I’ve already talked about writer’s block in this post, but I want to talk about one of the challenges that I’ve faced in my own writing: sometimes I just don’t want to write. Part of this problem may be the specific stage of life that I’m in at the moment, because as a college student I spend a large amount of time reading and writing for my classes. After I’ve spent the entire day consuming others’ words and regurgitating them into papers to meet my professors’ requirements, I get burnt out. My mind has no more words.
I have trouble remembering that I write because I love it. I want to be spontaneous and creative and inspired but instead I am slogging through an endless stagnant marsh. And yet, I have to overcome this because I have to write. I have to write for my assignments but also because if I don’t something in me curls up and withers.
To cure my lack of motivation, I have found myself grasping desperately at any moment of inspiration that I can find. Not because I will drown in my marsh without it, but because it is a gift. Writing is hard work, and if I have a spark or a moment of sudden clarity, I need to treasure it, whether it occurs when I am working on a private project or an assignment for a class.
Another way that I try to overcome this burnt-out feeling is by welcoming the assignments I am given. They give me a reason to do something that I would probably not have the self-discipline or desire to do on my own. I try to look at each assignment as an encouragement for growth.
I may feel as though I have nothing left, but that’s not an uncommon feeling for a writer. If I learn to power through this feeling now, I will be more likely to do so when I no longer have assignments to force me to write. In fact, one of my professors has suggested that it can be helpful for writers to give themselves “assignments” of their own. At this point in my life, I’m busy enough with the assignments that my professors give me, but I intend to try this after I graduate.
I was going to talk about perfectionism as well, but this is already fairly long, so I guess that will just have to wait until next time!