When Writing Motivation Wanes

When you have written your characters into a corner and your mojo is leaving, how do you keep the production rate steady?

Think about a writing ASSIGNMENT that you had to complete at some point in your life. It could have been an essay for a history class, a chemistry lab report, or a literary analysis essay of your favorite classic novel.

Against your own druthers, you completed the work. You had to push forward, muster all of your writing energy, and just compose.

The why of your writing makes a difference!

The fact that you had to write a paper in school made a difference in your level of energy for the work. That statement is a guess, of course. But it is an educated guess from a long-time high school English teacher.

Most people don’t love writing when they must, when it is imperative that the writing address a specific topic, in a specific format, on a timeline determined by someone else.

This assumption may not be true for journalists. After all, this description sounds like their day job!

Creative writers who are working on the fringe of a day job should love the process of writing. But in reality, there are moments when the task is overwhelming. You have the plot outline, you have your characters in good order, and you think you know where you are taking the reader.

It’s important to remember that you are writing because you want to, because you have a story to tell, and because it’s FUN!

After you realize that this project is of your own choosing, there is a higher likelihood that you will experience that burst of creativity that started this whole problem in the first place!

You know what those moments are like. The characters take over.

What happens? You write your fingers dry only to discover that now you have created a disaster. One that you don’t want to delete because you were on fire while you were creating it. But now you don’t know how to get your characters back to the plot line.

The project is now a dread. You lose the desire to continue.

Motivation is gone and stamina becomes a challenge that you don’t want to tackle.

Don’t give up hope…

Remember that you have a story to tell. Keep the goal in mind and push through those challenging roadblocks.

Here are some ideas on how to keep moving forward:

  • Put the problem scene away for a day or two. It will be waiting for you when you’re ready.
  • Read, read, read. Other writers have found themselves in similar places. Look for twists and turns in plot lines. Find inspiration to create your own unexpected surprise to get your characters out of their current dead end scene.
  • Write the ending of your story. Begin with the end in mind. Yes, it works in writing too, not just in thinking about a personal goal. Where do you want your characters to land by the end of the novel? Put them there. Work backwards, and you may get them back on track.
  • If you really can’t find a resolution, put the scene aside. Maybe the creative product will be helpful in another story at another time.

Happy Writing!