Today the writing does not flow. Do you ever just not feel like writing? But you have a commitment – to readers, to yourself, maybe you are even lucky enough to have a deadline. So you write. You might drag, your quality might suffer (or seem to), but you lay down one word at a time. And you make headway on your work in progress.
Inspiration makes it easier to write. Motivation makes it easier to write. But neither is necessary when you have notes or an outline. This is why I like outlines so much. Once I discovered outlines, I no longer had the excuse for writer’s block. When you have an outline, you can make it more and more detailed – almost to a sentence level – so you always know what to write.
An outline does not need to be an alpha-numeric list. Mine starts as a summary. When I have no motivation and no inspiration, I take the sentence that condenses my scene and begin to elaborate on it. I brainstorm and choose the best options. You can learn to brainstorm from very little. I expand my outline/ summary in three’s. When writing at a more macro-level, I use an inciting incident, a complication, and a resolution/complication. When writing at a micro-level I create a stimulus, reaction, and response.
Writing without motivation or inspiration becomes more difficult for me when I do not have an outline. But even when I don’t have a plot, I have a story I like to tell. A particular type of story that can be told many ways, through many characters and events, in many settings. So I use that as an outline in the broadest sense.
Even on the days you do not feel like writing, you can make progress. It is not the end, it just takes a little more fight. Being a writer takes many traits and one of them is the will to fight. Even if the trait is underdeveloped, you can start now by sitting down and writing.