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    How To Rekindle Your Love of Writing

    Writing is a lonely process.

    It takes a lot of courage to sit down and write day after day, week after week, month after month.

    The struggle can continue for years, while self-doubt, criticism and fear bully you like a gang of thugs.

    As if that’s not torture enough, you may want to move beyond writing for yourself, and pursue publication.

    Then, the real challenges begin: losing writing contests, diminishing support from family and friends because you’re gasp…still unpublished?

    Don’t forget rejections from agents on stories you’ve slaved over, pouring your heart into each word.

    That is, if the professionals bother to answer you at all. Silence is the new rejection.

    If you aren’t careful…

    … you might destroy your love of writing.

    A Thin Line between Love  and Hate

    You may find yourself wanting to breakup with writing for several reasons, such as:

    • Constantly questioning your talent.
    • Your plot/poem/short story remains stuck, and you don’t know how to fix it.
    • You need to recharge your creativity.
    • Perfectionism has stolen all the fun from your writing.
    • Fatigue from pursuing publication, with little or no success.
    • Procrastination has become your middle name.
    • Jealousy. You cannot believe he won that writing contest, so you throw your novel away.
    • Life has kicked you in the teeth (death, divorce, financial stress etc.) and you don’t have the energy to deal with anything beyond your current crisis.

    Any of these can make you forget the simple joy of writing – stringing words together in ways that both delight and change you.

    There was a time when stories formed in your head about imaginary people in make-believe places. You got downright grouchy if you didn’t explore what happened to them.

    It was magical.

    Nonfiction used to be just as wondrous. Even when you had all the facts, you still had to find ‘the story within the story’ to make the piece shine. You enjoyed every moment of it, even during the tough times.

    Not anymore.

    Relationships require commitment and hard work. So does faithfulness to your craft.

    If you’re not mindful, you can lose heart, lose hope, and lose faith in yourself.

    Many give up, and quit altogether.

    Don’t let that happen.

    Every relationship goes through high and lows, good times and bad.

    What you need is to find success with your writing once more.

    3 Ways to Fall in Love with Words Again

    You hear it all the time: “Writers write.”

    While that is true, you might need a little extra TLC to help find your rhythm once more.

    When you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, try any of these three strategies:

     

    #1. Shift your creative energy

    Set writing aside and do something else that’s artistic, even if it’s an activity you’ve never tried before.

    It will improve your outlook overall.

    Take a cooking or art class, garden, try wood-working, yoga, or rollerblading. The possibilities are endless.

    So are the benefits.

    “Develop interests in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” – Henry Miller, American novelist

    love of writing

    #2. Write a journal

    Writing to improve your writing? Sometimes, you must get back to basics, and explore your own feelings, rather than your characters’. Take 15 – 20 minutes each day to journal, write as fast as you can without stopping or editing. Explore anything upsetting you, like:

    Why am I struggling with my writing?

    What’s happening in my life that I’m so hurt, angry, disappointed?

    What do I need to differently (on and off the page) to get back to a better place?

    A lot of misery may pour onto the page, and that’s good. You have to clear away the hurt first (resentments, fears, frustrations), before you can find the healing.

    “After my husband died, I could not write much (fiction) – I could not concentrate. I was too exhausted most of the time even to contemplate it. But I did take notes – not for a journal, or diary, of this terrible time. I did not think I would ever survive this interlude.” – Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award winner

    love of writing

    #3. Help someone else

    Focusing solely on yourself just magnifies your woes.

    Be of service to others: hand out a meal at a soup kitchen, take your elderly neighbor’s garbage out for her, have coffee with a friend struggling his own problems. Pay it forward.

    Your generosity will thank you with renewed passion.

    “That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.” – Simone De Beauvoir, French writer

     

    love of writing

    Bide Your Time

    How long will it take before you’re back in love with writing again?

    I can’t say. Just like everyone’s creative process is different, so is our heartache.

    It may take you an afternoon, days, weeks, or longer to rekindle your love of writing.

    These methods work because I’ve used them over the years myself when I’m on the verge of a literary breakup.

    However, I always come back to the page. Real writers need words, like we need oxygen. Both are necessary for our survival. We must use our minds, body and spirits to succeed.

    For successful writing, love conquers all. Make it an affair to remember for both you, and your readers.

    What do you do when you’re struggling with your writing? Please share a comment with me. I’d love to chat.

    About the author

      Marcy McKay

    • RW says:

      Thank you so much for this. It used to be so easy to make the words flow as if they were actually happening. After awhile though, it suddenly just stopped. It became harder and harder to do it but I still NEED to do it. I was so worried and even terrified that I would never regain that feeling true life back. This post however has made me feel so much better. Thank you so much!

    • Ah, this was just what I needed today, Marcy. The wind has indeed left my sails at the moment. And I just happen to have a beta-reading project I can dig into today. Helping someone else sound like just the ticket. I found your post via Heather Webb’s WU Twitter links roundup, btw. Excellent job! Thanks for the inspiration.

      • Hey Vaughn!

        Great to see you here at Write to Done. I’m sorry that you’re feeling blue, and bet that helping this friend will help you. Focus on THAT as you read his/her work, not how burned out you are, or how good/bad, they write, but that you are a doing a kind act for a friend. I’ll bet you’ll be back to yourself in no time.

    • It helps me to have several projects in various stages. One I’m actively creating/writing, at least one in development, and at least one in editing/revision. I also do a lot of script/book combination projects, which helps me fall in love with the story all over again. But I also enjoy other artistic endeavors, such as art, jewelry making, and I get to help with maintenance on a small aircraft, which is an entirely different set of creative muscles. In my opinion, all of those help make me a stronger and more productive writer. I also set aside plenty of time to read for enjoyment, read for learning the craft and business, and watching movies and television, since I also write in those genres.

      • WOW, Lisa. I’m VERY impressed that you can work on multiple projects. I wish I could, but I am a VERY monogamous writer — one (big) project at a time. All your other creative outlets sound wonderful. Sounds like you’re doing great. Keep up the good work!

    • Alan May says:

      One of the problems to continuing writing I have found is that the world has moved on and, as an old phart the world of the outback and very remote areas where I have lived and worked over half a century now rates a shrug of the shoulders by those who find far more interest in their i-phones and i-pads than in the history of their country that apparently no longer exists
      I actually believe hat within a very short space of time (if not already) names such as the “Banjo,” and Henry Lawson or anyone else who didn’t use a laptop computer whilst sitting in a dry riverbed in the pilliga scrub shall be totally forgotten.
      Ah well! such is life (or modern death)
      Alan May

    • As you said in your post, writing is like any relationship and it takes work to maintain it. When I first started writing seriously (meaning writing every day) I loved it. It was all I thought about and the idea of doing it for the rest of my life filled me with bliss.

      At some point into the relationship I lost those feelings. Writing became a struggle more often than not, and the idea of putting myself through the torture of writing for the rest of my life lost quite a lot of its appeal.

      The real danger at times like this is the fact that the struggling can create fertile ground for writers doubt and negativity to grow. Dealing with the negativity and doubt in all its forms makes the process a whole lot harder.

      Worst case scenario, you give up.

      I don’t intend for that to happen. Treating the times of struggle like a test of my commitment helps me get through it. I refuse to let it beat me. I also know that it will get easier when I get my groove back.

      Writers can be naive about the writing life in the beginning. You go into it with an almost romantic outlook until reality hits you up the face.

      You take the good with the bad.

      What else can you do?

      • BEATIFULLY said, Neal. I really can’t add anything to your wonderful comment. Good writing takes both patience and commitment. You definitely have both those qualities.

        Congratulations and don’t le the hard times stop you!

    • I believe writing is the perfect example of a love hate relationship. There are so many things I love about writing such as the process but at the same time, the thing I hate is the process haha. But when I sit down and write the most beautiful sentence, nothing else matters. Great post.

    • Sarah says:

      Such a good article. I have experienced ALL the reasons listed to “fall out of love” with writing, and it stinks! I used to spend so much time only writing for it’s own sake, and I’ve since realized that if I spend more time writing for the sake of another cause … my business, therapeutic journaling … then the fact that writing isn’t an end in and of itself is comforting. It takes some of the pressure off. I’m going to try these other tricks too!!

      • Hello, Sarah. On one hand, I’m glad I’m not the only one t fall out of love with words. However, I fell for you because I KNOW that means you’ve experiences a lot of pain. Isn’t it interesting that writing can both break your heart, but save your soul?

        CRAZY.

        Definitely try these other tricks. I’ve used them all myself — multiple times. So, I KNOW they work!

    • This is wonderful Marcy. And exactly where I have been. When my first book published in 2010, and I began hooking up with other writers through blogs, conferences, and the various avenues available, the message I continuously heard was “Writers Write!” So I believed I needed to focus all my energy toward that ONE outlet. During this season, I also found myself going through “the change” that women around 50 experience, finally corralling it into a manageable corner. But I also noticed my creativity of words was diminishing. I panicked and assumed that season of my life was gone.

      Still struggling with the occasional menopausal depression, as well as beating myself up for losing my creativity, I decided to spend time reflecting. I thought about the time that I was MOST creative–the years in which the book was written–and it was when I was the MOST ACTIVE outside of writing. I worked for a newspaper, I had kids in school, designing banners for our church, even worked on some portrait art, and the words poured out of me like water. It was then that I realized that when I tried to focus ALL my creativity in one direction, I was abandoning valuable resources from which many of my ideas originated. So I decided I was sick of throwing myself a pity party, and applied and now sit on our city council, creating and leading a restoration committee for city improvements, using a program that virtually paints the town, encouraging and engaging in volunteer work. I am looking forward to finishing a book I began a few years ago.

      Thank you for affirming what I discovered in this adventuresome journey.

      • Hi, Shari. Isn’t it interesting how we produce MOST when we have the LEAST amount of time? I think it’s because we don’t have time to mess around. We don’t have time for writer’s block.

        That’s wonderful that you’ve got your health issued under control (and I understand 100% — I’m 48), and are getting back involved in other interests. You sound like a very VISUAL person, so you might want to pick up your paint brush again and just play. Creativity just for the sake of fun.

        Thanks for sharing your great insights.

        • I forgot what it’s called but the fact that we produce more in little time is some law or principle. It has to do with filling the time gap. If we have 8 hours to do something, we will spend the whole 8 hours doing it. However, if someone came in and said we have 2 hours, we will work our but off to meet the deadline. That is why deadlines are so important. Now you got me wondering what the name of it is haha.

    • Sean says:

      What a great article . I live in more or less constant fear that I’m a convention-shirking fraud. This article is a most timely reminder that all those doubts of mine are actually completely normal – at least for a writer! Thank you Mary.

      • Hi Sean – I’m actually the author of this post. Sweet Mary was gracious enough to let me be here with you all today.

        A convention-shirking fraud?! Yowza! That’s one I hadn’t heard before. I’m impressed with your creativity, so I bet that you’re the real deal– a writer.

        Yes, fear/doubt/anxiety…whatever you want to call it — it’s part of the writing process. It freaks me out each and every time, but knowing that it’s normal, does help me move on faster to writing. Good luck to you!

    • Mike says:

      I enjoyed the post–thank you very much. “Shifting your creative energy” is the best method I have found to overcome any barrier to writing. Simply going for a bicycle ride along the LA river or being in nature can inspire me to write. Getting stuck in a rut of isolation from writing is no fun place to be. Each of us have the ability to look inside ourselves and find a path back to writing. Along the way–through exercising you can improve other aspects of your life–health and wellness.

      • Fantastic wisdom for us all, Mike. Thanks so much and I agree with you 100% about the health and wellness. Writing — creating something from nothing is HARD work. That’s why I try to utilize every advantage I can and show up to the page rested, not hungover or whacked out from sugar, etc.

        Bicycling is a wonderful example of shifting your creative energy. You’ve got this, Mike. Bike and write on, my friend!

    • Thank you! For me, a timely and much needed piece.

      • Glad to help, Bart. Thanks for stopping by and good luck wit your writing aspirations.

    • Virginia says:

      Simple, straight-forward points on how to move through and onward to reach the point where your writing is bringing you pleasure again. Sometimes it is best not to force it – it will generally show. Technique might be okay but the heart won’t be in it. Also liked the pictures and quotes – nice touch. This is a kick in the rear for me to get back to writing instead of spending so much time on research.

      • You’re correct, Virginia. Forcing our writing rarely helps. Often it does more bad than good. I’m glad I’ve motivated you to get back to writing. For me, I can sometimes use research as a procrastination device. I’m afraid to put pen to paper, so I keep “researching.”

        You’re ready to write, Virginia. Your heart knows it. Get your fingers moving again and it will fall back into place. Happy writing!

    • Welcome back to writing, Stephanie! Six years is a long time to be away from writing and I understand 100%. Whatever creative monster kept you away, I’m so glad you’ve returned to the page. Plus, you did other, wonderful creative things along the way (crocheting and cake decorating are PERFECT examples).

      My only suggestion is…for whatever broke your literary soul, I hope you journal about it (a writing rejection, deep criticism, extreme pain in your personal life). Whatever it was…name it by name, then journal about what you’ve learned since then. You’re a different person than you were six years ago. Therefore, you’re a stronger writer. You’ll regain your confidence…IF you keep writing.

      Good luck on your journey!

    • Hey Marcy

      Honestly, I cannot believe that you ever struggle with writing #HUGSS You know I love ya!

      Right now, I am helping some friends with their blogging and transcription needs. I enjoy working for them, but I long to work for myself. That being said, I don’t know what I want to write! I ache to launch my new website, but wonder how I am going to populate it! LOL

      I love your first tip. I need to find other artistic outlets of expression. Writing is my calling, but I want to explore other endeavors just to reignite my passion for creativity! 😀

      Oh – one strategy that has helped me feel better about my writing is to participate in Blogging Challenges. When you commit to writing every day, you will figure out a way to make peace with your muse 😉

      LOVEEE YOUUU so much, Marcy!
      Kitto

      • Hello, Kitto! Thanks great that you’re helping others (and, hopefully getting paid for it), but yes, we all hunger to write our own heart’s desires.

        #1 grabbed your attention, but I would also recommend #3 for you — JOURNAL. You need to s-l-o-w down and spent some time exploring what you’d like to write. You seem like a high-energy sort of girl. Me, too! That’s great, but we need to slow down enough to really hear that still, small voice inside us that will review what we should be writing.

        You’re ready to make some time for Kitto’s writing…I can feel it! Happy writing!

    • Stephanie says:

      Loved this post. It really spoke to me because I’m just coming back to writing myself after a six year break in which I never thought I would start writing again. Unfortunately, what once came effortlessly I’m now second guessing. Hopefully, since I once again feel the need to write, It’ll become a bit easier after I get into a new routine. I’ve gotta agree with your statement to do something else artistic. It was only after I began crocheting and cake decorating that I slowly came to the decision to begin doing what I had once loved.

      • Welcome back to writing, Stephanie! It sounds like you felt very broken from your writing and I understand 100%. Six years is a long time, but it sounds like you did other creative things along the way. I’m sure you’ve grown as a person, and therefor, as a writer. Your writing will be better than ever.

        My suggestion for you is…whatever creative monster hurt you so much back then, you need to journal about it. A LOT. Really name it by name (heartache over a rejection, a hurtful criticism, fear). Name your monster by name…write about what you’ve learned since that time…then MOVE ON. Write again. Your confidence will return the more you write.

        Good luck to you on this journey!

      • Welcome back to writing, Stephanie! Six years is a long time to be away from writing and I understand 100%. Whatever creative monster kept you away, I’m so glad you’ve returned to the page. Plus, you did other, wonderful creative things along the way (crocheting and cake decorating are PERFECT examples).

        My only suggestion is…for whatever broke your literary soul, I hope you journal about it (a writing rejection, deep criticism, extreme pain in your personal life). Whatever it was…name it by name, then journal about what you’ve learned since then. You’re a different person than you were six years ago. Therefore, you’re a stronger writer. You’ll regain your confidence…IF you keep writing.

        Good luck on your journey!

    • Ken says:

      This was a terrific post which I’ve tweeted to my followers. What a pity the author doesn’t have a twitter link and no link to her Facebook page was provided. Nevertheless, the advice was sound – even if, like me, you’ve not fallen out of love with writing and you ARE getting published. These are still great ideas to use (I need to remember the first one more often!)

      • Vinita Zutshi says:

        Ken,the link to the Facebook page has been restored – you can head over whenever you want.

        Vinita Zutshi
        Associate Editor

      • Hi Ken — congrats on not falling out of love AND getting published. What a rockstar you are! Definitely, do other creative activities that have NOTHING to do with your writing. It saves you from burnout, plus keeps the spark alive.

        WTD included my Facebook link. I’m sorry I’m not on Twitter, yet. It’s ON my To Do list, but I’m just not there yet!

        Sounds like you’re on fire these days, Ken. GO WITH IT!

    • PJ Reece says:

      “Forget Yourself” is excellent advice. And not panic in the meantime. The poet John Keats talked about this limbo. He admired writers like Shakespeare for being “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” This is a quality I see in the best fictional heroes, as well. As for myself, I also like to set a time early in the morning just to show up at my computer. My muse seems very pleased with me if I attend some writing regularly every day before I taint my being with coffee or chitchat or especially the Internet. Excellent post.

      • Thank you so much for sharing that about Keats, PJ. I did not know that fact and LOVED it! I’m also and early morning writer and find my very, best…most productive writing is 5-7 pm before my family wakes up and the day begins. It’s like writing in a dream state.

        Yes, some of it sucks, but a lot of it doesn’t. It sounds like you’re connected to yourself as a writer That’s terrific and keep up the good work!

    • Hope says:

      I haven’t written anything but blog posts in recent time. My first love is short stories but soon after I began blogging I’ve hardly written any short story. This is partly because most of the stories were rejected by publishers.
      I simply don’t write when I’m not in the right frame of mind. My young daughters take most of my time and I’m sometimes very tired when they are in bed.
      This piece is encouraging and on point. Thanks for motivating me, I hope to be on track once more.
      -Hope: http://storieswithoutborder.com/

      • Hi Hope – boy, do I understand your despondency from rejections. I’m the same way with my novels. I think it’s great to switch gears sometimes (I’m only blogging these days, rather than novels).

        All our writing is interconnected, so your blogging actually helps your short stories, even though they seem completely different. Keep it up!

        My suggestion is IF/WHEN you feel the urge for your short story…JUMP on it. Since your times is so divided between blogging, your children and many other responsibilities, do NOT expect it to be like before. Let it be okay to work in short increments. Be kinder to yourself goes a lot way with more productive writing.

    • I consider myself a Renaissance woman. I have a lot of creative outlets to explore. Usually when my urge to write fades, my desire to sing or draw increases. I have learned to ride these waves even though sometimes I’m shouting the whole time that I want to get back on that other wave over there.

      • Wow, Lisa! A Renaissance woman? How fantastic is that…sign me up! That’s wonderful that you understand your creative patterns and that you go with the flow, rather than fight it. Write, sing, dance…it’s all interconnected and all helps each other.

        Keep up the good work, and best of luck to you!


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