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The Backward OX
01-10-2010, 07:17 PM
This is just another angle on another thread of mine.

Do you ever lose the desire, the motivation to write?

Iím not talking about writerís block. Iím talking about simply preferring to do something else, that isnít writing. Does this ever happen to you? And if so, how do you get over it? Iíve lost interest in writing and would like to revive it.

Wayne K
01-10-2010, 07:18 PM
Sure. I take lots of time away from writing.

Parametric
01-10-2010, 07:20 PM
Most days. :tongue I find guilt is a good motivator. If I don't accomplish anything I feel like a failure.

Maxinquaye
01-10-2010, 07:21 PM
No, not really. Well, except for a few hours here and there. But I always come back, don't I?

Mr Flibble
01-10-2010, 07:26 PM
It's the only thing that keeps me ( nominally) sane. So it probably wouldn't be a good idea to stop....

scarletpeaches
01-10-2010, 07:34 PM
As much as I hate to agree with Senora Idiotic...I agree with her.

I'll stop for a few hours for non-essentials like sleeping and eating, but I write most days.

Mr Flibble
01-10-2010, 07:58 PM
I'll stop for a few hours for non-essentials like sleeping and eating.

Wuss!:D


To be fair though, I'm obsessive about writing. It's replaced other addictions in my life and I'm the other way around - I have to force myself to not write so the rest of my life gets some attention.

Sorry, that's probably not very helpful to the OP...

Shadow_Ferret
01-10-2010, 08:19 PM
I've taken weeks, months, and one time, several years off. I always come back energized with a whole slew of new ideas.

kuwisdelu
01-10-2010, 08:33 PM
If there's a naked girl in the room, my motivation to write pretty much gives way to other desires.

kuwisdelu
01-10-2010, 08:36 PM
If there's a naked girl in the room, my motivation to write pretty much gives way to other desires.

I should note, this is not to say I'm opposed to multi-tasking.

OctoberLee
01-10-2010, 08:57 PM
Yeah. Me too. Even when I really love what I'm working on. Sometimes I think really loving what you're writing can actually de-motivate you. Like, you write a really awesome Scene A, but don't think you can live up to the wow-ness in Scene B.

As for how to get over it? Skip scene B and start writing Scene C. I think the biggest way I get over not wanting to write is ignoring what I /should/ be writing and writing what I /want/ to be writing. Or just starting on something new all together. Just try to find something you want to write about, even if it has nothing to do with what you should be writing about.

Another suggestion I've read is journaling. If you journal everyday, even the days where you don't write your current project, you'll at least be writing something, and staying in the groove. Finally, if you still can't find the motivation, read. Read a whole pile of books. One of my biggest inspirations is reading something I really love. Suddenly, I think I can write something like that, and am motivated to try.

Libbie
01-10-2010, 09:26 PM
Yeah, of course! I still make myself get in my daily words, but sometimes I cut it down to a smaller number if I'm really struggling. I use the desire to do something else as motivation to get through my required daily words.

And I do have planned vacations where I won't write. I think that's important to give yourself "recharge breaks."

Libbie
01-10-2010, 09:27 PM
I should note, this is not to say I'm opposed to multi-tasking.

I would pay to see this.

Not kidding.

Ms Hollands
01-10-2010, 10:39 PM
Rarely, but it does sometimes happen. I just wish I had more time to write and less of a busy work life.

DennyCrane
01-10-2010, 10:48 PM
If I have a muse, it's life experience. Without a rich existence, my writing becomes blunt, dull. Quite often I'll walk away from the computer for a while and get lost in some experience or try something new. Learn something new. Then I'll come back and find my skills have sharpened and the drive recharged.

It's easy to tell when I need to get out. Trying to write feels like I'm trying to find a gear with a clutch that's burned out. It just won't go.

NeuroFizz
01-10-2010, 10:59 PM
Even things that feel really good lose some of their effervescence if done 24/7. That and the pesky refractory period...

Cranky
01-11-2010, 01:39 AM
Oh yes. Haven't written anything worth a damn in months. Rather deliberately stopped writing around Thanksgiving, and now I knit instead. Srsly. :D

I still think about writing every day, though, so I know that eventually, I start it up again when I have the oomph to do it. I will say that stressing out over writing or not writing probably doesn't do you any good. If you want to "get over it", I'd suggest starting small. If you're a short story writer, try some flash fiction. If you're more into novels, try doing some scenes with a favorite character you've created. Maybe you'll get something useful to springboard your way into writing again regularly. :)

bettielee
01-11-2010, 01:49 AM
I have in the past, because of lack on confidence, and general feelings of fail.

However, for the last two years I've been writing pretty regular, the last year full bore! I find that it helps me stay off depression and ... general feelings of fail. :) I don't think I would have gotten through this last year without it. So I don't want to go back to not writing.

nitaworm
01-11-2010, 02:01 AM
Yep, I took a 15 yr break from writing - but have been addicted ever since. Now I do give myself breaks - like 30 days, but I beta read for others, and send my stuff out to betas during that time.

AlterEgox5
01-11-2010, 02:01 AM
Oh yes. I'll work on something so long and so hard, I'll finally burn out. After that, I just can't stand to look at the ms anymore or sit at the computer or anything.

But, give or take a few weeks, I finally ease out of the burnout mode and settle back into it.

I think if you've lost interest but now you state you're ready to revive it, it already sounds like your interest is back. :)

Kitty27
01-11-2010, 02:25 AM
No.

I write every day. I always have some mad thought or story to write about. Writing is my crack.

Now I do take breaks because my children might be offended if I sat at the computer all day.

Ken
01-11-2010, 02:35 AM
... yes. My way of dealing with lack of motivation/laziness is to ignore it. I got a goal to achieve and no stupid feeling is going to stand in the way of my achieving it. So my advice would be not to try to eliminate the lack of motivation but to focus on your goal more. If you want something bad enough nothing will sidetrack you, outside death. Are you dead? No. Then you have no excuse. So back to the salt mines with you! G'luck :-)

Mr. Anonymous
01-11-2010, 02:57 AM
Yes. Like right now. lol.

SirOtter
01-11-2010, 03:51 AM
No more often than, say, constantly.

Quossum
01-11-2010, 04:03 AM
Sure, sometimes. If I get a new game or I'm really into a quilt that I'm working on, I might be more into those things than into writing for a period of time, especially if I happen to be at a difficult or demotivating part in the story I'm writing at the time.

On the flip side, when I'm "on" with writing, I can be completely, totally obsessed with it, as in writing from the moment I get up at 4:45 until I go to work at 6:45, writing during my lunch break and conference period, giving the grading of papers, etc. short shrift, writing from the moment I get home until I go to bed, with only grudging breaks for restroom needs...it's probably not too healthy.

I'm trying to go for a little more balance. You know, to write some every day rather than these roller coaster rides. But in short, I don't think a break from it is necessarily a bad thing. Gives you time to renew your energy for writing and gather up ideas and scenes in your head.

--Q

The Backward OX
01-11-2010, 04:35 AM
If I have a muse, it's life experience. Without a rich existence, my writing becomes blunt, dull. Quite often I'll walk away from the computer for a while and get lost in some experience or try something new. Learn something new. Then I'll come back and find my skills have sharpened and the drive recharged.

It's easy to tell when I need to get out. Trying to write feels like I'm trying to find a gear with a clutch that's burned out. It just won't go.
While there have been many others in this thread who've said much the same as you (for which I thank all of you) I zeroed in on you because of the driving analogy.
It is possible to drive a manual transmission without the use of the clutch. A VW Beetle makes it look easy, but it can be done with virtually any make.

regdog
01-11-2010, 06:03 PM
I came as close to completely giving writing up for good until this past weekend. I had no desire to write again after Christmas and was sick of the whole thing.
Then this weekend the story I was stopping just started to flow.

Fingers crossed it continues

Jamesaritchie
01-11-2010, 06:09 PM
Writers write. I'm a writer.

Swordswoman
01-11-2010, 06:29 PM
The desire - yes.
Motivation - frequently.

The need - never.

I don't always want to write the thing I'm meant to write. Sometimes I think it sucks and never want to see it again as long as I live (or, well, at least a couple of days). But I have to write something, however bad, or I. just. can't. sleep.

Louise

stormie
01-11-2010, 06:37 PM
Oh yeah, it's happened to me. If you have the luxury of taking a week off from writing, do it. In the meantime, do a lot of reading. If you can't take time off from writing (editor needs something soon), then you just have to give yourself that extra push.

Collectonian
01-11-2010, 06:48 PM
Quite frequently, though because I do so much Wikipedia editing, in the end I do end up doing some writing almost daily. For my "real" writing, I have gone seven months now with no desire to do even one post a month to my anime/manga review blog, despite still having a desire to have it. And I've gone years where I didn't work on my novels at all, or where the only work I did was during NaNo and maybe a short spurt after. Almost any interest I have is like that, though. I had the same issue with photography and am just now coming out of a 3-4 year slump after splurging and replacing my older film SLR and my digital point and shoot for a dSLR.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-11-2010, 08:32 PM
If I have a muse, it's life experience. Without a rich existence, my writing becomes blunt, dull. Quite often I'll walk away from the computer for a while and get lost in some experience or try something new. Learn something new. Then I'll come back and find my skills have sharpened and the drive recharged.

It's easy to tell when I need to get out. Trying to write feels like I'm trying to find a gear with a clutch that's burned out. It just won't go.

This!

I love traveling, and when I've gone out and done it, I have more to write about when I get back.

Cooking gives me new sensual experiences to add to the mix as far as smells and tastes. Genealogy gives me more chances to go to archives and find interesting stories in microfilm. And just getting away from the computer for awhile adds to my perspective on everything.

DennyCrane
01-11-2010, 08:45 PM
This!

I love traveling, and when I've gone out and done it, I have more to write about when I get back.

Cooking gives me new sensual experiences to add to the mix as far as smells and tastes. Genealogy gives me more chances to go to archives and find interesting stories in microfilm. And just getting away from the computer for awhile adds to my perspective on everything.

Traveling is huge for me, as well. I've noticed a definite pigrimage theme in all of my novels.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-12-2010, 12:31 AM
Traveling is huge for me, as well. I've noticed a definite pigrimage theme in all of my novels.

Hmmmm...pilgrimage. I'm not sure if mine is quite that focused, but I made my second trip to the Finger Lakes this past summer, and while I was there, focused on the land where my GG grandparents settled, I found a completely unrelated story at the library in microfilm.

It stuck with me so much, that I used it for my WIP. The story didn't even occur in NY-- it happened in Illinois, but it made such an impression on me, that I set the story in NY. The second visit cemented the area in my head very firmly. And because I talked to a town historian and a B & B owner who knew the area very well, I had a little more background on cultural stuff too.

LOG
01-12-2010, 08:51 AM
All the time. The trick is forging past the apathy and forcing myself to write, otherwise I'll never get anything done...