How do you keep the passion for Writing Going?

After publishing ten books with another in the wings, I suppose my passion for writing appears healthy. There are those days, however, when the words won’t come and I struggle to even write original posts for my blog. You can call it writer’s block, but there is also an element of frustration and discouragement that factors in.

What I’ve tried to do is turn the negatives into positives and maximize the positives. It’s not always easy, but it works.

Here are some of the negatives I’ve been working through:

There_Is_Not_Enough_TimeNot enough time to write: My job is crazy busy. I have time to write at night, but I’m an old guy and I get so tired that my brain can’t function enough to write coherently.

My solution: I crash into bed at 8:30 or 9 at night and I’m up at 4:30 or 5 and get a couple of hours of writing in before work.

Falling-Sales1Sales are flat. Why bother? : This is not an uncommon phenomenon for an indie author. Sales might be consistent for a while and then just dry up. This can be discouraging and make you question the effort vs. return of the hard work of writing.

My Solution: To paraphrase Dory from the Pixar films, “Just keep writing. Just keep writing.” It’s true. This works. When I force myself to write, I quickly remember why I love doing it. It’s ultimately for my enjoyment and the sales become secondary. Sure, I’d like to set up a fun retirement business, but the writing is the thing that keeps me doing it.

Lack-of-motivation-Part-2-1Lack of motivation: I don’t have a publisher or an agent waiting for me to write a book. I’ve already written more than many authors write in a lifetime. Why not just quit and do something fun like coin collecting or yoga?

My Solution: Having a blog is a great thing. I’ve created a self-imposed series of deadlines. I try to post original content each day. I also tried locking myself in to creating new fiction each week in the form of short stories and serials, but I’ve suspended that for a while. There are a few readers out there that count on this content, and that keeps me going.

Man rejectedRejection: As I mentioned in the opening, each rejection letter, each less than stellar review and other things like my unsuccessful Kindle Scout campaign chip away at the self confidence that I’ve carefully put together into an extremely fragile ego surrounded by a razor thin layer of self-confidence.

My Solution:  Look for the positives. You can learn from rejection letters, poor review, and even a failed Kindle Scout campaign. Constructive criticism helps one become a better writer.  The Kindle Scout campaign gave me much data to analyze and a great deal to think about for future book releases.

So what do you do when your passion wanes? Do you have coping mechanisms and little tricks to get you going? Please share.

51 thoughts on “How do you keep the passion for Writing Going?

  1. This was quite a nice blog Don Massenzio. And it’s very true that there are times when you are totally blank about what to write and even sometimes feel very discouraging when the outcomes are not that good but then you realize that you love writing and outcomes become secondary. In fact “intent alone is very powerful, so attachment to outcome becomes negligible…” This is what I am reading nowadays THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS and I thought this is somewhere connected to what you have written in your blog as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like your ideas, Don. I think all writers have THOSE TIMES, and it’s important to have some strategies to keep going. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well put, Margot. There are times when I’ve worked a 12 hour day and I’m traveling when I don’t feel like writing a single word and, sometimes, I don’t. I just read a bit and fall asleep. It’s okay to do this occasionally, but I try not to make it a habit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Don. I’ve been suffering the ‘why bother’ blues lately, as well. One thing I found helps is to get a cover made as soon as I can (sometimes before I even start the book), I find this helps to inspire my writing.
    Another thing I do is to set up the preorder when I’m about a third of the way into the story. Now, I don’t have a choice- it’s either get the thing done, or suffer KDP’s wrath! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Something that worked when I was writing my most recent novel was to give myself a deadline for each chapter by committing to have the next one ready for the monthly meeting of my critique group. It’s risky to put an early draft before readers, but it motivated me to do some polishing, so what the group saw wasn’t draft 1.0 but maybe draft 1.2. Once it was complete, I brought back some problematic sections to the group. I’m pretty sure without this, I’d still be struggling with draft 1.0.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When my passion goes away I know I shouldn’t do this but sometimes I wait for it to return. Or I search for something to stimulate it. I remind myself why I need to do this in the first place. I envy people who love to write because I wish I could have a passion for writing. I think its because I doubt my ability or I don’t like the voice that I use to explain the things in my head. What really drives me, is my thoughts yet I can’t quit explain them like I want to. Thats why I started a blog. hoping it will help me voice those thoughts that maybe others don’t know how to express.

    This sounds crazy as well but sometimes when I need inspiration to write. I just listen to myself. I listen to my higher conscious tell me the things that I need to hear and maybe don’t want to hear. I get inspired and I write down everything that resonates with me, because it hit me in a spot that means something to me. Music is another way I get inspired. Anything that can possibly make me think in a way that will build up that adrenaline I accept.

    Also coffee helps to motivate me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I write because I love to tell stories. But there are times it’s a struggle. When that happens, I slip into job-mode. If I tell myself I have a deadline and have to meet it, I can power through. Those first words might not be fabulous until I regain my joy with the process, but that’s one of the (many) reasons we edit rather than publish our first drafts, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: How do you keep the passion for Writing Going? – By Don Massenzio – Writer's Treasure Chest

  8. Hi Don, So many writers can sympathize, I’m sure…I’m usually happier when writing, but now and then, when my muse is dozing, I do get a bit down, which fortunately doesn’t last long. I have to write a weekly column for our local newspaper and that keeps my on my toes. Usually… Onwards and upwards. Cheers.Joy x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links – Staci Troilo

  10. Great article, Don, although I have to admit that when the passion wanes, I just let it fade out. I know it will be back eventually. And yes, rejections can be very discouraging. They always have me asking, “Why am I doing this?” The answer is, of course, obvious: for love.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s