, you want to give up writing altogether.

And your writer’s block is born.

Why are you committing to write so many pages? That’s too much commitment. You need to slow things down.

Let me give you an example.

I’m a runner. I love to run long distances so much that I’ve been doing it for over a decade.

But I don’t love it everyday.

Some days it’s a mental struggle to get my butt out the door. I think about how hard it is to run up those hills, face those cold winds and stay motivated during the long distance.

But I still go out and run.

My secret? I don’t commit to running.

It’s too much pressure to commit to all those miles. So I commit to something much smaller. I commit to putting my running clothes on.

That’s it.

Once my running clothes are on, I might as well put my running shoes on. After those are tied, I’ll see if my iPod (yes, I still use mine) has a good shuffle playlist on deck. Now that I’m all equipped, it seems silly not to run.

When I take away the pressure of going for a long run, I am more likely to go out for that run. I’ll even create more goals to run faster or longer while I’m running.

All because I commit to less.

It doesn’t always go this way. There are days when putting on the running clothes is as far as I get. Good thing my running clothes are cute and color-coordinated.

But nine times out of 10, I run.

It’s the same with your writing. You’re putting too much pressure on how much you write and the quality of writing you produce. No wonder why you’re not writing.

You’ll produce those pages and that quality if you eliminate the urgency to create it.

Don’t commit to writing ten pages. Commit to sitting in your writing workspace for five minutes.

Nothing more.

Let’s be honest. Once you sit in your writing workspace, you’ll probably pick up your pen or open your laptop and write. And once you start writing, you’ll create more goals to write more pages or for more minutes.

Writing becomes a choice, not an obligation.

It’s hard not to think about the big picture. You want to publish that novel. But thinking of the end result now when you’re only pages into the project is overwhelming.

Committing to less doesn’t mean you’re not committed. It means that you know how to cope so that you can reach your goal.

Because if you’re writing, you’re committed.


  1. A clever approach! Turn on the laptop and open the file containing your project. Look at the screen for three minutes.

    If it works half the time, I’ll still be more successful than am I all the times I say, “I should work on that project,” but don’t because it seems daunting.

  2. I love this approach! Now that I think about it, I HAVE been putting off working on a story. I have great ideas for it, but I think I’m secretly worried that I’m not going to be able to do the ideas justice. But as they say, you can’t edit a blank page.

  3. […] There’s too much pressure to write your story every single day. So don’t. Write something else. A writing prompt gets you writing daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes. After mentally warming up your brain with a writing prompt, you may find yourself pumped to jump back into your writing project. […]

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