Monday, March 9, 2015

3 Ways to Reclaim Your Passion for Writing

I have a confession.

Sometimes, more times than I care to admit, my passion for writing wanes. It hurts just writing that, but it's true.

And there are many reasons why this occurs: fear, self-doubt, the busyness of life, just to name a few.

But when you are a writer (and by this, I mean not just one who writes, but one who is compelled to, who MUST write), you have to overcome everything that keeps you from the page and get to writing.


When we realize that our writing mojo is on empty, it's important to take some measures to remedy the problem.

Here are three suggestions that I use to kick-start the writing.

Think about Your Love of Writing
Why do you love to write? This is not the time to think about your current situation: that is, the situation where you are not writing and you feel your desire is long gone. This is a time to think about your past writing experiences. Why did you start writing? How do you feel when you write? What do you think about yourself and your writing when you write?

Recall Your Favorite Writing Experience
What has been your favorite writing experience? What was the project? How did you feel while writing the project? Why is it your most favorite project? These feelings you write about? Incorporating this positive feelings into your current situation can aid you in bringing forth much writing.

Acknowledge the Fear That Usurps Your Writing
Everyone has fears. The goal is to not let fears destroy what you're trying to build--whether that's a character's life or your own life. Acknowledging your fears allows you to deal with them. What negative thoughts do you have when you attempt to write? Where do these negative thoughts come from? Where do they originate? How accurate are these thoughts? Usually, fear is not TRUE; it's something we've conjured up in such a way that it looks real. It even has a physical identity it becomes so real. Try to get outside of your negative thoughts and that place where fear resides and truly examine each of your fears, each of those negative thoughts that try to kill your writing. How real are they? Write positive truths to negate each of those negative thoughts. Repeat those positive truths aloud.

What do you do when you feel your writing passion wane?

Creative Passionista Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her author website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment.

12 comments :

  1. Reading a brilliant book usually inspires me to get back to it. Though of late, even that hasn't worked.

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    1. Funnily enough, the exact opposite worked for me recently. I was reading a really, really awful book (poorly written, laughable plot (but intended to be serious), appalling "loser" characters) but I felt compelled to finish it because I was intrigued by one little mystery (which was never resolved anyway, aarrgh!). Everytime I felt the pull of this book, I thought, "I'm not giving in until I've written a very large chunk of my wip. Mine is a much better book, and I can't justify sinking the next few hours into it unless I'm truly done writing for the day." It worked - I wrote more words that week than I had for months before, and the gathered momentum fired me back up again.

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    2. Reading usually helps me, too, Diana. It either makes me excited to jump in and work on my own stories, or, kinda like Elle, I use the reading as a reward for having written.

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  2. Pretty much the same thing that I do when my passion for anything wanes ... take a nap.

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    1. Naps are most excellent. I rarely take one, however. Maybe I should start. Lol

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  3. I started writing as a child because it was something I felt a deep need to do. That compulsion, as I recall, came from news and feature stories in the daily paper, world events, family, holidays, anything that affected me emotionally. My first novel -- several decades later -- evolved from my disappointment over a book from a favorite author who had moved on from telling great stories to titillating the senses. She lost her power in my opinion, and she lost a reader. Determined to prove that a compelling story trumped graphic sex scenes when it came to pulling the reader in, I embarked on a 5-year project that produced the book I have just revised and will be reissuing shortly. Interestingly, the things that drove me to write as a little girl still head the list. Buying out the time to write has been the biggest deterrent over the years, but my changing circumstances now should make that a thing of the past. Thought-provoking post, Shon.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I often try to remember those youthful reasons behind my need to write.

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  4. I read. And that helps light the fires again. I think most writers go through that.

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    1. Definitely, Susan. And reading is probably at the top of many writers' lists, too.

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  5. It seems to be a consensus that we all go through these slumps, and reading a good book can jump-start our enthusiasm again. So can getting a new review or a note from a reader. When all else fails, I just make myself write something, anything, until I start seeing a few words that might be gems. LOL

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  6. I'm in a slump now, or maybe it's a Just-finished-a-book-and-I'm-not-ready-to-start-another-one period. Glad to see I'm not alone.

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  7. When I don't feel the passion, I think about having to deal with housework, cleaning toilets, and pretty soon I'm back at the computer.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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