My writing has ground nearly to a halt. For the past few weeks, my productivity has been at an all-time low. I lack the motivation to write and feel a general sense of hopelessness in regards to my work. Deadlines loom and, paired with the emotional turmoil that has recently cropped up in my life, not much is getting done. Previously, I’ve written about tactics that I use to inspire myself to write; none of these methods are currently working. This week, I’ll be considering alternative ways to increase my productivity.
Usually, I can induce motivation with an energetic song. I pull up my editing playlist and dance around while I rewrite my book. For the past three weeks, three chapters a week has been my norm. Considering I am more than halfway through the project timeline, I need to be more productive than this. When I wrote my first draft, I assigned myself weekly deadlines (12, 000 words minimum) which allowed me to finish my first draft as quickly as I did (31 days of writing over two months). Though not particularly motivating in and of itself, a baseline requirement gives a solid goal for the week and something specific to live up to. It doesn’t solve low motivation, but it can be a way to work through it, which is helpful.
The hopelessness of my project is directly related to the feeling that I have so much to do and am running out of time. I feel panicked and unproductive; shying away from the work instead of diving in. Though connected, hopelessness is a different problem than lack of motivation. The former discourages thinking about the project and makes sitting down to work emotionally taxing. The writing process becomes hard rather than unpleasant, and recovering the original passion for the project seems nigh impossible. I suppose the only real remedy for this is to try to remember the reasons I care about this project and the things I love about it. Another idea that spurs me on is the support of my readers. Even when I lack confidence, I know that everyone who has joined me on my journey believes in me. Whether they’ve read my work or are following along in the blogs, my audience has always supported me, helping me to believe in myself and perhaps stave off this hopelessness.
Sometimes life presents itself as an obstacle to your work. Distractions and crises crop up until writing becomes something dreaded rather than enjoyed. Recently, my life has smacked me in the face, resulting in emotional exhaustion and sorrow. I am hesitant to work on anything, much less an emotionally trying project. In draft three, I have to rewrite the first suicide attempt and, given my unrelated emotional distress, I’ve had a hard time facing it. Even conversations with friends and family haven’t been able to draw me from the literary mire; I feel like I’ve stalled out as a writer. I’ve been trying to combat this by thinking about the positive relationships with the people involved, but that reminded me of something about myself. I am a writer, thus, I write. I will write again, and that gives me hope to press on, regardless of external calamity.
Writing isn’t always easy, and somethings things happen that can make it seem impossible. I’ve struggled with writing for the past three weeks, producing limited work and being generally unproductive; it felt like I lost passion for my work. I’m not sure if my new ideas will help me regain what I’ve lost, but when life gets you down, it helps to have a plan to get back up, even if doing so is harder than you think it will be. Hope never vanishes, and the sun does rise again. You have to make it past midnight, for dawn to come.
Thank you all for your endless support and the courage it grants me. My journey is better for your presence.
Project Status: The rewrites continue, hopefully with more fervor starting next week.
3 thoughts on “Finding Dawn”
Hi Katie: For what it’s worth, writing is exhausting – maybe not at the beginning, but at some point, the writer has to stop in order to maintain his/her sanity. I wrote all winter (book almost finished) but became so tired that I just put it all on hold for a couple, or maybe three weeks. Good friends noticed that I was stressed out, and now that I’ve stopped, I know they were right.
I’ll go back to read the rest of your blog, but right now, I need food! Maybe I’ll take myself out
for dinner in order to recoup! Writing in the winter is more tiring methinks than at any other
time. Spring has come at last, thank the Lord!
Several lovely pieces of jewellery have been stolen from my apartment, which makes things worse. Just remember this (a favourite of mine) when God says, “I know the plans I have concerning you – plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Tomorrow will be a better day, my dear. Till later… Connie..
I think Connie has a point. You probably need a break. Try some R & R to give yourself a chance to recharge. It’s like studying for an exam, one can cram too much and it all begins to fall apart. You’ve been working so hard and keeping yourself so disciplined that a break would probably do you the world of good and give you a fresh start when you’re ready to resume. Don’t worry, diversify….love Mergie
I too am struggling with deadlines. Some are self created-others were formed by the universe to force me to slow down and review my processes. Yesterday while checking some work emails I noticed a male cardinal on a branch in the back yard here. The redness of his jacket caught my eye as his form seemed to squeeze between the post holding the birdfeeder and the edge of my window. Within that sliver of light was my focus-I had to be still , almost squinting into the distance. I held my breath and counted 1-10 then 20 and he was gone just like that.
I went about my day forgetting about the cardinal and all the minutia of details, so this morning I sat here and reflected-counting my two stars and a wish. The things I’m thankful for and a hope and there was the color in my day, the joy of sharing the story with others and the hope to one day see my feathered friend another time in the garden.
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