Why you shouldn’t force it- or should you?

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And by it I mean, force yourself to be creative, write posts, read those review books, etc. I find that I get in modes where doing anything related to My Friends Are Fiction feels like a battle of wills. My brain feels sluggish; my motivation is stalled- I have zero ability to actually produce anything of quality. And yet, I have the desire to be productive. I want nothing more to improve my blog, present content to my readers and yet…I still say- don’t force it.

Walk away for a little bit and read a book you don’t have to review.

I find that when inspiration for blogging hits it hits like a train and my brain is full of ideas, inspiration and the words just flow. I often wonder if it feels like this for authors? I always hear…make yourself write some every day. I wonder if that is effective?

Today I needed to work some on another project but I found myself wasting at least an hour staring at the screen with no inspiration. I figure- maybe I should just stop and go do something else. If I continue to stare blankly at my screen will I magically become able to produce something? I highly doubt it.

For our dear readers I’m of the opinion that they can feel when we are forcing our content. I think the passion to blog or write is obvious to those that follow. When we struggle I think it shows.

Do you force yourself or go with the mood as it hits? Do you have the luxury to go with your moods?

I imagine a lot of the time we have deadlines (especially our author friends). I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. As a blog reader- can you tell when content is forced or when it’s been passionately created?

Comments

    • says

      I do that too! I love reading something knowing it doesn’t have to be reviewed. I just read Carry On and hadn’t planned to write a review but did anyway because I was inspired. A great feeling when that happens!

  1. says

    I’ve never been one to feel like I had to create a bunch of extra content other than my reviews, but that’s probably way I’m not one of the “bigger” bloggers. I think, tough, that you are right – you can tell when someone is forcing it.

    • says

      Kate I disagree! I’ve always looked up to your blog and you. I do think readers can tell for the most part. I guess though, at times, there’s no option but to force yourself.

  2. says

    I recently went through a period of time when I let my blog sit for about a month. I just finally got back to it because I realized that I wanted to be back in the community . I wanted to write again and I really wanted to talk about a book that I read. It’s true you can’t force it. No matter how hard I try, sometimes I just don’t feel it. But when inspirations strikes, I get really creative and then its fun again!

    • says

      How was taking the month off? I’ve never been away a full month (usually like a week at the most) I’m the same way with the inspiration waves. When they hit it’s wonderful!

  3. says

    But I’ve been like this for a while!! It completely sucks! It’s the same with replying and commenting back on other blogs. I feel bad for not visiting their blogs when they’ve visited mine. But I haven’t been in the mood. And I don’t want to force myself to comment when I really don’t want to. I also have many drafts in my Blogger account because I get hit with lots of ideas but the inspiration to write them is missing!

    • says

      Yep, I don’t force myself to comment. I’ll visit and read posts but if I don’t have anything to say I’ll just move on. Sometimes a post can be wonderful and yet I don’t have anything to add you know? I hope you go through and finish up some of those drafts! I don’t even have that many started posts sitting around. Lately, I’ve had no planning ahead. I just write something and post it. Not the most organized method.

  4. says

    I write for a living, so I don’t get to say I don’t feel like it. So I guess that just spreads into all the stuff I do for my own blog, as well.

    • says

      I didn’t know that Nikki! What do you write? How don’t I know this??? I imagine living in the pressure of writing for a living would spread to blogging. very interesting take!

  5. says

    I sometimes force myself, but only if it is a blog tour that I have to have a review up for. Otherwise I just go with the flow. There is no reason for me to force my way through a book if I’m not going to enjoy it. That isn’t doing me, the author, or my readers any good.

    Another great post Kristen!

    • says

      Oh yes, for a blog tour I’ve def forced myself to create content. I try to write stuff up as soon as possible but sometimes I have to wait to the last minute and then it’s never a good thing.

  6. says

    Seriously, did you draw inspiration for this post from my thoughts?! This week has been a struggle for me in regards to blogging. It was only when I was taking a break that I found inspiration for a blog post. I can’t tell when a blogger is uninspired BUT I can tell when a particular post is filled with enthusiasm and passion.

    • says

      We must be brain twins right now! Lately I’ve been struggling too. I don’t know why exactly because I WANT to be writing great content but then I sit at my laptop and just stare. What is up with that!?

  7. says

    Hmm, well for me I usually write on a certain day, like Sundays and on that day I’ll write when the mood hits me and have all my posts prescheduled for the week if that makes sense? I’m sure I’m not making any sense right now and if not, forgive me. Teehee I’m also a writer so I’ll usually plan my scenes ahead of time when the inspiration hits sland then write my scenes the next day so I won’t have to use all that brain power thinking so I can just focus on creating.

    • says

      That is BRILLIANT. I’ve done that in the past but I tend to not keep doing it. I love it those few weeks I accomplished writing all my posts for the week. That’s awesome that you are a writer as well as a blogger!

  8. says

    I go with the flow and my moods. I wouldn’t really call it a luxury, I just look at my blog and reading as a hobby and I do it when I can. If a great idea strikes, I usually write myself in my phone lol

    I’m a pretty straight to the point kind of person, my reviews and discussions tend to be short. I am sure there are some readers who stop by my blog and feel that the content is forced because of this, when in fact it’s just my style.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

    • says

      I don’t think short=rushed or forced at all. I think readers would be able to tell that it’s your style and not forced. I think mostly ‘forced’ looks like a lot of filler content? I don’t know. I feel like when I’m not feeling as into what I’m writing I don’t get as many comments and the post seems a tad ignored. this could be because I’m not bothering to promote it? I’m not sure. I’m with you…this blog is a hobby so I try to never feel stressed (though it does at times).

  9. says

    I appreciate your candor in this post. I’ve absolutely been in the place where I felt uninspired to read or write the things I needed to. I agree that the best remedy is to take a step away from it and do something else, even if that means delaying a review or not reading a particular book.

    • says

      I totally agree. I’ve been ‘late’ on a review because I just wasn’t in a reading or reviewing mood. I feel that since I’m not paid I have the ability to do that. I figure there aren’t any real hard due dates.

    • says

      HOW DO YOU DO THAT ALYSSA. I think you are the only person I know that is completely able to stick to their schedule. I’m so impressed! I love that you don’t suffer from the moods.

  10. says

    Gorgeous post Kristen. <3 Hugs. Thank you for sharing about this 🙂 And aw, you should never ever force yourself to blog or do anything. I adore all of your posts, though 🙂 I've been having a difficult year with reading. Haven't felt like it most of the time. And so I have just not read at all for some time :p Which sucks, but I wasn't able to force myself to read 🙂 Anyway. You are awesome. <3

    • says

      I’ve noticed you’ve had a tougher year reading this time. It seems like a lot hasn’t hit you right 🙁 I bet you’ll get hit with the mood and read a ton. You might just need a bit of a break. I know you read a ton last year. And thank you so much!!

  11. says

    I prefer to blog on days when I have a lot of motivation. Usually when I don’t have motivation to write new pots I try to do something else blog related that I do have motivation for. And sometimes I do force myself to write a post, sometimes it doens’t work, but there are also times where just getting started is the hard part and once I start it goes well. In general I do go with my moods, as staring at a blank screen for hours isn’t productive. And sometimes I give it a try and see if it works and else stop and do stomething else. I think that going with your mood does lead to the best results, but sometimes it might be necessary to force yourself to do something you don’t want to.

    • says

      Yep, me too Lola. I have had that happen where you think you don’t feel inspired but once you begin it comes easily. that’s a great feeling when that happens. Thank you for commenting your thoughts.

  12. says

    I never force myself. I always remind that blogging is just a hobby, so when I’m not feeling it I just go and do something else. I’m luck that when I am in the mood, I can write 5 posts in one day, so I have a big back log that gives me a lot of freedom 🙂

  13. says

    I totally agree with you. Whenever I force myself to write even though I don’t have any inspiration at all, I almost always end up making something terrible. Whereas when I do something I like and ignore the work I’m supposed to do for a while, ideas always pop into my head. I came to learn that forcing myself to work isn’t much of a good option, so now I only do so whenever I don’t have any other choice left haha. 🙂

  14. says

    I agree 100% with you! I am not always very motivated to write reviews or content and althought reading slumps are rare for me, reading what I “ought” is not something I’m always in the mood for, so I’ll just go and read something else… that means that I’ll have ARCs pending from last month that I want to read but I’m not in the right mood for and sometimes I just start and then take a break from… and other times I just binge read a lot of books or a full series and then I have a million reviews I don’t want to write because SO MANY and I just go an read more!…

  15. says

    I do both. I’ll force myself to sit down and start writing, but if I’m in a mood where I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to, then I don’t. There is usually some other aspect of my blog or YouTube channel that I’ll end up working on and that I feel like doing, so it’s not a waste of time.

  16. says

    This is a really hard question to answer! The answer for me is… sometimes? LOL. Sometimes I will force myself to read that review copy and others I just realize I don’t think are for me anymore or I received for review unsolicted and I just can’t bring myself to read it. I usually do try to write a little something about any book I read — or partially read — just to have my thoughts out there. I really cannot force myself to read something I’m not enjoying though. I just end up skimming and then what’s the point in forcing myself to finish? And you have to have SOME time for those books you bought for yourself that aren’t review books!!

  17. says

    I don’t think it is good to always force it. It’s sometimes when forcing it is the best thing you can possibly do and you actually get decent work done, and sometimes you just need to break the ice of starting to get to the good stuff. But others times, a step back is what it is needed. It’s hard to know when which is best to apply!

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