Anonymous ASKED:
I think I'm having a problem with motivation. I love writing, I love creating my own characters and stories. When I think about it, I feel like literature will be my only way of getting my voice out there. Still, I can never bring myself to write anything. I follow a lot of writing help blogs (including this one, of course) and I always read the articles but I never act on them. I rarely feel inspired and if/when I do I never have the urge to write or even start. (Continue)

Continued:

I remember reading an article on here about how inspiration can’t just come to you and another one about how writers just naturally write or want to write (even though it’s hard sometimes). I agreed with both of them and told myself to get up and go, but I never do anything. I haven’t felt the urge to just write for a while. (Continue)

I think I make a lot of excuses. I usually say I’m just “busy” because I have some classes that give out more homework than usual, even though I still have enough time to sit in bed on the internet for hours. I’m not sure what to do and the thought of writing is overwhelming sometimes. I think my creativity has gone down or maybe I’m becoming more left brain. Do I need to find a way to do some serious work with myself? Or am I just tricking myself into thinking writing is my thing? /endless text

Firstly, take a breath. You’re psyching yourself out by asking if you’re tricking yourself. Don’t do that.

Now, here’s what I have to say.

I think a part of your issue here stems from the very beginning of what you said: “literature will be my only way of getting my voice out there.” From what I see, I wonder if you’re prioritizing getting your voice out there over writing for your love of writing. Writing for the love of writing shouldn’t be forgotten, or else you’ll run into these problems, you’ll make excuses, and you’ll stress yourself way the heck out to the point that you start to question whether or not you can do it.

If you want to continue writing, then you’ll have to put the work in and bring yourself to do it. I know writers who disable the internet, write on paper or a device that doesn’t have internet, or even install a program that disables the internet for a specific period of time — just to eliminate the internet as a distraction. The internet can be an addiction. It’s quick and easy satisfaction and definitely beats having to do any work. That’s why we need to limit our internet usage, especially when it takes away from the work we WANT to do.

Going through these rut periods is natural. I know someone who didn’t write for three years before she finally finished a manuscript. This worked for her and she’s pleased with the outcome. I’ve another friend that took ten years from the last manuscript she finished to her newest (albeit she did write within this period and also graduate from a university). Even I tried to give up writing, and I gave it my 100% best effort. Six months later, I was writing faster than I’d ever written.

Writing is always hard. Even when it’s easy, it’s hard. Everything we want most in the world is going to be the hardest thing to reach, but we can’t cross unfathomable distances until we’ve made that first step.

If things don’t work out, take a break. Take care of school. Put writing as far away from your brain as possible. Then, come back and try again in the summer.

  1. lil-miss-banana said: TEN WHOLE YEEEAAAAARS and then I sat there like “what just happened? I just finished a novel? Really? Is this what it feels like?”
  2. keyboardsmashwriters posted this