Six Tricks to Rekindle your Passion for Writing

Editor’s note:

We were approached with a pitch by this agent from Standoutbooks.com to do a “value-added” blog here at Two Drops of Ink. The site was recognized by TheWriteLife.com to be one of the top 100 writers blogs of 2016. I liked this post, and I’m all about providing information to writers regarding publishing opportunities. The site does various types of editing for hire, and they sell publishing packages for those who choose that route of publication. 

Photo credit: www.colbyrrice.com


By Fred Johnson

Writing is a trying and time-consuming business. With jobs/families/everyday hassles, it’s often difficult finding time to write, and even more difficult motivating yourself when you do get a spare moment.

Like any other art, writing well requires passion. This is partly because writing requires a great deal of patience—drafting, rereading, and re-writing are all important parts of the job.

This is especially true if you’re writing creatively. You’re putting yourself on the line to create something that people will want to read and, hopefully, pay for. You can’t approach it with anything less than fervent enthusiasm.

There will always be days when you drag your feet through a section of your book. Passion can wane–it’s human nature–but it must be reignited. Here’s how.

Stick to what you know

It’s tough to write about woodworking if your specialty is medical sales. Think back to the most miserable essay you’ve ever been forced to write—would it have been so miserable if you’d been an authority on the subject?

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—you know it’s going to be a struggle and, because of this knowledge, it becomes even more difficult to motivate yourself.

Writing about what you know helps you stay interested. Thinking and writing about one of your favorite topics will activate the pleasure centers in your brain—you’ll want to write.

Define your own qualities

Before you get started on any project, whether that be writing a book or building a house, you need to know what you’re good at and what you need help with.

Are you great at explaining complex topics in simple language? Maybe you should be writing instructive nonfiction. Are you good at researching? Maybe history books are your thing. Do you understand the issues of teenagers? Try YA fiction. You don’t have to stick to the same media either—there are plenty of forms you could try, from poetry to commercial copy to blogging. The list is very long indeed.

That said, don’t expect to instantly excel. Writing, like anything else, takes practice.

Remove all roadblocks

A roadblock is anything standing between you and writing. Some roadblocks are physical: no space to write, no tools, or no time. These are easily solved—you need to prioritize writing over the other things in your life.

Other roadblocks are less concrete and are harder to overcome. Some people have emotional obstacles in the way. They’re too insecure to start; maybe they don’t have the confidence or still feel burned out from a past experience.

Draw inspiration from your roadblocks. Write about whatever is in your way and turn the obstacle into kindling to light your passion. You don’t have to show anyone or share it—at this stage, you’re writing for yourself. It’s all part of the process.

Banish anything negative

Banish the negative thoughts that stop you. Ignore that voice that says, “You aren’t good enough,” “No one cares what you have to say,” or “You’ll never sell this.” That voice isn’t coming from a place of wisdom or reason. It’s just fear.

After all, if you never try, you’ll never fail—therefore, you’ll never be a failure—and that makes you a success. Wow, that was easy!

Sadly, that’s not how achievement works. Get writing!

Don’t expect burning enthusiasm every day

If you’re running a marathon, you don’t sprint the whole thing. You’d collapse after a few minutes. Instead, you run at a steady pace and, in the end, cover a greater distance.

It’s the same with writing. Not every visit to your writing desk will be a life-changing, near-religious experience. Some days will be boring, and you’ll have to force yourself to push through. Even the most successful writers have days where they struggle with motivation, and in our modern world, there are hundreds of easy distractions within reach.

For such days, you’ll need a bit of discipline. You’ll have to frequently look to your goals. Read through your notes. Remind yourself why you’re writing and what you want to achieve.

If it’s tech you’re struggling with, put your cell phone in a different room, download distraction-prevention computer programs like Cold Turkey and Self-control (vouched for by writers such as Zadie Smith and Dave Eggers), physically distance yourself from the things you know are going to distract you.

Step away from your project

It’s not unusual for writers to be working on several projects simultaneously. A writer might bang out a blog post in an afternoon, add a chapter to a commissioned eBook, and then end the day with a few novel pages. Others will focus all their energies on a single piece and get tied up in its complexities.

This feeling of being overwhelmed can stop a writer in his/her tracks, and in such situations, it’s often best to leave it for a few days, get some air, and come back to the project with fresh eyes.

A break might give you the chance to remember why you were passionate about the project in the first place. Soon you’ll be itching to get back to work.

And remember, losing your passion is normal

Every so often a writer will tell me they feel guilty about losing their passion. They work frantically on an idea for a while but eventually slow down and give up. Was the idea bad or did they let their boredom get the best of them?

Honestly, it’s a common phenomenon and is nothing to be ashamed about. All you can do is keep your chin up and push on.


Author’s Bio:

Fred Johnson
Editor

Standoutbooks.
As featured in the 100 best websites for writers list by The Write Life


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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design. Scott continues working on his memoir Twisted Ride. He also maintains a Christian blog: A Disciple's Journey. Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider (with a huge beard). He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. - "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul. I love to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~Scott Biddulph~

11 comments

  1. Hello Fred,

    I enjoyed reading this article and found your tips useful, especially the one regarding drawing inspiration from roadblocks.

    Thank you for sharing these helpful nuggets.

    Like

  2. Hi, Fred. This was an excellent reminder that our writing can seem tedious sometimes and what to do to overcome those thoughts and feelings.

    From your post, “It’s the same with writing. Not every visit to your writing desk will be a life-changing, near-religious experience.” If there was a way to highlight this, I would. It sums up our unrealistic expectations when we’re working writers.

    Both here at Two Drops of Ink, and my other blog, I try to make each post interesting and informative, but some days, I have to push through and use determination, not inspiration.

    Hope this is not your last contribution to the site. I know that many people will benefit from the concise, straightforward instructions and like the style.

    Good job!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Marilyn,

      Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I think part of the problem with writing comes from how we think about art and inspiration–we love to talk about Wordsworth and the daffodils or his “fits of passion,” but we ignore the hours of sheer grind. A lot of writers (myself included!) will sit around waiting for passion to overcome them, but of course, it doesn’t quite work like that.

      I hope your own work keeps coming on nicely! If you’re determined enough to push on through dry days, you can’t go wrong.

      Like

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