06 January 2021

Where's My Motivation?

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Well, it's a new year (finally! so long 2020! you won't be missed!), and with a new year usually comes a new surge of motivation. I've got a brand new fancy planner, even bigger and fancier than last year's. I do certainly feel motivated about certain things--continuing to eat healthy and lose weight (I gained two pounds over Christmas and New Year's, but that's not too bad, right?), getting back into productive habits, like cleaning every day, drinking lots of water, READING MORE (I only read 18 books last year). 

But do you know where I still have zero motivation? Writing. 

I don't know what it is. For the past couple months, I have just completely lost my desire to write. I don't even want to think about any of my stories. I realized recently that I used to always fall asleep thinking about one scene or another, but lately I haven't found anything that piques my interest. I've scanned over every story idea, every sequel, every self-indulgent never actually going to write it moment that I could possibly think of and...nope. Don't want to think about it anymore. 

I obviously don't want to be done with writing, but I also don't know how to get that motivation back. I've really always struggled with motivation, but there was always a tiny glimmer of that desire to write underneath whatever else was holding me back. Now, I don't even feel that. 

Maybe I've just been avoiding writing too much? Real life has certainly been stressful and exhausting for a while. Maybe if I just try to work on writing, eventually I'll begin to feel that spark again. 

I'm planning on trying a new tactic. For a while, I was trying to work on writing (or editing, brainstorming, etc.) for thirty minutes every day. I don't know if I responded well to that kind of pressure. If I couldn't think of anything to focus on, or if I just had too many other tasks, it was usually the one goal of my day that was incomplete. So I've decided instead to pick a few specific writing tasks that I want to get done each week. Most of them relate to UL, but I'll try to throw in a different story idea or a sequel to keep things interesting, and hopefully spark some motivation. This way, I can choose what time is best for getting a task done, and if I go a day or two without writing, I won't have to feel guilty about it.

How do you find motivation? Do you write every day?

27 comments:

  1. I just started writing most days in November for 30 minutes to an hour, and it's helped me make progress. It helps when I know in my head what the purpose of my chapter is. Maybe your new plan will help you get motivated. Or maybe you need to start one of those new ideas you were excited about last year and put away the manuscript you've been struggling with for awhile. I had to do that after working on mine for 10 years. I hope you figure it out.

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  2. You've got a lot of good going on!
    Sounds like you're a bit burned out - be kind to yourself. I like that new plan!

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  3. Chrys Fey has a good book on getting over dry spells.

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  4. I was going to mention Chrys's book, too, but Alex beat me to it. :)

    Definitely be kind to yourself. Especially where real life has been so stressful and exhausting. Work on what seems interesting (even if it doesn't involve writing anything at all) and try not to put so much pressure on yourself.

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  5. Strangely, I find I'm less productive with my writing when I'm actively exercising. It happens almost every time. It's like my brain spends it's cycles on thinking about my upcoming workout that it doesn't have anything left to think about my book. I actually quit dieting and exercising in December so I could get more progress on my book. I don't suggest this, because exercise and diet are important.

    I created a very specific plan for my exercise this year in the hopes to avoid that overlap. I did all my thinking already, and all I have to do is do what I've laid down. My hope is that I'll reserve my thinking juices for writing and not lose my momentum. In times when I'm not exercising, I find being unmotivated comes from problems with the story and being daunted by all I have to do. If I've got a clear, vivid scene in my head, then I can write. But I don't write every day because life usually demands my attention elsewhere.

    I hope you find motivation!

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  6. I wonder if you've burnt yourself out on writing and that's why you're struggling. You brain is telling you it needs a long rest to recover.

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  7. I've not had motivation to write, either. Last year drained me and I needed my energy to focus on DLP stuff and my authors.

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  8. We all struggle with motivation, especially if our mind is full of other things and stressful issues, as most of our minds have been lately. My suggestion - if I can offer you advice at a massive distance - is that, if you don’t want to write, don’t. The desire may come back to you, perhaps years later, or you may find some other outlet for your creativity which isn’t a struggle.

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  9. It's so hard to stay motivated. I'm taking the first chapter of a new book and working extra hard on the hook. It's making me excited to get back to it each night. When life is stressful, it's hard for me to write.

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  10. I do write every day but I know that isn't for everyone. When I hit a motivation slump, I do take a writing vacation though--not away from writing entirely, but away from a particular project. I might ignore the novel I'm stuck in for a little while and focus on short stories, journal writing, or writing prompts for a little while--something that feels "low stakes" and is "just for fun." Often that gets me back on the horse. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  11. I'm not sure which is worse, having time and no motivation or the other way around. They are both a curse! Sometimes I just have to wait a few days, or I have to pick up something old, or dream up something new just to get those creative juices flowing.

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  12. I do better if I start small and carve out 10-25 minutes of time. Usually, I end up going beyond the time limit, but if I max out at ten minutes, then fine. I still go reward myself with a good cup of tea and a hot tub bath with epsom salts.

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  13. I hope you find the plan that works for you. I had a few bad months of not writing, but I found the muse again this winter.

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  14. I signed up for a writing workshop, done via zoom, that I'm expecting to feel like a writing group. We'll have writing prompts, time to write and share, and hear from other authors. The one I signed up for is through Blue Cottage Agency. J.H. Moncrieff is also offering courses, some for free. Check them out!
    https://www.jhmoncrieff.com/iwsg-free-writing-classes/

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  15. Hmm? I've been leaving comments but they're not posting.

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  16. OK, this one went through. The others basically said have faith, your muse will show up again, and it's wonderful you're concentrating on yourself. During these 'times' I'm surprised any writer has motivation.

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  17. Sorry about the lack of motivation in the writing department. I often don't want to write, so I don't. I absolutely can't write everyday. If I did, I'd soon burn out and hate it. But that's just me. Here's to the return of your muse and mine.

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  18. I've found I can't wait for motivation-- I can edit bad writing, but not a blank page ;). But, I've found that having multiple projects running at the same time helps. Sometimes working on another one when the first one has hit a slog helps. Also, I'll sometimes jump ahead to a scene I really want to write ;). I'm moving into full time writer land, so writing 5 days a week now (was actually more than that when I had the day job too ;)) Good luck!

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  19. Do not be too hard on yourself. Times are such that we need to give ourselves a break.

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  20. I try... It's really hard to find motivation sometimes. I love being part of thelitforum.com because if I do nothing else, I can at least attempt the monthly writing exercise! You guys should all come over!

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  21. I'm feeling similar at the moment. I've just (literally today) sent my WIP to beta readers, and this was when I planned to start something new - I have a great character, but I'm in search of her story. But, you know what, I'm just going to read instead.

    Only 2lbs on over Christmas is awesome, by the way :-)

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  22. I think you've hit on a great idea. A spark of motivation is bound to come. Looks like your thoughts are headed in the right direction over all. You're doing great. Just be kind to yourself. Happy "Better" New Year, Sarah!

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  23. Sorry for your struggles. I recently listened to the Great Lectures Series on Creative Non-Fiction. The professor spent nearly a whole lecture (there were 24 lectures of approximately 30 minutes each) on what happens when you find yourself stuck.

    A lot of my writing is driven by deadlines... I know, that's not helpful, but it's the truth. I also find that I write best after exercise and like to take a walk or bike ride before digging into a serious project.

    https://fromarockyhillside.com

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  24. I'm the opposite. I have the motivation but not enough time. Every time I dive back into my WIP, something pulls me out again. Ugh.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm tardy in making return visits for IWSG because I was helping my mom move last week.

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  25. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm late because I'm in the process of moving. In 2020 I stopped trying to write creatively and used the WEP challenge to help me process all the things that were happening throughout the year. Taking that time helped me build my desire to write creatively and not just for therapy. I hope you find your motivation soon.

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  26. I do hope that you find your writing spark again. Taking time off from reading, writing and editing might get your mind back on track -- it works for me.

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day Why You Need Reader Reviews

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