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View Full Version : Have You Ever Lost Your Passion? - UPDATE in OP!!!



Alpha Echo
04-21-2012, 03:54 AM
I don't know what happened.

I've always loved to write. My whole life. This year, I decided to self-publish, and I did. I also got deep into the social networking.

Did I do well with sales? No. That wasn't what I was after, exactly.

But...loooong story short, I feel like I've exhausted all my passions. I still have all my social networking accounts - FB, Twitter, my website and blogging.

But I haven't been on any of them in weeks. And I'm happier. And I don't care to delve back into that fast-paced, crazy world that took me miles away from my family for hours on end.

What about writing?

I don't know. I still know I love it and will always do it, but I feel like I'm done. I've no interest to publish anything else. I don't care if anyone else reads a thing I write ever again.

I think I let it all take over my life until it drained me. Until my husband said something about my lack of presence in our family. Until I had nothing left at all to give anyone or anything.

I'm not ready to say I've given it all up, but I'm so much happier and less stressed now. Now that I'm doing nothing but focusing on my family. Now that I can relax with a good book without feeling guilty, feeling like I should be writing. Now that I help my husband build our shelves and tables and a shuffleboard table without feeling like I should be editing. Now that I take my daughter up to the school to blow Crayola bubbles without letting my characters take over my brain until I can't hear my own daughter's laughter.

I feel like...my fear is that writing is all or nothing. From what I know of artists, and I consider writing an art, that's what it is. The art either takes over their lives, or they have to let go of their passion.

Have any of you experienced this?

____________________________________

ETA May 23 - I think I found it!

We had a CRAZY storm the other night, and I couldn't sleep. I lay there in bed and composed a little something...and I think it was decent! I was able to record it the next day. I haven't had time to write since - work has been INSANE, and once I get home and finish chores and get the little one to bed, I'm just ready to crash.

BUT.

I'm taking off work tomorrow and Friday, and this weekend, we're going down to my in-law's property on the Potomac. I plan to spend most of it on the screened in porch, overlooking the water, and alternating between editing my crime novel and maybe starting something new.

This writer's coming back, baby, so look out!

Maze Runner
04-21-2012, 03:59 AM
It sounds like you're a little farther down the road than I am, but maybe I know how you feel. As it is I've written one novel and one screenplay, have gotten some good responses from both, but my hope-tank is pretty low at the moment. I don't know if you feel the same, but for me, a drop of encouragement is like a rainstorm in a drought.

rynthewin
04-21-2012, 04:11 AM
It sounds like you are majorly burnt out. It's actually common in any sort of profession, and I assume that writing would be one of them as well. Feel free to step back and enjoy your life. If you're meant to write, it'll come back to you and hopefully it won't be so overwhelming.

For me, I never lost my love for writing so much as other things in my life made me not care if I was writing or not because I was having so much fun. My three years at university were roller coasters but I loved them despite the bad spots. I've been off for nearly a year now for medical reasons, and I'm finally getting back into writing.

Rhoda Nightingale
04-21-2012, 05:15 AM
For a particular story, sure. For writing altogether? Never.

Jersey Chick
04-21-2012, 05:25 AM
I've been there. At one point, I was working on deadlines for five (yes, five) contracted books in various stages. For some idiotic reason, I also decided to do NaNo. By the time December rolled around, I was so burned out, I didn't want to look at anything writing related. I had no ideas, no urge to write, nothing. I took a couple of months off, and did everything else but write. I didn't even think about it. Didn't miss it one bit.

After a while, though, ideas started nibbling at my brain. Little by little, I got back into it. But I learned not to take too much on at a time. :D

shadowwalker
04-21-2012, 05:28 AM
Letting anything take over your life is taking it too far. There's nothing wrong with taking a step away from writing for a while when you've let it take over for so long. Don't worry about the 'passion' coming back; I've never believed in that anyway. When you feel the need to write, when you feel another story building, you'll write. And hopefully then you'll understand the difference between being a disciplined writer and hiding in it.

Alpha Echo
04-21-2012, 05:35 AM
I've been there. At one point, I was working on deadlines for five (yes, five) contracted books in various stages. For some idiotic reason, I also decided to do NaNo. By the time December rolled around, I was so burned out, I didn't want to look at anything writing related. I had no ideas, no urge to write, nothing. I took a couple of months off, and did everything else but write. I didn't even think about it. Didn't miss it one bit.

After a while, though, ideas started nibbling at my brain. Little by little, I got back into it. But I learned not to take too much on at a time. :D

That's it, exactly. I don't miss any of it. I don't miss blogging - and that's something I looked forward to every single day. I don't miss Tweeting - something I came to love and appreciate. And I don't miss FB - a place I made some friends. Friends who haven't said so much as boo since I disappeared, but whatever...


Letting anything take over your life is taking it too far. There's nothing wrong with taking a step away from writing for a while when you've let it take over for so long. Don't worry about the 'passion' coming back; I've never believed in that anyway. When you feel the need to write, when you feel another story building, you'll write. And hopefully then you'll understand the difference between being a disciplined writer and hiding in it.

I hope you're right. I'd love to be able to fit it all in without stressing. Right now, I don't see that happening. Now or ever. And I feel...nothing...in response to that revelation.

AbielleRose
04-21-2012, 06:03 AM
I hope you get your mojo back. :) This hasn't happened to me with writing, but it has with my art. I used to be really big into painting and other forms of art but after making so much to sell I got burned out and it lost its sparkle. Other things took its place, like writing :), but I still consider myself an artist. Though it doesn't happen as much as it used to, I still paint from time to time and still consider myself a painter. It'll always be a part of who you are because you loved it and it helped shape a little part of your soul.

kaitie
04-21-2012, 06:12 AM
Honestly...I think it's okay to not do it for awhile. Life changes. Passions change.

I don't let myself get involved in social media stuff (well, and I dislike it lol) other than this site, and I don't really want to. Actually...I've been stepping away from the internet altogether more often lately and I'm loving it. I get so much more done and feel so much more accomplished. I actually think the vast majority of us would probably be better off if we cut back on this sort of thing.

As for the writing, I don't see anything wrong with taking a break. You might come back to it, but if you do you'll do it because you want to, not because you feel like you need to. And if you don't...well, that's okay, too. As long as you have things in your life that you love and enjoy that you can be passionate about, that's what matters. That writing be one of them? Not so much.

Right now I'm struggling with the fact that I'm trying to prioritize writing above other things and treat it as a second job, and I get what you mean about feeling guilty if you don't get things done. If I get to the end of the day and I didn't write, I find myself feeling the same way. I'm going to start letting that go, though. It isn't worth feeling negatively about it, and I get done what I can get done.

Anyway I think it's perfectly acceptable to step away. In a few months (or a few years) you'll know how you feel, and it's always there for you if you want to come back to it.

triceretops
04-21-2012, 06:33 AM
I experience those dips and rises on a regular basis, often being depressed and utterly failed as a writer, while bouncing back with some measure of hope and accomplishment. It is a rollercoaster of emotions. Lately I've been on the dip side. The only thing I can do is take solace when something positive happens, something that sends me up there, on the high and mighty plateau. Then the cycle repeats itself. I wish I had the answer. I can only believe that a good rest and change of environment can help stave off the truly depressing, negative thoughts. Take a small vacation away from it. Find some new interests. Writing will call you back when it's good and ready.

tri

Alpha Echo
04-21-2012, 07:01 AM
Honestly...I think it's okay to not do it for awhile. Life changes. Passions change.

I don't let myself get involved in social media stuff (well, and I dislike it lol) other than this site, and I don't really want to. Actually...I've been stepping away from the internet altogether more often lately and I'm loving it. I get so much more done and feel so much more accomplished. I actually think the vast majority of us would probably be better off if we cut back on this sort of thing.

As for the writing, I don't see anything wrong with taking a break. You might come back to it, but if you do you'll do it because you want to, not because you feel like you need to. And if you don't...well, that's okay, too. As long as you have things in your life that you love and enjoy that you can be passionate about, that's what matters. That writing be one of them? Not so much.

Right now I'm struggling with the fact that I'm trying to prioritize writing above other things and treat it as a second job, and I get what you mean about feeling guilty if you don't get things done. If I get to the end of the day and I didn't write, I find myself feeling the same way. I'm going to start letting that go, though. It isn't worth feeling negatively about it, and I get done what I can get done.

Anyway I think it's perfectly acceptable to step away. In a few months (or a few years) you'll know how you feel, and it's always there for you if you want to come back to it.

Thank you. It's funny...it's when I prioritized writing above other things and made it my second job that I...ended up here.

I hope...I really hope it all comes back because I do love, love, LOVE to write! I always have. I...yearn for a fresh piece of paper and a nice pen. I do.

Well, I have. Now...I yearn for a good book and a glass of wine and time to myself. Or an evening with my husband debating life.

Miss Plum
04-21-2012, 11:51 AM
Come back to writing!

It might be different without all the social networking. Try to do it without that. I find that getting into my stories and characters absorbs so much of me that I simply can't be posting here and there the way I do when I'm between projects.

flapperphilosopher
04-21-2012, 08:11 PM
I experienced something sort of similar. I think my reasons were different than yours but I had a couple years where I basically didn't write. Since I was 10 or 11 I'd been a crazy writer, writing almost every day, always coming up with various things (even if didn't finish most of them), absolutely LOVING it. Then at about 18, that drive started fading. I don't know why-- I was at university, but I still had the time, I was never into partying or that consumed with schoolwork. I enjoyed physically writing, I wrote incredibly long emails to friends and family and in my journal when I travelled, and I'd still think about my characters in quiet moments and before sleeping, but I didn't feel compelled to write stories anymore. By the time I was 19 I basically wasn't writing already, and then I fell in love and had my life fall apart (not related... at least at the start) and struggled with depression and physical illness-- life took over, basically. I felt sad sometimes that I didn't write anymore and wondered if it would ever come back, but it just wasn't there. My dad would periodically encourage me to write again, because I was good, and I'd think, all right, I'm going to start again, I'll write a novel! and not.

I don't know what brought me back either, but last year I felt I wanted to write. So I did. I thought about these characters who'd stayed with me all these years and about giving them their story, and then it just blew up. I wrote every day for a week, and then another week. I felt nervous the whole time it was going to burn out and leave me again, but it didn't. After about a month of this I thought, wow, all right, I'm a writer again. And since then it's been back at the core of me, essential to who I am, and I can't imagine it gone.

I still don't know what went on there but I guess I needed a break. I needed to go live a bit, and my writing is much, much better for it. All I can say is don't stress yourself out about it or beat yourself up. Enjoy your time away; when it's ready to come back, it will.

Jamesaritchie
04-21-2012, 08:52 PM
Fortunately, writing has never been my passion, so I can't lose it. I enjoy writing,it's fun, but my passions lie elsewhere. Writing simply allows me to pursue whatever passion I have at a given moment.

Phaeal
04-21-2012, 09:40 PM
All or nothing thinking is a killer. Sounds like ALL has finally knocked you sprawling into NOTHING's arms. Relax. Refill. Reconnect with other passions and interests. If and when writing tempts you back, play harder to get. Flirt with it. Have fun, but see other passions. Let writing know it's important, but you just can't let it crawl in your window and watch you sleep. Offer it a schedule, then stick to it.

Moderation is best for both of you. If you're firm, writing will eventually get over its pouts and find itself the richer for your richer life.

brainstorm77
04-21-2012, 09:43 PM
My best advice: Do what makes you happy.

Celia Cyanide
04-21-2012, 09:59 PM
Every day.

KTC
04-21-2012, 10:11 PM
I basically do everything by rote because I'm so emotionally dead at times, I don't even know what passion feels like.

Al Stevens
04-21-2012, 10:25 PM
I know the feeling, not with writing but with playing jazz music. A couple years ago I just had to drop out of professional playing. It wasn't the music so much--although I was getting bored with it--as it was the bullshit that permeates the profession. There's some of that in writing, too, more so now than in the old days.

Whenever I think I miss it, I attend a jam session and get reminded about why I dropped out.

Lady Goddess
04-21-2012, 11:35 PM
I felt like this about six years ago. I just got completely fed up. I was burnt out. So I quit writing altogether. I didn't write a thing for four years. Not a journal entry, not a short story, not a poem, anything. I didn't even get online.

During those four years I learned a lot about myself. And I went through utter and complete hell for at least two of those years - emotionally, mentally and physically. But I don't regret it. And when I finally came back to writing, I had a new outlook on it. I could appreciate it better, and put it in its proper place.

Take the time off that you need, and come back to it when you're ready. :Hug2:

Alpha Echo
04-22-2012, 02:54 AM
Writing simply allows me to pursue whatever passion I have at a given moment.

Interesting. Maybe, when I get back to writing one day, I'll take more of this approach. Rather than allow it to become my life, allow it to...let it lead me through an exploration of my life? Sort of?


All or nothing thinking is a killer. Sounds like ALL has finally knocked you sprawling into NOTHING's arms. Relax. Refill. Reconnect with other passions and interests. If and when writing tempts you back, play harder to get. Flirt with it. Have fun, but see other passions. Let writing know it's important, but you just can't let it crawl in your window and watch you sleep. Offer it a schedule, then stick to it.

Moderation is best for both of you. If you're firm, writing will eventually get over its pouts and find itself the richer for your richer life.

That is excellent advice and something I have a difficult time with in general. Take wine, for example. I don't drink throughout the week because it's too easy to put down the entire bottle. I wait until the weekend. I don't drink it to get trashed, but I love the taste, and it's so easy to sit with my husband or a good book and just...drink.

Moderation is always the key, isn't it?


I know the feeling, not with writing but with playing jazz music. A couple years ago I just had to drop out of professional playing. It wasn't the music so much--although I was getting bored with it--as it was the bullshit that permeates the profession. There's some of that in writing, too, more so now than in the old days.

Whenever I think I miss it, I attend a jam session and get reminded about why I dropped out.

Yes, that's it exactly. It was just too much. I don't miss the social networking at all. I understand and appreciate that it's a tool, a fantastic tool, for any artist in any profession - hell, anyone in any profession at all - to use to promote his or her brand. But for me, it's just too damn much.

When I do go back to writing, it's without the social networking bullshit.


I felt like this about six years ago. I just got completely fed up. I was burnt out. So I quit writing altogether. I didn't write a thing for four years. Not a journal entry, not a short story, not a poem, anything. I didn't even get online.

During those four years I learned a lot about myself. And I went through utter and complete hell for at least two of those years - emotionally, mentally and physically. But I don't regret it. And when I finally came back to writing, I had a new outlook on it. I could appreciate it better, and put it in its proper place.

Take the time off that you need, and come back to it when you're ready. :Hug2:

Thank you so much for the encouragement!

MokoBunny
04-23-2012, 01:16 AM
I think this happens to all artists. You just don't feel the drive anymore. Eventually you might come back to it and enjoy writing again. I sure hope so ^_^

Atlantis
04-23-2012, 10:03 AM
I've lost my passion at the moment and I've been feeling guilty about it. I know why it's happened though. I'm in the middle of rewrites of a long project that has taken up all my time for the past year. I am tired of it. I'm in the middle of rewriting a troublesome chapter and I am avoiding it. I think about it and cringe. I have no drive. I'm also doing uni work at the moment and have been splitting my time between that, reading, and playing video games. I don't think I'll be able to focus fully on writing again until the mid year uni break. But I also think I need to take a break from my current project and try something new. Rewrites always take the wind out of my sails. I find it boring and hard work. I worry sometimes that I'll never write again. I panic about the "lust" not coming back. But it will. I'll always be a writer. Even if I never write again I'll never stop being a writer. It's apart of who I am.

My advice is to stop stressing about it. Take a break. Do whatever your heart wants you to do. For me, at the moment, that's reading, lots of Zelda, and finishing my assingments. But I have an idea brewing for a short story and in a months time I'm going to make a start!

Filigree
04-23-2012, 11:37 AM
There's nothing wrong with taking a break. It's a recharge time.

I walked away from writing original fiction for ten years, from 1999 to 2009. I dabbled a bit in fanfic, as a learning challenge, but an art career took most of my time. I wrote training manuals, how-to articles, and project design sheets. But my early hopes and belief in writing professionally had been crushed, ironically just after my first pro anthology sale. So I quit.

Best thing for me, as it turned out. When the fiction urge struck again, I was a more mature and skilled writer.

So I'd agree with the other posters: do what fulfills your creativity right now, and let writing come back on its own.

seun
04-23-2012, 01:28 PM
I get burnt out, lose my passion, have self-doubt to the point of wondering what the fuck I'm doing wasting my time with this business and ask myself why I didn't go into a job that pays me a big, sexy salary.

Then I carry on writing.

Alpha Echo
04-23-2012, 05:45 PM
My advice is to stop stressing about it. Take a break. Do whatever your heart wants you to do. For me, at the moment, that's reading, lots of Zelda, and finishing my assingments. But I have an idea brewing for a short story and in a months time I'm going to make a start!

Yup, for me, other than being with family, it's simply reading. Catching up on my DVR'd shows. Mostly reading and family. And as I mentioned, it's been great for all of us. My husband and daughter are happier too because I'm happier and giving them more of me.

Good luck picking up your writing again! Yay!


I get burnt out, lose my passion, have self-doubt to the point of wondering what the fuck I'm doing wasting my time with this business and ask myself why I didn't go into a job that pays me a big, sexy salary.

Then I carry on writing.

I guess I'm just going through a cycle. :) Thanks, seun.