1. Catchymonkey
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    Catchymonkey Banned

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    I've lost my motivation

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Catchymonkey, Dec 27, 2008.

    I started writing barely a year ago. Friends and teachers had commented on how good i was and soon i realized how much i enjoed writing and started doing it more. I found a site where people could post there written stories and, seeing this community of writers talking to and helping each other, i immediately posted one of my own stories.

    A few days later i got a review from (let's call him Sam) that commented on how i was good, but with some help and practice i could be better. He offered to become my beta-reader and i accepted, we exchanged e-mail addresses and began speaking over google mail.

    I read some of Sam's stories and, i must say, they were brilliant. I became somewhat jealous when i saw how good he was compared to me, but i said nothing and continued working with Sam over 10 months as he looked over my stories and i looked over his. I steadily grew better at writing as i strived to become as good, if not better than Sam to impress him, perhaps even make him proud. My confidence and skill grew until last October when i lost all contact with Sam.

    I asked oher people Sam had known, but they hadn't heard from him either and as time passed i began to write less and less frequently. Now i harldy write at all, and anything i do write comes out as rubbish.

    I don't know what to do now, any time i try to write i end up with a feeling of complete hopelessness and sadness. I need a reason to write again, can you help me try to find it?
     
  2. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    If you think you love to write, you need no reason other than that. Write, write, write until your block crashes and burns -- that's what I do. Write something new and exciting, or maybe something that reminds you (in a good way) of Sam.

    But you must believe you love it in order to truly be motivated, I think. Passion is motivation. And I don't know how if anyone other than yourself can show you that.

    Good luck.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your motivation seems to have been tied to Sam. It actually sounds like a possible storyline. What happened to Sam? Why'd he just stop writing all of a sudden? You could actually make a good mystery of it. Go read the brilliant book, As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway, or Paper Towns by John Green. This would be a bit different than those two books, but along the same lines. Maybe by writing a fictional story about it all you could get your mojo back. Just a thought.
     
  4. Harry Greene
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    Harry Greene Member

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    You went from seeking the approval or acceptance from your friends and teachers to looking for it from Sam.... If that's all you need then I suggest buy a dog. They'll accept and like almost anyone.
     
  5. Harry Greene
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    Harry Greene Member

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    And sorry about Sam. It's never nice to lose a friend.
     
  6. othman
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    othman Member

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    Have you heard of the comedy Moving Wallpaper? Well it's about the writers in a sitcom but anyways, one of the writers wanted to quit smoking but found he then couldn't write because for as long as he remembered he smoked and wrote and so I think you need to find a substitute (darn I sound mean, sorry) for Sam.

    There are a few things like what you and Sam did, not forums but like emailing, groups of about 5-10 email (in a circle sort of thing) their story once a week/month and review each others'. Although I have never actually joined one they sound really good, the only reason I didn't want to join one was that I haven't written regularly enough for about a year and a half - the same thing happened to me only I left a community instead of a close friend.
     
  7. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know how it feels to have a close friend suddenly drop off the face of the net, lol. I've lost a lot of motivation but I always force myself to get it back. If having a new Beta Reader is what you need, go find one. lol Heck, if you wish, find somebody whose stories aren't brilliant because then you'll feel less jealous. ;)
     
  8. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I had almost the exact same thing happen to me, only the person who stopped communicating with me wasn't a brilliant writer but just a fan (pretty much the ONLY fan) of my work--the only consistent reader I had--and he didn't just disappear, he started ignoring me for no reason whatsoever. Didn't even give a hint that anything was wrong. He even sent me a Christmas gift months after I'd stopped trying to communicate with him, and ignored me when I asked why he'd sent it! I last saw him online a couple of days ago...it brought all the old pain back even though we lost touch a few years ago.

    Some writers' motivation happens to be tied to approval or acceptance from others. Not all of us have the same motives, so to say, "Buy a dog" seems very insensitive--a dog and a devoted reader are two completely different things and every writer has different needs. Most writers who seek publication can't be in it for big money so aren't THEY seeking some sort of approval, too?

    It took me ages to learn that I write not to get published, like most other writers seem to want, but just to connect to people--to make friends. So of course when nobody seems interested in one's work, or when somebody who seemed interested just disappears, it really hurts, and you might wonder what's the point.

    I have no advice, I'm afraid, because I'm in the same spot every single day. I'm still writing, but it's hard when the very reason for one's writing no longer exists. I'd say that perhaps you should keep writing, if only in the hopes that someday you'll meet another Sam, but I can't say with certainty that it will ever happen because I've been trying all my life to find and keep such a person. But if it keeps you writing for now, then that's what it takes. Maybe you'll be lucky.

    I do hope you manage to find some way to work through it.
     
  9. Show
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    Yes, that is a good point. Connecting with people seems to make it all worth it. Writers want people to enjoy their work. I know it's how I feel and I always find that when I have eager readers(albeit only 1-2 but still eager readers, lol), it makes it all worth it.

    And to the OP: I may not be a brilliant writer(or brilliant anything for that matter), but I'll offer to communicate with you and give you my view on your writing. And I don't abandon people with no explanation. (Usually happens to me) So provided I don't drop dead, wind up injured or sick, or lose my net connection/computer, I'll always respond fairly quickly. (And no more than a few days if I am really busy) So if you want, I'd tell you what I think and maybe that will get you back your motivation.
     
  10. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ack! Can I say first that you guys amaze me with your honesty here, but also worry me. This is the freaking Internet, not your real, hardcore life. I think it's a good place to work out crap (I'm referring to my own writing here :p), but really it can't be a replacement for real-life stuff, real-life people. It does work well for real-life procrastination, though--talking again about myself here. :D

    About the writing...just a suggestion. I'm taking an online course in college next semester on writing. I know these kind of classes are available everywhere. Maybe check into taking an online class, or if you have public libraries near you, you could check to see if they have writing groups. Sometimes I think these groups are mainly older people. They might have teen writing groups though (not sure of everybody's age here).

    Anyway, just some thoughts.
     
  11. Cestralisk
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    Cestralisk New Member

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    Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers through the internet tend to be real people from my experience. Once I had an issue trying to understand this one guy in a mIRC channel. Eventually I realized it was an AI that put together phrases it compiled from other people and from other channels. It was often erratic but sometimes, albeit randomly, would give a reply that made sense to some degree. Since then the programmer of that AI has become a dear friend of mine. I have never met him face to face or seen his picture but using the Internet, Skype, and rarely the phone he has become a friend that I value more than anyone I have ever known in person.

    I feel the internet is a great way to meet a diversity of real people and it is a shame, in my opinion, when the natural respect someone would receive in a face to face encounter is avoided on the internet for the reason of the internet not being real life. I believe the internet is different but quite real with pros and cons and deserving of equal or greater respect since it can be used to influence events to frightening degrees offline.

    To the OP: I suspect (Sam) provided inspiration but it was ‘you’ who allowed it. He reflected your accomplishments back onto yourself with encouragement and critique while you were the one that originally sought the site where you first met him. I wish you well in finding another source of encouragement but the source of your writing is still there.

    PS: I hope my reply as a whole was not offensive.
     
  12. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I totally agree with this, but the problem is, you can't expect that. Maybe that's the same in real life, too--you can't expect it. I need to think on that a bit more. I guess basically what I'm thinking is that it seems strange to me to tie your goal of improving your writing with receiving a lasting, Internet friendship. I don't know. That just seems unhealthy in a way to me. Not meant to offend with my meandering thoughts here.
     
  13. Demief
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    Demief Member

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    I have the same problem as you (not identical but the lost motivation part) but i think i'm almost cured. You see, i've been saying to friends "I'm writing a book, and mentioning it to people polishing my ego....but i havnt written anything past the first chapter in over a year. I mean, i think about the book and have nearly every detail organised in my head but i just havnt written anything. I Refuse to continue lying to myself so im trying to start again. To get my thoughts on paper.

    plus, the few people who have read that first chapter keep coming up to me every few weeks and asking for the rest of it...if they want to read more, i'm going to write more.
     
  14. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Fictionpress has beta-readers. Why not try to find a new one? Or join webook. Or why not start reviewing stories here and posting your own and join the weekly story contest?
     
  15. Fatorc
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    Fatorc New Member

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    That's some good advice there from architectus.

    Anyway matey you don't need anyone's permission to write, certainly not Sam and certainly not even me! :D the question is do you really want to write? It doesn't matter if you think Sam's a better author -are you sure Sam wasn't constantly upping his game, frightened you might catch up with him/her?

    Stephen King's a better author than me, but that doesn't mean I would immediately give up writing. What sort of stories do you want to write? And why?
    And writings far too important to be left to the corporations-look at the celeb obsessed drivel they're printing!?

    So dust off that multi-platform, eighty book epic, with minor cross-overs,(which every writer has ;)) and start bashing the keys again.

    All I'm saying is don't give up unless you're certain you have no stories left to tell. And I would be amazed if that was the case.

    Good luck.
     

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