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View Full Version : Have you ever lost interest in writing?



The Backward OX
07-24-2010, 03:53 PM
I have, and Iím wondering what, if anything, can be done.

Wayne K
07-24-2010, 04:08 PM
Go do something, shake the dust off. Get drunk and laid (you're 18 right?)

Do something that'll inspire you.

Contrary to popular belief, there's more to life

Annayna
07-24-2010, 04:47 PM
Yep. I'm kind of in that mode right now....

Namatu
07-24-2010, 05:12 PM
Yes. I've gone years with very little writing, sometimes none, because other things in life demanded more and more of my attention and I didn't have energy left for anything else. If you want to write and can't find the motivation, try playing with short stories. Write crazily, whatever you want, no commitment, but do not beat yourself up for not writing. It's okay.

Phaeal
07-24-2010, 05:21 PM
The problem is distinguishing between a real loss of interest and a temporary loss of confidence and motivation.

A real loss of interest is no big deal, as long as you replace it with interest in other things. Nobody has to be a writer, except a writer.

Signs you're suffering from the second syndrome:

-- You can't think of anything you'd rather do than write.

-- Your interest in writing is YOUR interest in writing, not an interest someone else is imposing on you.

-- Your motives to write include the joy of the process and satisfaction in the product, not just publication/fame/money.

-- A quiet inner voice tells you you'll regret giving up writing a year, ten years, forty years down the line.

Temporary loss of interest (motivation, confidence) is endemic to writers. It can last for a hour, a day, a week, a month. In hard cases, it can last for years. The ultimate cure is discipline, which hardcore writers must develop. Excited or blah, they learn to sit down and turn out copy.

If you decide you really want to write and you're going through a slump, or even if you're not sure whether this is a slump or a permanent goodbye, try the first step toward discipline, which is writing everyday.

Pick a very modest daily goal. Could be a half hour or could be 250 words. I'd recommend a word count goal. Then either work on a project or simply free-write. But write, meet your very modest goal, and then get the hell out and live.

shaldna
07-24-2010, 05:31 PM
I've lost interest. I always come back to ti though.

Although I agree, as usual, with Wayne. There's more to life. Go experience it.

dpaterso
07-24-2010, 05:38 PM
Yup. Don't sit staring at a blank screen, go do something else, and come back to writing when the urge becomes overwhelming.

-Derek

Jamesaritchie
07-24-2010, 06:41 PM
No, I've never lost interst in writing. I have, however, gained interest in doing other things. Writing is not my life. Never has been, never will be. Writing is just one of the things I enjoy doing. Writing is the one thing I make sure I do pretty much every day, but I spend time on several things that interest me. It keeps any one of the things I do from becoming boring.

Life is short, and I've always believed we should do whatever it is that we most want to be doing with our time. If it hapens to be writing, then write. If it happens to be knitting, knit. If it happens to be playing games, play games.

aadams73
07-24-2010, 09:39 PM
No, I've never lost interst in writing. I have, however, gained interest in doing other things. Writing is not my life. Never has been, never will be. Writing is just one of the things I enjoy doing. Writing is the one thing I make sure I do pretty much every day, but I spend time on several things that interest me. It keeps any one of the things I do from becoming boring.


This is pretty much it for me, too. I like doing all kinds of things and I pursue those interests in varying measures. Writing, too, is a job, and as such, I don't always feel like doing it at that moment, but I do it anyway because I'm reeeeal interested in eating.

But losing interest? No. I tried taking a break recently, but the moment I let my mind relax and drift a story popped into my head. Apparently writing didn't lose interest in me, either. :)

Having an assortment of passions stops a person from stagnating and refills the well. Go do something else and see what happens. Others may beat me over the head for saying this, but it simply may be that you're not a writer. Not everyone is. And that's okay.

PoppysInARow
07-24-2010, 10:07 PM
No, actually. I have always wanted to write. I've had writer's block, in which case I take a month or two and do other things with my life. Don't worry about scrambling to get back inspiration or you'll make yourself miserable. If you don't want to write, you don't want to write. Enjoy something else for a little while.

Jamesaritchie
07-24-2010, 10:14 PM
Having an assortment of passions stops a person from stagnating and refills the well. Go do something else and see what happens. Others may beat me over the head for saying this, but it simply may be that you're not a writer. Not everyone is. And that's okay.

I agree completely. I try to do one new thing, or visit one new place, each week. It doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming, but almost anything that breaks the norm refills the well and, if nothing else, gives me something to write about.

It can be something as simple as a pitch in dinner I saw advertised in the paper, or a festival of some kind, or a flea market, a weird group meeting at the library, or just a greasy spoon restaurant I've driven past a hundred times.

It can be a mountain man or Civil War reenactment, a corn maze in October, or a county fair.

It can be a one of a thousand hobbies, or even trying to do something the way a character in one of my historical novels would have done it. I've made my own paper, my own ink, and my own quill. I've made black powder, built a muzzle loading rifle, and my own bow and arrows, using only tools that would have been available during the time period.

cwfgal
07-25-2010, 02:05 AM
No, I've never lost interst in writing. I have, however, gained interest in doing other things. Writing is not my life. Never has been, never will be. Writing is just one of the things I enjoy doing. Writing is the one thing I make sure I do pretty much every day, but I spend time on several things that interest me. It keeps any one of the things I do from becoming boring.

Life is short, and I've always believed we should do whatever it is that we most want to be doing with our time. If it hapens to be writing, then write. If it happens to be knitting, knit. If it happens to be playing games, play games.

With the exception of imposing a daily dose of writing on myself, I agree with this. Live life. Your writing, if you decide to continue with it, will be all the richer for it.

Beth

kaitie
07-25-2010, 06:49 AM
Yes. I've gone years with very little writing, sometimes none, because other things in life demanded more and more of my attention and I didn't have energy left for anything else. If you want to write and can't find the motivation, try playing with short stories. Write crazily, whatever you want, no commitment, but do not beat yourself up for not writing. It's okay.

Ditto. I hardly got any writing done in college just because there was so little time available to do it. I couldn't even think about it a lot of times because I was so stressed out with papers and tests and readings for class, etc.


Just set it aside for awhile. You can always come back to it later on. There's no law saying that you have to write constantly every day and do nothing else. If you constantly find yourself not wanting to do it and forcing yourself to anyway, that'll show in the writing, not to mention you'll just find it even more frustrating. I'm with Wayne. Uh...well sorta. I wouldn't recommend either getting drunk or laid lol, but just the idea of go out and do some other stuff for awhile. You can always come back to it later on.

Unless you're a published writer under contract to deliver a manuscript within a certain period of time, there's really no reason to force yourself if you don't want to. If you don't have other hobbies, go find some.

Maxinquaye
07-25-2010, 07:01 AM
No, I've never lost interst in writing. I have, however, gained interest in doing other things. Writing is not my life. Never has been, never will be. Writing is just one of the things I enjoy doing. Writing is the one thing I make sure I do pretty much every day, but I spend time on several things that interest me. It keeps any one of the things I do from becoming boring.

Life is short, and I've always believed we should do whatever it is that we most want to be doing with our time. If it hapens to be writing, then write. If it happens to be knitting, knit. If it happens to be playing games, play games.

This pretty much, with the caveat that my writing actually puts a roof over my head and puts food on the table. Well used to anyway, but it's hard to break a twenty year habit. I don't really have a choice in whether i write every day or not. I'm just lucky, I guess, that if fiction is becoming less interesting I can knock out non-fiction.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2010, 07:09 PM
With the exception of imposing a daily dose of writing on myself, I agree with this. Live life. Your writing, if you decide to continue with it, will be all the richer for it.

Beth

Well, I do find that daily dose an imposition. I do think you should do all sorts of other things, as many as possible, but if you don't write pretty much every day, writing itself will most likely remain more a hobby than a career.

Domoviye
07-25-2010, 07:24 PM
I just recently got over a bad case of this.
It started off with a big move and than being VERY busy with limited computer access (can't write a story on paper very effectively, need a computer) and after that I just kind of stopped.
I only really got interested again recently after I started doing freelance writing as a part time job. Now I'm writing a lot.

Like others have said take a short break (not 3 years like I did) and let yourself relax, than get back on the horse.

orion_mk3
07-25-2010, 08:48 PM
I often feel like I have...which is something I think most people around here have felt at one time or another. But over the years I've realized that I'm a "manic-depressive" writer.

So there are times when I'll be phenomenally productive (eg. 31 short stories in March '08, 50k in Nanowrimo '09 by Nov. 17) and time when, unless I stick to a schedule, I don't write at all. The trick is finding exercises to sustain the writing through those drought periods, at least for me.

Kitty27
07-25-2010, 08:51 PM
I have never lost interest. Writing is my drug. LOVES it. I write every day.

But there's more to life. Sometimes you just need to chill and enjoy other things. Live a little,party,etc. It will eventually come back because for a writer,the urge never leaves.

Robin Bayne
07-25-2010, 11:19 PM
Has anyone created more of a lively writing life by doing the "morning pages" recommended by Julia Cameron?

nighttimer
07-26-2010, 05:13 AM
You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer.
~Stephen Leigh

You can't say, I won't write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, thenÖ you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.
~ D.C. Fontanta

Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
~ Stephen King

:e2BIC:

rhymegirl
07-26-2010, 05:22 AM
Yes, I have lost interest in writing. I started to become more interested in music. I still find more pleasure in music.

gothicangel
07-26-2010, 10:31 AM
Ditto. I hardly got any writing done in college just because there was so little time available to do it. I couldn't even think about it a lot of times because I was so stressed out with papers and tests and readings for class, etc.


Exactly what I'm going through right now. I start my final year in six weeks and the knowledge of what I've got to do to ensure a 2:1 and write a disseration seems to have dried up the fiction facilities. :D

TWErvin2
07-26-2010, 04:34 PM
I have, and Iím wondering what, if anything, can be done.

Consider what might be distracting you or causing stress and is inhibiting your desire to write. Get whatever it is taken care of so you can move forward on other fronts.

Bubastes
07-26-2010, 04:36 PM
Has anyone created more of a lively writing life by doing the "morning pages" recommended by Julia Cameron?

No. In fact, my writing life (and life in general) actually got worse through this practice because writing down my negative thoughts cemented them in my head and ruined my mood for the day. I personally hate Julia Cameron's books, but that's just my opinion. YMMV.

kaitiepaige17
07-26-2010, 05:47 PM
Yep, I'm in that mood right now. I haven't worked on my novel for about a week now. Trying to enjoy my time being a "normal" teenager who, you know, doesn't write novels... :)

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2010, 06:48 PM
Has anyone created more of a lively writing life by doing the "morning pages" recommended by Julia Cameron?


Morning pages always struck me as a very good excuse for not actually writing. They make no sense to me at all, and I'm not sure they do to Cameron, either.

shadowwalker
07-26-2010, 07:05 PM
I can't really say I've ever lost interest in writing - there were many years when, as others have said, there were just too many RL issues going on and I couldn't focus on it. Even now, if there are major upheavals going on, it affects my writing. I just don't have enough energy for everything at once. On the other hand, I have found that when things are most stressful, if I force myself to take some time and write (even as little as ten minutes), it alleviates the overall stress. Basically allows me to take a time out from thinking about the stressors. But when I'm not writing, I miss it. Terribly.

Margarita Skies
07-26-2010, 07:15 PM
Sure I have, back in the fall of 2005 when I was so depressed that I literally couldn't eat or sleep, and I couldn't stop shaking. Thank goodness that a friend brought me back to normal by giving me advice and guidance.

Robin Bayne
07-26-2010, 07:25 PM
No. In fact, my writing life (and life in general) actually got worse through this practice because writing down my negative thoughts cemented them in my head and ruined my mood for the day. I personally hate Julia Cameron's books, but that's just my opinion. YMMV.


Interesting! I just can't get motivated to do them.

Robin Bayne
07-26-2010, 07:27 PM
Morning pages always struck me as a very good excuse for not actually writing. They make no sense to me at all, and I'm not sure they do to Cameron, either.


Good point--when I actually do them I don't write much else that day. Or, I end up working on my current wip instead of just writing whatever comes to mind.

Bubastes
07-26-2010, 07:33 PM
Interesting! I just can't get motivated to do them.

Let me be even more blunt about my opinion re: Julia Cameron's advice -- it's a way for people to feel like they're being creative without actually creating anything. The best way to move forward on a WIP is. . .wait for it. . .work on the WIP.

For me, writing morning pages steered me toward some disasterous personal and professional decisions. Writing down my messed-up thoughts made them feel more rational than they really were. Luckily, I wised up.

Robin Bayne
07-26-2010, 07:38 PM
Let me be even more blunt about my opinion re: Julia Cameron's advice -- it's a way for people to feel like they're being creative without actually creating anything.


Yes! Hadn't thought of it that way.

Susan Littlefield
07-26-2010, 08:41 PM
I have, and I’m wondering what, if anything, can be done.

I have not really ever lost interest in writing, but I have certainly found myself overwhelmed with not being able to creatively write. While I was in paralegal school twelve years ago and learning legal writing, etc., that's where I put all my energy. Once done, I went back to my creative writing which, at that time, was a lot of short stories. Then, I went back to school to complete my undergraduate degree, which required a lot of critical writing and some creative writing. Well, my final project for my undergraduate degree was a novella. My final was the completed novella, a journal of my creative process and a 45 minute presentation. I got an A. Oh, and I wrote the novella, edits and all, within a six week period.

I cannot imagine not writing.

P.S.- have had one short story I wrote while getting my undergrad which has been published. :)

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2010, 09:59 PM
Let me be even more blunt about my opinion re: Julia Cameron's advice -- it's a way for people to feel like they're being creative without actually creating anything. The best way to move forward on a WIP is. . .wait for it. . .work on the WIP.

For me, writing morning pages steered me toward some disasterous personal and professional decisions. Writing down my messed-up thoughts made them feel more rational than they really were. Luckily, I wised up.

That's it exactly.

The Backward OX
07-27-2010, 04:11 AM
The problem is distinguishing between a real loss of interest and a temporary loss of confidence and motivation.

A real loss of interest is no big deal, as long as you replace it with interest in other things. Nobody has to be a writer, except a writer.

Signs you're suffering from the second syndrome:

-- You can't think of anything you'd rather do than write.

-- Your interest in writing is YOUR interest in writing, not an interest someone else is imposing on you.

-- Your motives to write include the joy of the process and satisfaction in the product, not just publication/fame/money.

-- A quiet inner voice tells you you'll regret giving up writing a year, ten years, forty years down the line.

Temporary loss of interest (motivation, confidence) is endemic to writers. It can last for a hour, a day, a week, a month. In hard cases, it can last for years. The ultimate cure is discipline, which hardcore writers must develop. Excited or blah, they learn to sit down and turn out copy.

If you decide you really want to write and you're going through a slump, or even if you're not sure whether this is a slump or a permanent goodbye, try the first step toward discipline, which is writing everyday.

Pick a very modest daily goal. Could be a half hour or could be 250 words. I'd recommend a word count goal. Then either work on a project or simply free-write. But write, meet your very modest goal, and then get the hell out and live.
It isn't the second syndrome but even so I'm trying your cure. Thanks.

The Backward OX
07-27-2010, 04:19 AM
Consider what might be distracting you or causing stress and is inhibiting your desire to write. Get whatever it is taken care of so you can move forward on other fronts.
Loss of interest isn't a distraction.

kaitiepaige17
07-27-2010, 04:26 AM
Sometimes you gotta just give yourself a break. You get burnt out of writing just like you would with anything else you've been doing a lot of. Just take a few days (or more) off from writing until you feel like doing it again.