why i haven’t been writing

I actually love writing, which is one of the reasons I blog, but I also love to write other things, too, like fiction and poetry. I majored in creative writing for a little while at the arts high school I went to, stopped writing for a while when I left, then took it up again when I started my first half-novel for Camp NaNoWriMo about 3 years ago. I ended up shelving that novel because I didn’t know what to do with it (even though my boyfriend, who is also a writer, said he really liked it even though he doesn’t normally go for most YA), but then starting another half-novel last year for real NaNoWriMo. I got a little over halfway through on that one before getting sick and not writing for a few days, thus destroying my word count and demotivating me completely.

I haven’t looked at that novel pretty much since November 2017.

Honestly, I’m not completely sure why this is. I had a really strong feeling about this novel, that it was going to be the one that I finally finished and put out into the world eventually, when it was ready. I’ve always wished I had a novel to query or use to participate in things like #DVPit and #PitMad, and always start something with the goal of finishing and revising before one of those dates. Yet, it’s never happened, and I’ve been wary of touching my Queer Bookish Novel since last year.

Why is this? Probably a lot of reasons. One of my main ones isΒ motivation. For some reason, I always feel significantly less motivated to write when I don’t have a set goal or deadline approaching like I do for WriMo events. I just find it so hard to find the time to sit down and actually force myself to write. Since getting a full time job,Β time is another issue. When do I really have time to write? I tend to like to write during the day, but I can’t do that while working.

This brings up another problem, that of waiting for perfect conditions to write. I keep telling myself, oh, I’ll write again when I have time, or, I’ll write again after I read BIG MAGIC, because I have some weird idea that reading this book will magically help me get over my writing fears and lack of motivation and discipline. One thing I learned in high school through the art program I participated in is that there is no such thing as “perfect conditions” to create, so you can’t wait for them. And yet, here I am, waiting around until I read a certain book or finally motivate myself to write an outline, etc.

Mostly though, I think aside from lack of motivation/self-discipline, my biggest obstacle isΒ FEAR. I have a lot of complicated feelings related to writing due to things that happened in the past that led to bad things and not writing creatively for a really long time. I still don’t have the same drive I used to before those things happened to write creatively as much as I used to, even though I always enjoy writing when I do it, and whenever I do write it feels like the thing I “should” be doing with my time.

I’m afraid no one will want to read my story because it’s too depressing. I’m afraid no one will want to read my story because they’ll think it’s too queer. I’m worried that I’m not queer enough to write such a queer story. I’m worried I’ll write it and be proud of it but it won’t get anywhere. I’m afraid of not knowing what to do when I get stuck.

But I want to get over these fears, because I want to have a book, and have it be Queer Bookish Novel. This feels like the right story for me to write, despite some of the aforementioned fears, and I want to start finding ways to motivate myself to write again. I just don’t know how to do it.


How do you motivate yourself to write? What are some of your fears when it comes to writing creatively?

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  1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with writing πŸ™ I feel you though, as I didn’t write anything at all between NaNo in November and Camp NaNo in April. Now that the latter is finished it’s back to not writing. I’m definitely also trying to wait for ‘the perfect conditions’ which basically means waiting until the semester is over and I have my summer break. I simply don’t have the time or motivation to concern myself with writing, as I want to be really into it when I do. Sometimes creating aesthetics and playlists for my WIP can motivate me and get me into the world again, but that doesn’t always work.

    I wish you the best luck for your story, I’m sure that they are going to be a lot of people just waiting for a story like yours πŸ’—

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet, thoughtful comment. I actually just did a writing tag that I’m posting tomorrow (I think…) where I had to create aesthetics, and it was somewhat motivational. I don’t even know what “perfect conditions” for myself could be at this point since full time work is a constant so I’m never going to have the time (or so it feels, anyway). alas. I hope you have more time to write over the summer!

  2. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way and struggling, Mel :/ I really wish I could help, but I’ve been feeling pretty much the same. I also had periods of time where I just didn’t write and I hated it, but it didn’t feel right either, and now I haven’t written anything in almost a year and it’s scary, too. I feel like I’m waiting for perfect conditions as well, but with working, life, everything else, the conditions and time aren’t always there and might never will be. I think it’s important to try and remember why you want to write your story and know that there are tons of people who will want to read it. It will be enough and it will be your story and that’s amazing and you should write it, if only for yourself, first and foremost. <3 I find that doing NaNo helped me kickstart my writing a couple years ago – I have no time anymore for that. Life is hard. I also find that all the writing tags you can find online help me, or at least keep the spark alive (Kat @ Life and other disasters does some great writing tags, I actually just posted one of hers today on my blog as well. You should check out her tags, they're fantastic and really inspire me, too :D). Also, aesthetics help a lot.
    When I was working on my WIP, I kind of set aside time every weekend just for that and… it worked. having a routine, a time dedicated to that, made me go on with my story overall.
    Best of luck for everything, I believe in you! <3

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Marie <3 I found a couple tags that seemed like fun so I'm posting one tomorrow. Writing it kind of made me feel a little more motivated to at least *think* about writing.

      I think another problem I have is that I always feel like I have to write a lot when I start writing again, when really, I'd be happy with even just 100 words. Usually when I sit down with a small word count goal I end up exceeding it because I enjoy it so much, but now I kind of expect myself to always write a lot, but maybe that's not totally realistic.

      Not writing for a while can definitely be scary, too. I always think I won't be able to do it again.

      Here's to hoping we can both pick ourselves up, writing-wise πŸ™‚

      1. I’m glad to hear it! Sometimes all you need it a little push, some writing tags or just, talking about your story overall. I know that helps me. At least, keep my love alive haha πŸ™‚
        OH I get it :/ Hopefully you’ll be able to set yourself some smaller goals, try not to pressure yourself too much. Step by step, even 100 words is already GREAT!
        You can do this <3 <3

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