When Inspiration Is Lost
Many times as a writer, I often struggled to spend a fair amount of time, even an hour, simply writing. It’s not that I didn’t know what to write, or had writer’s block, because even when I had a specific topic or story in mind to write, I just couldn’t concentrate long enough to write. To me, I had lost my inspiration—my motivation to write. Over time, this lack of inspiration led me to think of what was causing me, and what causes one, to lose inspiration, and how to get it back—fight back, when inspiration is being threatened.
When it is taking too long to achieve a goal or see its manifestation.
This is common for writers, I believe, especially when they want to build an audience or recognition for their work. I have found this to be a convincing reason for one to give up, as it is easy to assume that maybe no one is interested. However, that may not (and usually is not) the case. Patience is key. Just like a city cannot be built in a day, so cannot one’s writing career or following.
When work goes unrecognized, is not accepted, or well received.
This has been one thing that I, and a guess any writer who has attempted to share their work with the public, can identify with. Particularly in the area of contests and competitions, where one’s work is being compared or evaluated with other work, not receiving any recognition, especially if repeatedly, can cause one to second guess their writing. What has helped me to overcome this, is hearing from many successful writers all the times their work was rejected until finally it was given a chance and flourished. Just because one’s work is rejected, even if multiple times, does not mean it is bad.
When the temperature and environmental conditions weigh one down.
This might seem like a funny reason to use when there is no inspiration, but that was the case for me this past summer. Being 90 to 100 degrees most of June through August, made me feel sluggish and idle. I wanted to start writing a story, but I couldn’t write for more than a few minutes before feeling distracted from discomfort. I even settled to go to the library to write, but walking with a heavy laptop computer in 90 or more degree weather did not seem like a worthwhile idea. Besides the summer, sometimes the winter months can be just as bad, with its short, cold, and often grey days. Although for me, I have found myself more motivated to write this winter.
When people don’t offer encouragement or doubt what one is doing.
This is similar to rejection, in that, no one believes in your work, or at least no one believes you can achieve the goals you have in mind. They may not necessarily think your writing is bad, but they don’t see you becoming a well-known or successful writer. This could be due to them seeing your goals as grandiose—something that is not attainable in reality. This is something I have faced, especially when I first started writing and wanted to be a songwriter. Some people thought, I would never write for the “rich and famous” (although that was not my intention or goal). Also, I didn’t receive strong encouragement from others—there were some that advise me to focus on other realistic career pursuits. This worked for a while, as I started to believe this and was not writing as much. In fact, I took a break to focus on finishing school and look for a job. But once I discovered a writing community in my city, I started to believe in my goals again, as I was seeing firsthand others who were successful writers.
When one is not organized in their goals (how they will achieve their goals) and their physical environment.
This, I believe, can be one of the easiest problems to fix, yet a major problem in losing inspiration. When your environment is in disarray, and when you don’t have goals written down, especially step by step, it can be difficult to get started or start anything. By becoming organized physically, you can have a clearer mind to focus on your work, since there is nothing in sight distracting you. Also, by organizing your goals on paper, you can see how much you have done—how you have progressed, which can be highly motivating when you know you have taken steps and completed them, even if they are the smallest.
When things (i.e. financial, health, relational) occupy one’s mind.
This is probably one of the problems to losing inspiration that cannot always easily be resolved or something you may have little to no control over. Sometimes, until the problem which is distracting you is resolved, it is impossible to find the motivation to write. But, depending on what specifically in your life is troubling, life stressors can be a motivational factor to write, as has been the case for me. Especially if the life stressor is something you can do very little about—it is simply a life stressor that has to pass in its own time.
When daily surroundings and activities have little value or interest.
I have often felt this way, especially after finishing school, struggling to find a job, and having a lot of time on my hands. Though that meant I had more time to write, I didn’t know what else to do and I was completely bored. The boredom also made me feel like I had no energy. I found myself in a routine of activities that was offering nothing new. My solution to this is for one to just get out more, even if it is simply walking and sightseeing. Over time, I found that seeking other activities, even volunteering for something of interest, can help with boredom.
Lastly, I want to note an author who for years was writing books and receiving rejection upon rejection from publishers. Despite all this, she never gave up and continued writing. One year, out of desperation to raise money for a trip she wanted to make, she put one of her books online and unexpectedly sold millions.
To read more of her story, check here: