Every writer I have ever met has fought a battle against writing at least once. Between writer's block, plot holes, sagging motivation, and self-doubt, it can sometimes feel as if the world is out to stop that work from being written. And in a way, it kind of is. For a short time, everything around you is telling you to stop writing. That book isn't good enough. No one is reading your blog anyway. The fears are real, but they aren't unique. And if they are robbing you of your passion for writing, then maybe it's time to find that passion again.
Remember why you started writing in the first place.
Chances are when you decided that you wanted to be a writer, you had a reason. And chances are, that reason was not:
- So people will love you
- Because you're awesome and amazing at writing
- Because you can write super-duper fast
Nope. More often than not, writers become writers because they love writing. Because one day, a story sneaks into their minds and they can't think of anything they'd rather do than to get it written out. Now, sure, over time this can change a bit. But that first decision, that first spark that makes a person choose writing as a career…that was much more about the story and the craft than anything else.
Remember what it was like before you learned all the rules.
Whether you're writing fiction or nonfiction, there are a lot of rules that go into a book. But here's the thing: they don't necessarily have to apply to the writing process — just the publishing process. Whether you're concerned about formatting rules, rules about contractions, first person or third person, how to introduce a character, or showing versus telling: stop worrying about all the rules.
Rules are for editors.
The only thing you need to worry about is getting your story written. As rough and as error-filled as it needs to be, just so long as it is finished. Words can be fixed.
Take a break from your current works and start something new or finish something old.
Sometimes all it takes is starting on a new project to reignite that passion. A new story, a new website or blog. Anything really. It doesn't have to be a large project. Perhaps you had an idea before for a short story? Or another character sketch?
Or, if nothing sparks your creativity, dig out one of your older, abandoned ideas or works and get started on those. Finishing a project can be a huge boost to your self-esteem, creativity, and overall productivity. If you're looking to resume your love affair with writing, finishing an old project might be just the way to do it.
Remember your point of inspiration.
For me, I was inspired to become a writer the first time I watched the movie “Romancing the Stone.” Joan Wilder was amazing, funny, and smart. She was introverted, like me. And more than all that: when Joan and her escort Jack approached Juan in his village about a truck and the villagers all pulled their guns on them, her existence saved them:
“Okay, Joan Wilder, write us out of this one.”
“Joan Wilder… Joan Wilder? The Joan Wilder? You are Joan Wilder, the novelist?”
“Well, yes, I am.”
“I read your books! I read all your books!”
Bam. Just like that, guns came down and Juan was helping them escape the drug runners on their tails. I mean seriously, this movie made me believe writers were heroes. Hey, I was young; but even to this day when I watch that movie it reignites all the magic that I once attributed to writing.
What sparked the inspiration in you? What book did you read, movie did you watch, or mentor did you follow who ignited the idea for you to say “I want to do that.” Read it again. Watch it again. Go back and revisit that old spark, remember that feeling, and allow it to take back over.
Rediscovering your passion for writing doesn't have to be difficult.
But depending on why your passion has started to fade, it could be an involved process. Many writers think that a passion for writing is enough. But as you can see, a passion for the writing itself probably isn't the only thing that got you started. So you'll need to reconnect with other things that helped create that passion.