Motivation comes and goes, but as writers we persist through those rough patches. Why? Because we’re writers. It’s our identity—who we are. But what happens when “lack of motivation” becomes “do I even want to do this anymore?”
Do you keep writing? Give up altogether? Try something new?
My solution wasn’t ever a solution—it was to ignore the problem. I ignored it until I couldn’t anymore because my identity then went into crisis. Am I still a writer if I haven’t written anything? Can I still call myself that if the most writing I’ve done is for tutor reports at work?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I know it’s was usually at that point I would take a step back and reassess everything. My first step was telling myself that I am still a writer. My next step used to be Googling anything related to “being a writer.”
I’ve since stopped doing that because I always felt worse. Things almost always led back to “just keep writing and don’t stop,” which sometimes isn’t possible or the best idea. Granted, if you’re an author or a freelance writer whose livelihood depends on continuing to write, that’s what you have to do. But if you’re a simple hobbyist or a blogger and find financial stability elsewhere, that’s the opposite of what should be done.
You’ll end up hating what you love and then hating yourself for abandoning it.
Instead, I have a new system.
The first step is re-affirming yourself. Remember: you are still a writer.
Until a day comes that you decide you no longer want to be a writer, you are one. Only you can take that from yourself.
For an actual plan, though, start by not worrying about it.
This is absolutely easier said than done, but nothing good ever comes from worrying. Instead, make a list of why you enjoy writing. Maybe it’s a release of emotions, maybe it’s escapism, or maybe that’s the only thing you feel you’re really good at.
Just like that, you’ve written again.
The next step: do something new. Be creative! Part of why I started this blog was because I hit a snag with my passion, so I started something new I had been wanting to work on for a while. Sometimes I’ll peck at the fantasy language I’m creating for my novel. Other times I try my hand at poetry—and remember why I don’t consider myself a poet.
Maybe try something completely out-of-the-box. If you’re not a script-writer, try script-writing. Take a move trailer script and re-write it to be what it should have been. If you are a scriptwriter, try turning a script into a more traditional prose-form instead.
It probably won’t lead to a new passion, but it’s a way to get those creative juices flowing in a new way.
Keep your passion alive, keep it well, because that’s what makes life beautiful.