Thus far, 2015 has been a ball buster of a year. A family member was diagnosed with three different kinds of cancer, the roof decided to leak, and another family member became so overwhelmed with emotion and stress that they started therapy. Real life, y’all, doesn’t stop just because you’re a writer.
Each writer has a life outside of writing. Or, at least, we should. Sometimes our lives wreak havoc on our writing routines. As for me, I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like to. But I’m not going to sugar coat things or make excuses. Words haven’t been written and it’s all my fault.
I sat down at my computer the other day and knew what I wanted to do…but just couldn’t start typing anything. There were too many distractions, too much on my mind. I’ve been doing that more and more lately. It’s not that I want to quit writing altogether. For me, writing had lost that magical feeling. It became mundane. I was going through the motions instead of creating something I loved.
That’s not the kind of writer I want to be. Ever.
It took me a while to figure things out. Outside stress and pressures were getting to me. Real world drama and drama from my writing career collided. My brain melted.
Like Austin Powers, I had lost my mojo, my passion for writing. I saw writing as a chore instead of fun. I would feel guilty about not writing, but not about writing/creating something I loved. You see, I need to feel connected to whatever I’m writing. My stories generally pull me in and get me excited. I never really saw it as genuine passion until recently.
If you don’t love what you create, why should anyone else?
Some of us are passionate about contemporary YA, others are passionate about horror, or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter where your passion lies. What matters is that we grab hold of our passions and never let go. The author who genuinely loves horror will probably write a better story than a writer who is looking to jump on a trend as a way to get noticed or paid.
Don’t forget your passion when you sit down to write. Forget the word count. Forget the stress. Let your passion be your guide. Chances are if you can harness that passion, readers will pick up on it too. The proof is in the pages.
If something is hampering your writing, don’t settle for mediocre. Take some time to discover what’s bothering you. Re-discover your passion.
I went back to a technique that helped me early on. I bought a notebook and wrote out my plans for each remaining chapter of my WIP. I would include things like an overview of what I hope to accomplish with the chapter, relevant characters, setting, and then a more detailed plot line. After a few days, I found that I wanted to write again.
Even though life still weighs heavily on me, I can write through it. My passion for this story, these characters, is a powerful driving force. I’m going to take my time and make sure I get things right. And now that I understand the importance of passion, I won’t make the same mistake again.
Have you lost your passion for writing? If so, what did you do to re-discover it?