1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    I've lost the passion

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kratos, Dec 14, 2010.

    I used to be on this site constantly from around 2008 to early 2009. I was still a young, awkward sophomore that didn't know much about life except that I liked reading fantasy novels and playing RPGs. A lot of stuff happened to me that really changed my life around mid 2009 and I stopped writing for a long time. I found others things to do, discovered a love for music, and kind of let books and writing fall by the wayside. This summer however, I picked up the old laptop and tried my hand at writing again. I wrote two decent chapters and a prologue of a story concept I had dancing around in my head for awhile (those never really stopped forming) and liked them. But no matter how hard I've tried since then, I can't get anything else out. I hate whatever I write, what little plot I've thought of already is convoluted and confusing, and my dialogue sounds terrible. So I tried writing songs, and also have only come away with one that I generally like (I posted it on here a few months back). I tried free-form poetry, but the only form of writing that I've enjoyed was writing everyday in stream-of-conscious in my journal. I really do enjoy writing, don't get me wrong, but I seem to have lost the fire for it that I once had. I really want to get in a schedule in 2011 where I write consistently every day and enjoy it. I want to stop giving up on novels 10% of the way through and actually finish something that I'm proud of, even if it never gets published. Anyone ever been here before? Any advice? Thanks in advance
     
  2. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    If the journaling works for you, then keep at it. It'll keep your writing chops honed.

    I've gone long stretches without writing myself. The first time it really bothered me. The second time, not so much. Just have fun at whatever you do, and always be willing to come back to writing when it feels right.

    If you do take considerable time off from writing and try to come back, keep in mind that you will be rusty. Don't let that get to you either - it's like falling off a bike. (What can I say - I love mixed metaphores!)

    Glood luck,
    Frank
     
  3. McNelty
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    McNelty New Member

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    Everything sounds beautifully orchestrated in my head, and when it comes out on paper it feels all jumbled and wrong. I don't generally care for anything I write. It feels hollow.

    I used to write a lot, or, at least, outline and plan a lot of things. Back in 2009 I just sort of dropped everything. I put down the pen and let it all go. Honestly, I kind of felt miserable doing that. Writing isn't something I've ever wanted to do, it's just something that's wanted me to do it.

    It wasn't until early 2010 when I couldn't get over the urge to write that I decided to try a little exercise. I began writing down my dreams. I wasn't looking for anything, and I wasn't keep-a-journal-by-your-bed-do-it-as-soon-as-you-wake-up obsessive, it's just something I would do in the morning if I happened to remember my dream. It's kind of weird at first, but also kind of fascinating. It's a practice I still keep up. I don't just write down summaries, I include all the strange details, or bits of dialogue if I can remember them verbatim.

    Since then I've kind of come back into the swing of things. I write a little bit more now, or at least focus on what I'm writing more. (I think my problem was that I was trying to write epics when what I really needed to be writing was short stories.) I'd suggest you try it, what's the worst that could happen--you waste a few minutes of your morning?
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A couple of things...

    Art forms are not mutually exclusive. I have found that interests in other art forms, and involvment in them, can provide a different way to express yourself and give you time to develop ideas and themes that will later blossom when you write. I love music, photography, chess and cooking. I love writing most of all, but the others give me the ability to keep the creative juices flowing when the writing just isn't happening.

    You are very young (yeah, I know, you don't think so). I'm 40 years older than you are. When I was your age, I knew I wanted to write, but hadn't the faintest idea what. So, I wrote some things and in the meantime read a lot, kept at my other interests (at that time, music actually ranked ahead of writing - sound familiar?). A few years later, the ideas were clearer, both in terms of the stories I wanted to tell and the way I wanted to tell them. Even then, it was a while before I got going.

    Somehow, there has evolved the notion that genius writers MUST emerge in their teen years, take their schools and the world by storm, and then take off on brilliant careers. But for many of us - probably most of us - it doesn't happen that way. Life intervenes, choices get made (some you'll cherish, some you'll regret). Don't get discouraged. It will come. In the meantime, write when the passion takes you, and be open to new and different influences. I also agree with Frank about journals. At different times in my life, I have kept journals incessantly. It's a great way to hone your skills.
     
  5. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    I think what EdfromNY said is very true. I would add that writing fiction is probably better done at a later age when you have lived a lot of life. It's from the wealth of ingredients you pick up along the way that you find the recipes that become the great works of fiction you want to write.
     
  6. The Tall Man
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    The Tall Man New Member

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    I fell away from writing for a long time after I became a parent. I was too busy or too tired. Then, a few years later I was able to start again by carving out a couple hours at night. I too have had trouble finishing projects I start but I have figured out a way to deal with that. Sometimes it's like I get several ideas for stories all at once but if I take a break in one to start another I never get around to finishing the first. What I have started doing is picking one project to work on at a time but I keep a small notebook to jot down ideas for the next story, and I don't start that next story until I have finished the one I am working on. So far it works.
     
  7. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^You know, this sounds so much like how I was a few months ago. I just doubted myself every step of the way. So I hopped from one thing to the next. I tried getting back into my guitar or my piano or even knitting. But nothing satisfied my will to create. I went between these hobbies for months trying to find my mojo, but nothing seemed to help. And pretty much everything I had planned to write sounded like junk and useless.

    But then I found this place. And things have advanced.

    Besides getting on here more often, just let yourself chill and write. Don't be afraid that the white page will swallow you. Write with confidence. Know that whatever you put down will become something later on even though it may not seem perfect at first. Put your story on the page through stream of conscious then. Don't stop.

    And if you still don't get back that passion -- then switch gears. Start on a new story. Or read your favorite book. It's procrastination, I know, but if you get excited about something someone wrote, you'll perhaps get excited to write something of your own again. And if these suggestions don't help, go for a walk. Turn on your music player. I find that taking a walk "magically" clears my head somehow. And I can get back to focus on my story.

    I do hope you get out of this rut. I've been in that same ditch many times, and it's not fun at all. But keep on keeping on :D
     
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  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Tayleea is right. I didn't mention this forum because I only came to it fairly recently and so it was not a part of dealing with my experiences. But it can be a great place for emerging writers to mix with their more experienced colleagues and share experiences, as well as picking up some really helpful advice.

    But I would suggest that in so doing, you don't allow yourself to get sidetracked. Like most other internet forums, this one has its share of silliness and distractions. I will occasionally venture into sections like The Lounge, but I usually regret it because I find that the best interactions I have with people here are in the areas dedicated to writing.
     
  9. Pook
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    Pook Member

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    Creativity cannot be rushed or forced or it will seem rushed, or forced.

    Self-critique is a hard pill to swallow and maybe you should let others cast their gaze before destroying your efforts, at the very least something could be salvaged maybe?

    I learned how to make instrumental music on a powerful piece of computer software, in the same year I made over 140 instrumentals, the second year I gave it up.

    "No work of art is ever completed, merely abandoned"

    We have internal body-clocks that make us feel restless at times and this feeds our desire to move onto new pastures even if we feel we have not explored the pasture enough, maybe you have explored this pasture too much and your body-clock is in need of change?

    Maybe
     
  10. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    This last November, I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo for the second time. I had been tossing around an idea in my head for some time, and I had been out of practice writing for a very long period of time; I saw NaNoWriMo as an opportunity to write some really bad writing, get an idea out, and fall back into writing.

    I was completely wrong.

    Two days into it, I couldn't continue writing what I had planned. I didn't know why, and blamed it on poor skill. A few days away from it (and a few craft books later), I looked at it again and realized that I didn't even have an antagonist! No clear motive, no clear plot, just an idea in free-form, that needed a lot of work.

    There's been a lot of times when I found I lost the passion for writing, but after this past NaNoWriMo, I gained a lot more than I thought I had lost. I developed my own personal love for writing that seems practically impractical and insane to anyone else (I've found ways to tie in alchemical philosophies and theories to literary theory and the art of writing, alongside other things), and found an amazing appreciation within myself for the absolutely stunning power of words. I may not have written much or published much, and I may never even be published (knock on wood)! Regardless, I know I'm a writer until the day I die, and that literature and the power of words have played a significant role throughout my entire life since my early childhood.

    Besides doing a bit of soul searching, try this: make a habit of freewriting for 10 minutes to start either as soon as your wake up, or right before you go to bed. Just keep writing and don't stop. You can write, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," or, "This is horrible I can't do this why am I a writer I need some actual therapy to deal with my problems and I can't write my way out of a wet paper bag," over and over again; the key to freewriting is to simply never stop writing for the time you give yourself. That'll get you in the practice of just producing something, even if it's just random, disjointed thoughts. Still, you never know what diamonds you can find amongst all the dirt your subconscious can produce when pen touches paper...
     
  11. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Yep.

    I thought I was creative when I was younger. Not so much. I was creative but did not have the experience and rounding that made what I created to even remotely be considered ok. Like Ed, I'm no young fella (mid-40's). I've been playing guitar since '82 and got quite good at it. Dandy...back in the 80's, I couldn't write a good/meaningful song to save my life. Now, I have what I think are decently structured songs and a better calibre of lyrics.

    Same goes with writing.

    What I learned is to stop projecting what I thought was cool or desirable (in my book) and just let out what my creativity came up with. What I found in trying to write a story baed on what I thought was cool is, I would end up trying to create a world or atmosphere but I would never create a compelling story. Once I realized that it's about people and situations and not about setting, costumes/wardrobe or style of dialogue but about compelling people and situations, that things got much better.

    Time gave that too me...
     

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