What does a "bad" writing day look like?

Okay. We had a great time describing our good writing days.

What does a bad writing day look like?

(I think I’m having one now.)

Do you regret not writing at all?
Do the words feel wooden?
Do you do something you know isn’t helpful?

What does a bad writing day mean to you?

(Thank you to @tannislaidlaw for the topic inspiration)


A bad writing day is one you have procrastinated all your time to write to something that is not creative (and therefore it is very boring.) At the end of such a day - you don’t get to say to yourself: “Look! I created this!” Nevertheless, I love procrastination. I love listening to music, casual chat, things that are to the soul like fast food is for the brain…I am in love with life itself and its spontaneity.
There’s nothing better than the bad weather!


When you spend three hours engaged in a half dozen social media arguments about politics and never get around to opening up your manuscript in Word – that’s the worst feeling in the world. I do it way too often.


I go on stretches of good writing days, where I sit at my desk as soon as I get home and am able to write for at least an hour. Then, there are (shorter) stretches of bad days where I get home tired or unmotivated and all I want to do is relax with my girlfriend and our puppy. The relaxation is nice, but eventually it’ll turn into nagging thoughts about how I need to write and still haven’t. As long as I can get one sentence down on my Word document or in a notebook it usually quells the nagging thoughts.


Bad writing days are the ones where bursts of motivation are few and far between. What makes them worse is the guilt that comes after for not getting anything done. I know I said in my reply to the good days thread that we shouldn’t be so harsh on ourselves, but I need to remind myself of that a lot unfortunately :sweat_smile:


If you ride horses, I don’t, then you know a good ride is when your girl anticipates you, and you her. She cants well, and knows when it’s time to break into a spirited gallop. She’s largely in charge, you need only nudge and encourage. She avoids low branches and deep ditches. A bad day is when all of the above flies out the window and your mount actively seeks eye-level limbs and then appears to sneer at your screaming panic when encountered.


A bad writing day is a day when the words simply will not flow, no matter how you coax them. Or when your brain seems to have forgotten everything you’ve ever learned, due to a lack of sleep or an overload of outside concerns and distractions. It is that sense of loss, of regret, for the missed opportunities. It is the ghosts of ideas not captured and stories untold.


A bad writing day is one like yesterday when I was too exhausted physically and in some pain from overdoing it in the garden. All I wanted to do was sleep. No writing at all.

I’d still prefer to have a bad writing day like yesterday rather than have a day where I write badly.


I have two types of bad writing days. First are the days that I set aside time to write and then squandered it. The second are the days where I have the time to write and nothing seems to work, and I feel like I’ve regressed to “See Spot run.” Luckily, I’ve been getting better about the former and as I’ve written more, I have fewer of the latter.


Of course, I love a high word count day – who doesn’t? It pleases the bean-counting, logical, people-pleasing front part of my brain, the part of my brain that has almost nothing to do with writing. But so many of those “slow” days I have learned are the ones where the real work is getting done. The story is being written by the part of my brain that writes stories. Maps are being drawn. Characters are forming. And, at the end, I look at my word count. My front brain sniffs, “You didn’t do much today!” But I know better.


A bad writing day to me is not writing something meaningful. I can write most days, yet not everything I write feels worthy if that makes sense. It kind of feels like going in a big circle. Instead when I write I want it to feel progressive. Like from the very first word I write it will lead to something constructive.