Friday, February 10, 2012

When You Feel Unmotivated...

I've been struggling with motivation this week. I've had plenty of time to write, so that's not the issue. The problem is, I don't want to write.

So I haven't.

That's right. I don't force myself to write everyday. If I don't feel like it, I don't. This week, instead of writing I have watched a couple of Harry Potter movies, Water for Elephants, folded all my laundry the same day I washed and dried it, made dinner, and a variety of other things.

I'll feel the writing tug again. But right now, I'm not. And so I'm not writing. Sometimes it's okay to just be a person too.

What do you do when you feel unmotivated? I'm running out of ideas...

47 comments:

Amber Lynae said...

I do a lot if reading. Catch up with shows on Netflix. Plan trips to places I want to visit. Have a girls night.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, I spend too much time on blogs when I'm not motivated. Or working on mine. Or reading which I love and a little TV. But those kind of things can help get motivated.

Sometimes I just open up my manuscript and read a bit and edit/tweak it. That usually gets me back into it. But a break sometimes is okay.

Miranda Hardy said...

I read and watch movies. Not original, but there it is. I also go to the wildlife refuge and take lots of pictures. That helps to inspire me once again.

Rose said...

I honestly don't know.
I used to write a lot a couple years back and now I can barely open a file in a week.
I want to, but I somehow can't. Haven't decided what to do about that, so for now I'm in the frustration's level.
I hope it'll get better for you.

Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita Saxena said...

Just re-read the MS I'm working on. That usually gets me all excited about the story and characters again, with the result being I'm out of my unmotivated funk.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm the opposite. I have to force myself NOT to write. It's become my oxygen. The 'I can't motivate myself to do it' award goes to cleaning the house. ;)

Alice said...

It's okay to feel unmotivated sometimes. You have a big week with LTUE this week and probably don't have lots of extra time to write. When I feel unmotivated I sometimes clean too or take walks. Something about cleaning and walking helps generate ideas for me. Hang in there. You're probably in overload right now and once it passes, you'll be bombarded with ideas!

Leigh Ann said...

I totally respond to tough love. My CPs know as much, and harrass, guilt, and bribe me into writing.

It took them ten days, but I finally got out 1K last night. It felt like that first workout after you've been sick for weeks - so hard, but SO GOOD.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I watch movies and play games. And play my guitar.
It is all right to live a little as a real person.

skybluepinkish said...

I do all those things I mean to do "when I have time". This time of year I light the fire, light a scented candle or two. Read, knit, work through my mood books, tear stuff out of magazines, let ideas wander around, mooch around FB, blogs and Twitter and drink lots and lots of tea. Usually that does the trick :)

Gillie

Christine Fonseca said...

HA! I so get this! I do one of two things (or both) - 1) Give myself a break to recharge; 2) write through the lack of motivation. Both work for me for different reasons. Good luck and you know where I am if you need anything

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I go somewhere new.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I read somewhere that to be creative, we have to keep our creative fuel tanks full. If I'm not feeling motivated, it must mean that I need to experience some art to refill it - music, movies, reading, etc.

JainaKay said...

This might sound strange, but I write about not being able to write. It's almost always with a nice, smooth pen on paper, and very stream-of-consciousness. Sometimes it gets me unstuck, but sometimes it's just a great release from what I'm feeling about not being able to write. It's especially helpful when I want to write, but when I sit down to do it, I'm instantly stuck.

Diligent Writer said...

If I don't feel like writing I usually don't. I have found that writing when I don't feel like it is forcing myself to do something. Its like being forced to write a school paper. It takes the love that I have for it away. When I don't feel like writing I just go on with my day as planned doing everything except writing. As soon as the desire comes back I write. I don't until then.

K.T. Hanna said...

It might sound silly. But if I don't feel motivated - I motivate others, which in turn, makes me feel good.

Though I may watch some K-Drama, play with my dogs or curl up with a good book - I always feel a little better checking out the writemotivation hashtag and seeing if I can cheer people on.

If I don't - then I feel guilty for not working on something writerly, and then it spirals out of control and I know I need to avoid that.

melissa said...

I mostly just feel bad about not writing. Ha!

Kidding aside, I usually end up spending a lot of time catching up on my reading.

Lisa and Laura said...

Whenever I'm not feeling motivated to write, I READ. There's nothing like an amazing book to make me want to open up my manuscript again.

SA Larsenッ said...

Forcing yourself to write when the motivation isn't there is not always the right choice. Sometimes, we need to step back and let life inspire us. Movie watching is a great one.

I was having lots of trouble last September with a lack of motivation after I had six agents loving my manuscript but none offered to rep me. (As a matter of fact, I started a response to one of your emails, knowing you'd understand how I felt, but I never sent it.)

I ended up taking an offer to enter a Mrs. pageant, stepping out of my comfort zone, and forcing myself to grow. I wrote a post about it today. My pageant journey is over, and now I'm ready to write again!!

Miriam Forster said...

Read. Do laundry. Watch endless episodes of Burn Notice and Criminal Minds. Work on brainstorming and researching for Shiny New Project.

And sleep. So much sleep. (Mmm...sleep....)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I paint. Not kidding on that one. Something about painting churns my mind back to life.

I enjoyed Water for Elephants...the book & the movie.
~ Wendy

Ishta Mercurio said...

How was Water for Elephants? I loved the book, and have been wanting to see the movie for a while now.

I get housework done and do home reno and go for walks, on top of reading and watching more movies and riding the public bus a lot. I find that getting out and doing things actually makes me more motivated to write, because that's when I get ideas. Of course, then I have to MAKE THE TIME at home - easier said than done. :-)

Tess said...

so so true. I like to get out of the house (because I'm so locked up when in the writing groove) and do things like take a little hike or go to the mall or movies.

Emily said...

Ha! This happened to me yesterday. I made a Hunger Games tee shirt for 'the games,' at my daughter's school.

It says:
Here's some advice. Stay alive.
-- Haymitch

Bethany Hudson said...

If I'm feeling virtuous, I stay off the computer. Unless I need it as a tool, it's a colossal waste of time. Like others, I try to catch up on reading. Also, since I home-educate my daughter, I try to get ahead in planning for that. And I try to stay positive, because I can be pretty down on myself when I'm not motivated to write. If it goes on for more than five days or so, I force myself to sit down and write about 1000 words--on anything--just so long as it's fiction. Oh, and I get blog reviews up for books I haven't had time to review yet.

Matthew MacNish said...

I never force it with writing. Revising? Okay, sure, sometimes, but never writing.

Heather Sunseri said...

I'm with you, Elana. If it's not working, i don't typically force it. That's my favorite time to read. I also catch up on laundry and plan big meals beyond the good writing day chicken nuggets and frozen pizza.

TL Conway said...

If I find that I'm just not feeling it, I allow myself to escape in a tv or movie series. I realize I have this luxury because I don't have a family to cook for or take care of, but it works for me. I'll go through all 3 extended versions of the LOTR movies and bake my brains out so when I am back in the writing mood, I have all sorts of great treats in my freezer. Currently, I'm a big fan of muffins and breads because they make the house smell so nice.

Patti said...

I go for a walk or read. I find that helps a lot. But sometimes I'm just not feeling it so I leave it a lone and go do something else.

Emily R. King said...

I play with my kiddos. They always know just what to do to inspire me to get my butt back to the keyboard.

Marsha Sigman said...

Read, for sure. Get out of the house and do something with the kids is good.

I think we are going to have a Chuckie Cheese weekend. I can't wait to be able to go see The Lorax. It's by the creators of Dispicable Me so it should be awesome.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Eventually, I have to confess to my CP so that I own up to it,and then she sets up a check-in to hold me accountable for a while. That's only if I goo too long, though. :-)

Angie Ledbetter said...

When the writing wheels are spinning, I switch to another creative project -- poetry, photography, doodling, art, etc.

Melissa Sarno said...

You're always keeping it real Elana. I don't write every day either, motivated or unmotivated. I suffer from writer's guilt a lot of the time but the best way for me to get over that is to read, read, read. It makes me feel like I'm doing something productive and learning.

Martha Ramirez said...

Do you like to draw?

Also I love making baskets or care packages for special friends. The creativity that goes along with it helps me stay creative. Maybe that can help?

I was just going to say watch movies but you already did that. Maybe new movies?

Maybe more research on your characters and setting? Sometimes that makes things more exciting.

Motivation is contagious. Maybe try surrounding yourself with those who are dripping in motivation right now. We all go through this. You probably just need a short break from it all:)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I do the same thing - when I'm not motivated, I don't write. I watch movies and TV, read books, go for walks...

M. Dunham said...

It depends HOW unmotivated I am. Sometimes I get up, and I don't want to write, but I do at the same time. So when I'm in that stalling pattern of unmotivated, I let myself pick a scene in my book and do whatever I want with it.

Or I write a blog post to get me rolling.

If it's really bad, I watch Buffy and open my document right next to it, and tell myself "start writing when you're ready." Inevitably, watching another story helps me get going.

On the other hand, if I'm feeling really unmotivated or big flashy warning signs about not ready to write, I take a break and do something I haven't done in awhile. Usually hang with a friend, go out into town and do something, take a walk, or lounge on the couch and immerse myself in Skyrim/other video game.

And I usually also go have kissy face time with my partner. Also good for brain relaxation. ;)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

What do I do when I feel unmotivated to write?

Two words:
Netflix Streaming.

Jemi Fraser said...

Life is too busy and too short to listen to advice that includes 'must' in it. I tend to follow my own rules too. I've been computerless for 2 weeks and it's looking like it's going to be up to 3 more, so my writing time is weird. I actually started writing on paper ... with a pen (gasp!) and surprisingly, it's a lot of fun :)

Marie said...

I have days like that too. There is no point of pushing yourself to write if you feel unmotivated.

I think it's the body (and brain's) way of telling us we need to take a break now and then.

I like to catch up on some reading and do other creative stuff, like write some lyrics or sing, listen to music. Normally that helps recharge my batteries.

Liesl Shurtliff said...

I don't write when I'm not feeling very motivated. Usually it's counterproductive and means that I need a rest anyway. It's not often that I don't feel like writing. BUT, when I first started writing I would force myself to write a certain amount every day even when I didn't feel like it (which admittedly was often.) I think it was important in developing a kind of mental stamina for writing, not unlike building up stamina and strength physically. But eventually I reached a point where I could tell when it would be beneficial to take a break.

Sigal said...

Seems to me like you felt very motivated :-) cooking, doing laundry! wow!

I love it when the magic of writing is upon me, but all too often little things disrupt my writing calm.

What I do? I try not to get frustrated. I try not to get angry or impatient with myself. I don't often succeed in these two. And I do little things like write my blog or look on twitter and hope that the magic will come back.

Soon.

www.lilcornerofjoy.blogspot.com

Susanne Drazic said...

Read. Watch TV. Get caught up on my housework. Watch movies. Bake.

Heather said...

Sometimes your mind just needs a break. When I need to break the break though, I look for a new music artist to listen to, a great movie to go to, or a great new book to read. When all else fails, I people watch.

Sierra Gardner said...

I usually start to feel unmotivated when the creativity well starts to dry up. Taking a break, doing other things and exposing myself to new experiences inevitably helps and I go back to writing refreshed and with fun new ideas.

Leslie Rose said...

I dive straight for books and movies when my inner-writer is distracted by multi-colored objects. This weekend was Moneyball/Jane Eyre, The Scorch Trials/Wonderstruck.

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