How to Rediscover Your Love for Writing
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Has your writing life dwindled to near non-existence? You aren’t alone, writer.
Making time to write is one thing, but you aren’t simply struggling to juggle your calendar. You seem to have fallen out of love with writing altogether. It’s not that you don’t want to write in a big-picture sense. Sharing your stories with the world has always been a dream of yours. You’ve simply lost all desire to manifest those stories in your everyday writing life.
Is this some sort of writer’s block, then? A failure to overcome procrastination? A sign that writing isn’t right for you? Nonsense. It’s time we had a chat about creative passion, writer — and more importantly, how to rediscover it for yourself.
To foster creativity is a marriage.
The phrase “I’m married to my work” often brings to mind workaholic tendencies and relationship failures, but there’s a good bit of truth in this phrase for lifelong creatives. The relationship between a writer and their creativity is just that: a relationship. And healthy relationships require that each partner nurtures the other.
If you’ve fallen out of love with your writing, chances are that you either haven’t spent time nurturing your creative passions — perhaps a particular doubt or fear got in the way? — or your current creative life is no longer nurturing you.
This doesn’t mean it’s time to seek a divorce from all creative pursuits. By figuring out where exactly your marriage to your work went south, you can choose to address the issue instead, reigniting the fiery passion you experienced when first getting to know your creativity.
To get started, let’s take a look at how real-life romantic relationships are built. Why? Because they often feature the same building blocks that inspire our creative lives as well…
Step #1: Attraction
Most of us simply don’t pursue hobbies in which we have no interest, so think back. What first inspired you to write? Was it a love for storytelling? A need for emotional catharsis? A chance to escape the mundanities of everyday life? All of the above?
More importantly, consider whether you’re still attracted to writing for the same reasons. It’s okay if your interest in writing has evolved. Acknowledging what you need from your creativity is key to building a relationship that will stand the test of time.
Step #2: Exploration
You know you’re interested in writing, but is it truly the best form of creativity for you? You won’t know until you get to know one another. Spend some time with your writing, exploring the many genres and styles available to you. Can you find a comfortable place in the relationship? A place where your voice can shine?
Step #3: Emotional Connection
Healthy relationships require a strong emotional foundation. They seek to support and encourage rather than tear down or take and take and take.
Now’s the time to ask whether writing supports your emotional well-being. If your current writing life frequently leaves you feeling angry or upset, it likely isn’t a healthy outlet. Remember, no matter what pop culture may say, to be a tortured artist isn’t a badge of honor; it’s destructive to your mental health, plain and simple.
Instead, seek out forms of creativity that leave you feeling inspired and fulfilled. The everyday work may not be easy, but your relationship with your writing should be a happy one in the long-haul.
Step #4: Put in the Time
Relationships need time and attention to flourish. If you want to build a healthy relationship with your writing life, you must choose to prioritize it as often as you can. You don’t need to sit down to write every single day, but putting in consistent quality time with your creativity is key.
Step #5: learn to Invest and evolve
It’s all too easy to grow complacent in a relationship. To truly maintain the passion you have for your writing, you must be willing to continually invest and evolve.
Investing means more than putting in the time; it’s an exercise in intentionally expanding your knowledge and skills, one that requires vulnerability and spontaneity if you’re to keep things interesting. Make an effort to deepen your relationship with your writing by investing in books, blogs, podcasts, prompts and more.
And remember that nothing in this world is static. You and your creativity are bound to evolve in time. Enter your relationship with the knowledge that its dynamics are going to change, and you’ll find the flexibility you need to keep your creative passions feeling fresh.
Can you identify a point in your writing relationship where your love began to sour? Perhaps you’re attracted to writing for all the wrong reasons. Maybe you haven’t put in the time to give the relationship wings. Maybe you simply haven’t allowed your creative output to evolve with you over the years.
Rebuilding your relationship with writing.
No matter the case, rediscovering your love for writing is far from impossible. But be warned: it’s going to take time, patience, and more than a little hard work. Eager to put in the effort? Let’s get started…
Step #1: Acknowledge the loss.
To realize you’ve fallen out of love with your writing can hurt. Your first instinct may be to cast blame on yourself, your situation, or others who have brought doubt or distraction into your life, but I’d encourage you to actively fight this inclination.
Acknowledging what led you to lose sight of your creative passion can prove helpful as you work to rebuild your writing life, but there’s little point in dwelling on this reality for long. What’s done is done. Let’s move forward.
Step #2: Confront Your Emotions.
In the full knowledge that you’ve fallen out of love with your writing, it’s time to take stock of your emotions. Are you mentally or emotionally fatigued? Doubtful of your skills and stories? Afraid to tackle a particularly personal narrative, or simply overwhelmed by all that writing requires?
In getting real with your emotions, you take the first step toward making positive change in your writing life.
Step #3: Identify the Source.
You now know what’s caused you to fall out of love with your writing life, but what sparked those negative emotions in the first place?
Are you mentally fatigued because you worked far too hard to hit a specific writing goal? Do you doubt your skills because learning the tenets of storytelling feels overwhelming? Are you afraid to tackle a story because of the old memories it might dredge up?
Take the time to uncover and acknowledge the source of your dissatisfaction, especially if the answer isn’t clear-cut. You’ll never build a strong relationship with your writing if you can’t be honest about what isn’t working.
Step #4: Unpack unhealthy mindsets.
We all harbor fears and false beliefs that cast doubt into our writing lives. Now’s the time to take a deep dive into the negative mindsets that may be holding you back from finding creative fulfillment.
For example, I recently realized that two core false beliefs had led me into a writing rut: 1) that making small daily strides wasn’t as legitimate as putting in long hours and 2) that my skills weren’t developed enough to write the kind of story I wanted to tell.
I know that all progress is good progress and that writing a novel is a marathon. I also know that actively writing and revising my story is the best way to develop my skills. Yet because I chose to internalize these doubts rather put in the hard work to overcome them, I gave these beliefs the power to stall my writing life.
Step #5: Commit to the Fight
With the state of your relationship laid bare, are you ready to fight to rebuild your writing life? If so, the time has come to recommit yourself to your creativity. And the best way to do so is to take small daily actions that foster your love for writing.
These actions will look a little different for every writer. For some, the first step may be as simple as writing for ten minutes every day. For others, that action may look more like refilling the creative well, reading books on writing, or even engaging in counseling to help unpack past and present traumas.
No matter the case, take it slow. Institute one positive habit until it becomes second nature, then increase your goal or add a new healthy habit to the mix. Give a little more to your writing life each day or week or month, and watch how it nurtures you in return.
As you begin rebuilding your love for writing, remember the steps we discussed at the top of our article. Specifically, remember to continually invest in and evolve with your creativity. No matter how stable your relationship with your writing, life is bound to throw its stones. Remain flexible. You and your writing life are in this for the long haul. So, let’s make it a good one!