When a writer loses joy in writing, the answer is almost always that he/she has moved from internal prompts to external considerations.
This is what Barbara Samuel says over at Writer Unboxed. The post is well worth reading and contains excellent suggestions on how writers can recharge and reclaim that inner joy in the process, free from the demon of external demands.
I'll highlight two today. The first:
The evening when I first realized I was in serious trouble took place about ten days ago, when I didn't feel like reading. I stood next to my bed, stared at the precariously high pile of books, and did not want to read a single one.
(Collective gasp of horror from my fellow bookworms.)
That really shook me up and made me decide I had to do something about it. How could I not want to read? How is that even conceivable?
Part of the reason is I've been a good newbie author, trying to understand the market and reading all the latest successful books available, figuring what works, what doesn't, and how I can improve mine.
But I haven't done the other kind of reading, the kind that engages me and lingers long after I'm finished, in a long time. Reading has gone from a joy to a chore.
This ties in well with Barbara's other suggestion, which is to
Fill the WellShe refers to the process of collecting fresh new details about the world, about taking notes when riding a train or going to the movies. I would like to expand that to include anything else that fills the well, not just for our writing, but of our being:
- read books we love, not the ones we should
- converse with people we care about
- converse with people we respect
- cuddle with our children/pets
Still haven't written much, except here at the blog. But I think this is going to get better.
Wishing you lots of lovely books and filled-to-overflowing wells.