I know this is a common problem among writers, but I just want to know what everyone else does to inspire themselves. I've been trying to complete various stories for 5 years now and the farthest I've gotten is fully completing the outline of two stories and completing about four or five short stories. Once I completed the outline for the two stories I realized I didn't like them as much as before. The reason it is easier to complete short stories is because even if I spend a lot of time on them I'll never have to really commit to something long-term. I can finish a short story in one sitting. With novels, it's different. I'm sure everyone feels this way. I am afraid to commit because I don't want to put a lot of effort into the stories and characters only to give up later, because then all of that time and development was wasted and then I'm drained of creativity. This happens with role plays. I develop a character in a role play, but before I can even get to the best part of the development the role play ends and I never get to complete the story of the character which I have by then grown to really like. It feels like a waste- here I have this nice character but it has no where to go anymore. What if I really like a story idea and I decide to put a lot of effort into making the characters, which I never do 99% of the time, but then I realize that the story is stupid and it makes me sick just looking at it. Now those characters are just sitting there, unused, but quite developed. All of that effort- gone. I can't trust myself to stay committed, and so I end up not trying hard enough and the endless cycle continues. I am afraid of wasted effort. I want that effort to be worth it, but that is impossible to tell from the beginning no matter what story it is. How do you all take that risk?