Monday, February 28, 2011

On finding the strength to continue

Lately, I've been having a hard time getting inspired to write.

This is partly because I just started a new job (hooray!) where I write about 4,000 - 6,000 words of online content for other companies (boo!). This does not help my motivations to get home from work and plop in front of the computer to write. Again.

The other part of it is that I've been lazy. I didn't trust when other writers said that writing was real work, meaning you write even when you don't feel like it. For a few days, I rebelled against this, and whenever inspiration left me, I minimized the document and watched an episode of Community. Or five.

When I finally came to myself to realize all that needed to be done (by me) to get my ideas on paper and in print would be terribly difficult and not always the funnest, I sort of lost my motivation all over again. 

Then I did something to come back: I picked up a good book and lost myself in it. 

The book was Fire by Kristin Cashore and it was wonderful. It was exactly what I needed. I can't believe I let it sit on my bookshelf so long, unread.

Reading Fire helped me realize things about myself as I writer that I desperately needed. Things that the advice posted on an author's blog about how to get inspired could not help me with. Things that I didn't even know I needed!

The major thing that I learned with Fire is that no matter how cool the concept of your story is, no matter how interesting the world it is set in, the thing that matters is the story. This goes along hand in hand with character. What happens to your characters and why does it matter? How does their life change, and how do they change to accommodate the difference? Why do people need to read this story?

While those are pretty tough questions, they helped me shift my focus. I was getting too caught up in what kind of world I wanted in my story, and what I wanted to happen when that I forgot why I was wanting to write this piece of crap anyway!

There is my two cents on how to get your mojo back. (PS: I highly recommend Fire to those that haven't read it! If you're a fan of Graceling, be prepared: I liked Fire better.)



  1. Ha that's funny. I totally watch an episode, or 5, of my favorite show when I feel uninspired to write. And a great storyline from that show or a great book usually inspires me to pick up the pen again. Good luck!

  2. I catch up on missed tv show episodes when I'm unmotivated to write, too. I had a Glee marathon a few weeks back because of this. Graceling was a great read, but I've picked up Fire. I must fix that:)

  3. You're so awesome. I've also wanted to be a writer, and now I have a great idea for getting my mojo back. I need to go to the library ASAP and get some FIRE!!!!!

  4. Fire is one of my favourite books of last year. I dream of being able to write something that good!

  5. NiaRaie: Sometimes the shows help me get started again, but mostly they just distract me :)

    Melissa: I absolutely LOVE Glee! I've haven't been watching it on purpose, because I always have to watch more than one episode at a time!

    Linda: I love you!! Fire is an amazing book! Let me know what you think of it :) PS: It's Fantasy and Romance, I'm not sure if you like that genre...

    Liberty: Fire is definitely one of my top three that I read last year, too. And yes, I too wish I could create that same effect in my writing!! :)