Avoid Writing

10 Things Writers Do to Avoid Writing


Writing is a wonderful way to express yourself. It’s a way to escape from the mundane and to indulge your creative side. When you begin writing for work, however, you reach a point where the positive aspects disappear and it becomes like any other chore. It goes from being something you look forward to doing to something you dread. When this happens, a writer will look for any excuse not to do their work. Here are ten things writers will do to avoid writing.

LOTR Writing

1. Email

If you don’t check your email at least once every thirty minutes, odds are you’re going to miss something vitally important. Right? Okay, maybe not, but good luck telling that to a writer who’s trying to avoid writing. It might only kill thirty seconds (because most people don’t get that many emails they actually have to read), but those thirty seconds are necessary to one’s survival.

2. Coffee and Tea

As any writer knows, you have to have at least two cups of either coffee or tea before you can even think about writing. You’ll take your time brewing the beverage (which you’ll inevitably forget about it and have to warm up at least once) because you know how important it is to your productivity. Then, you’ll take your time drinking it because a good cup of coffee or tea is meant to be enjoyed.

Coffee and Tea

The real question is, how many cups is too many? Just kidding, that’s a trick question. A writer can never have too much coffee or tea. It’s the nectar of the gods. Saying you could drink too much of either is like saying it doesn’t get cold in Northern Minnesota; it’s a bold-faced lie.

3. Social Media

Social media is similar to email, but far more distracting. Unlike email, social media is constantly updating, giving you an even greater excuse to check it every five minutes. Plus, you have the added bonus of it being a useful tool for marketing your written work, so you can pretend you’re doing it for work purposes.

Since it’s now a work thing, you better go ahead and make sure you check all of your social medias. After all, you’d hate to show favoritism to one – even if you are the only person who would ever know. Besides, by the time you’re done checking the last one, you’ll be able to start the process all over again.

Social Media

4. Cleaning

It’s amazing how dirty everything becomes when you’re trying to avoid writing. How did you not notice all that dust before? When was the last time you swept? Have you ever swept? Who could work in these conditions? To be safe, you should probably deep clean the entirety of your abode. While you’re at it, you might as well take a shower, clean out and wash your car, and give the dog a bath. There’s nothing like a good spring cleaning in the middle of January.

5. Research

No one wants to appear foolish in their writing, so research is a necessity. Except wait, you’re writing fiction, so do you really need to do any research? Isn’t that where suspension of disbelief comes in handy? Well, just because the story is made up and not based in fact or reality doesn’t mean you can’t sound educated.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of whether you need to or not, you’ll spend hours poring over facts you won’t end up using. At least you’ll have extensive knowledge on subjects you just realized you’re not even writing about. Seriously, how did you end up on a Wikipedia page about Nazis? It would appear Godwin’s Law is in full effect.


6. Napping

Does one ever really need an excuse to take a nap? Not really, but if you think you do, you can always use your avoidance of writing as one. Never mind the fact that your creativity spikes when you’re tired. Instead, just keep telling yourself that trying to write when you’re overly tired won’t get you anywhere, then go take that much needed nap.

7. Music

If used appropriately, music can be extremely conducive to good writing. It helps you focus, inspires creativity, and enhances your mood – all positive, helpful things. However, music can also be a massive distraction when we want it to be.

Rather than listening to soothing music that still allows us to do our work, we seek out our favorite songs, which results in us jamming out and dancing around the room. Not that this can’t be productive in a creativity sense, but good luck turning your dance moves into coherent sentences.


8. Food

Food is the perfect go-to distraction. Anytime you’re looking for something to take your attention away from writing, just tell yourself you’re hungry. Then head to your kitchen and spend the next half hour or so trying to decide what it is that you’re craving. Better yet, drive to the grocery store and figure it out there.

Of course, we need food to survive, so is this really a distraction? Yes, because you don’t need to spend eight hours cooking a five-course meal or experimenting with new recipes. Yet, how else is one supposed to discover their new favorite food? You’re right, carry on.

9. Pets

Animals are another excellent excuse when you’re trying to avoid writing. Pets rely on us to take care of them, which means it’s our responsibility to do so. And what kind of person would shirk their responsibilities? Certainly not a dedicated writer.

How can anyone possibly focus on writing when their dog is staring at them with longing in his eyes. It’s better to just cave and take him for at least a five-mile walk. You don’t have a dog? Well, you should probably head to your local animal shelter and adopt one immediately.

Distracting Pets

10. Other Writing

If there’s anything that can help a writer avoid writing it’s other writing projects. Oh, you have an article you’re supposed to be finishing? Well, now seems like the perfect time to start that novel you’ve been putting off. If anyone asks, you still get to say you’re writing. It doesn’t matter that you’re tweaking an essay you wrote in ninth grade.

The Art of Procrastination

While some may think procrastination is a bad thing, writers believe it’s an art form. Nothing is truly well-written if you haven’t put in a solid amount of time avoiding it. It’s a vital part of the process.

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