When motivation fades and inspiration knocks

May 31, 2013 § 4 Comments

When I was stressed out during my summer exams a few weeks ago, my best friend, having already finished hers weeks before me, asked me “Hey, will you be my writing buddy during the summer?”

Naturally, as I knew I wanted to both keep working on writing my NaNo 2012 novel and editing the previous novels, I said “Yes! Of course!” At the time, I felt inspired to write, if only distract myself from the stress of studying for exams. I did, in fact, write a poem that alluded to Lord Tennyson’s Lady of Shallot whilst studying the poem for my Victorian literature exam.

Anyway, my exams finished up weeks ago and I’ve yet to begin writing or editing. I’ve written bits and bobs. Some flash fiction for competitions and some brief poetry. I’ve opened up my word document that contains my 2012 novel and stared at it fruitlessly for hours. I’ve opened up Saoirse and stared at that for hours.

Sometimes in the ย middle of the night, I wake up and get inspired to write. I don’t. I wake up in the mornings and the inspiration is still there in my mind but there’s no motivation. I open up notebooks, look up writing prompts.

Then there are the times when I feel motivated, like I have to write right this instance, even though there are no words whispering in the back of my mind. I jot down words that sound bare and emotionless. I write sentences that feel superficial and lackluster. I write things that are uninspired.

This summer, I just can’t seem to get that balance between motivation and inspiration, the balance that seems to ensure the creation of something that you fall in love with writing – something that makes you fall in love with writing all over again. I’m trying to find it, but it’s escaped me so far.

Do any of you have problems with balancing inspiration and motivation? If so, how have you/do you handle it? Any words of wisdom would be lovely!

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