This is topic Making Writing Fun Again! in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
I need help.

I've become seriously apathetic about writing. I don't enjoy it anymore, I don't want to do it anymore. On the surface. In reality, I know that I want to, but I need to find a way for it to become fun again.

Please, offer suggestions on how I can make it fun again.
Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :
What do you usually write?

Deliberately pick new topics and themes. Challenge yourself in new and unusual ways.

I find provoking myself to the absurd helps bring everything else into perspective. That may just be me though. [Big Grin]

Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
Drinking games.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Like hot chocolate drinking games? Or apricot juice drinking games?

I usually write science fiction, but I also write magazine articles. The articles I'm still doing - on deadline and all that - but the science fiction has become dead. Haven't written anything in a long time.

Absurd. Good suggestion.
Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
quid, just do it anyway. If it helps, I'm right there with you. I was supposed to be done with writing these stupid training manuals months ago, and now am being threatened with death and dismemberment if I don't meet my new deadlines (new meaning to that word lately, I've noticed [Wink] ). I hate even thinking about working on it. I made myself work on it for most of the day today and while I can't say I enjoyed it, I am enjoying that I put a big dent in it.

I'm thinking it will be much more fun when I'm done.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
I've tried forcing myself to write anyway, and it just doesn't work. I can't get anything out. That's why I have to change tactics.

The whole thing has a basis in stress. Not that I lead a stressful life - I don't, and thanks to Fahim, it's a much more calm and stress-free life than I've ever had before. I don't handle stress well at all, and things that don't bother the vast majority of the rest of the population will stress me out. I have major anxiety disorders, and I get stressed out easily. When it gets really bad, like where I'm at now, I'll alternate between being overly emotional versus being completely blocked. The whole tsunami thing is still affecting me. I'm really sensitive.

Anyway, I'm doing what I can to cut some things out that bring me stress in the hopes that I'll recover more quickly. And then I need to deal with this stuff.

One thing that I think could help is writing again. But I don't want to just wallow in misery - I want to have fun, too. If I can have fun with writing, I think I could handle writing about the other stuff.

Anyway. This is just me rambling.
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
That's too bad about the stress and anxiety problems. Those are tough to deal with. No helpful suggestions, other than feel free to rewrite my posts. [Wink]
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
[ROFL] Thanks, Morbo. I'll remember that.
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Um, write some fanfic? Maybe SG-1? [Razz]
Posted by Enigmatic (Member # 7785) on :
I don't know if this would be at all helpful for you, but this is how I've been dealing with my normal lethargy toward writing. I'm basically giving myself a set of small deadlines, and making it pseudo-public (I don't have all that many readers) is the prod to make me stick to it.

Not sure if extra deadlinieness would be good though, with what you said about stress and trying to force yourself to write.

I also second the "absurd" suggestion. If you want to write but it's just not seeming fun lately, try writing something different for a while, something silly and not necessarily important. Just to get back the joy of creating something.

(may or may not know what he's talking about)
Posted by docmagik (Member # 1131) on :
I've been going through the same thing.

I hate my job. I hate most parts of my life, once I leave the presence of my wife and kids. So when I'm writing, it's not just that I'm having fun writing--I feel a trememndous amount of pressure to write something that will sell and sell now. No time for drafts. No time for enjoying myself. If what I'm writing doesn't come out of my brain as brilliant, final-draft prose, it's crippling to me. I can't write.

So I've been reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and doing the morning pages and stuff. And I've recused myself of any reponsiblility to write something that's going to sell. For right now, all I care about is that I write.

So I've started writing a story about a guy, about my age, who once trained in a mystical martial art back in Asia. Now he's married, has a wife, has a couple kids, and he's been keeping all this stuff secret for all these years, gotten out of practice.

It's cheesy and corny and lacks any real structure or any of the things that are important to readable fiction. But I've written more this week than I've written almost all year up to now.

And the hope is maybe this will bring me back to where I can start writng for an audience again. Or maybe find a better blend of what I'm doing now and what I think I'm supposed to do.

In the meantime, I'll watch this thread with interest, because I do so want to get the joy back.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Doc, that sounds fantastic! Where in Asia? (I ask only cuz I'm here...)

I've also decided to go through the Artist's Way. I've tried doing it before, a couple of times, but this time, I'm really going to try. Luckily, I have a good group of writers I'm comfortable with who are doing it as a group. Most of them are nearly done, but it won't be a problem for me to start at the beginning. If anyone's interested, it's at .

Enigmatic, I don't think the extra deadlines will be at all helpful, although I appreciate the suggestion. I'm seriously thinking about absurd.

Actually, I'm seriously thinking of going with nothing in stone, but rather, seeing about playing with writing. Experimenting. But no pressure, no demands.

And having said that, I'd like ideas of things to do.

Docmagik, feel free to post any questions or concerns you have as well. There's no need for this thread to be all about me. [Smile]
Posted by Lacerta (Member # 8007) on :
Originally posted by quidscribis:

I've become seriously apathetic about writing. I don't enjoy it anymore, I don't want to do it anymore. On the surface. In reality, I know that I want to, but I need to find a way for it to become fun again.

what usually works for me to make writing fun is to take a break, perhaps go somewhere that you enjoy, get some ideas in your head and go back to writing. If that doesnt work, try to write with some music on, it gets your mind flowing
Posted by Chris Kidd (Member # 2646) on :
I don't know if this will help but you could try hatrack 1830, or Virtual Battle School. theres alot of enthusiastic people writeing on both furoms. you cn be as silly or seriuse as you want to be. or use them to experiment with something your thinking about.
Posted by Miro (Member # 1178) on :
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
Um, write some fanfic? Maybe SG-1? [Razz]

I second that. [Big Grin]
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Hey, I'd read it! [Big Grin]

How about a little Teal'c-Carter action? [Taunt]
Posted by Miro (Member # 1178) on :
Eeew! That's just....wrong. [Razz]
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :

Posted by Miro (Member # 1178) on :
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Fanfic? Nah. Not for me. As much as I love SG-1... Hey, they start again soon.

And now I'm watching Stargate, the movie, the special edition, and the glowing eyes are definitely WHITE. [Big Grin]
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
I've always liked Seymour Glass's advice about writing to his younger brother, to think of the thing that you would most love to read in the whole world, to imagine it in great detail, and then just write it.

I don't know how to make oneself write. I'm in the middle of chapter 2 of my novel that I started years ago.

For me for poetry, reading is the inspiration for writing, almost as though you must inhale before exhaling. When I read a lot of poetry, then lines start making themselves up inside my head. Stuff just starts spilling out. Maybe that would work for you for prose. Perhaps if you undertook to read something totally new and different for you. Maybe if there's a Science Fiction author you've always been wanting to get around to reading, someone excellent but who requires some effort to get into, (preferably someone brilliant, funny, and creative and somewhat free-wheeling,) then reading their work would inspire you in your own.

Come to think of it, musicians like that really inspire me to play music too.
Posted by Hiroshima (Member # 7970) on :
Maybe you need to take a break from writing. I know that is contrary to common wisdom, but I find that it helps me, especially between projects. Just make sure you start again.
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
When I needed it I wrote fanfic and comedy. I wrote the infamous LOTR survivor game. It really helped. Every now and then I go back to it. Whenever I get enough for another episode or two I'll post them here.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
I had a friend who, whenever he had this problem, wrote limericks. At least one every day, until he was ready to start writing other stuff again. He said it kept him writing when he wouldn't have been otherwise, and the need to follow a definite structure helped, but also he usually started writing "real" stuff again pretty soon because he got tired of the absurdity of coming up with limericks. [Smile]
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Limericks. That's a brilliant idea. Last limerack I wrote was for my cousin's wedding.

Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Naturally we'll expect you to post them here...
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
Write stuff you don't ordinarily write.
Different genres; romance, western, erotica, mystery, non-fiction about something you're passionate about.
100-word stories with a complete beginning, middle, and end.
Write down the last good conversation/argument/bull session you had as dialogue.
Spend an hour every day coming up with nothing but story titles -- without thinking about what story they could possibly be about -- and use them for inspiration later on.
Sit down and just get silly. Write about you sitting there when suddenly the aliens come to ask you about something in your last story they didn't quite understand. Go from there.
Look online for writer's challenges and contests.
Get together with some other writers and start a round-robin story, where each writer completes a chapter on an agreed-upon deadline and hands it off to the next writer, who is under no obligation whatsoever to respect the plot direction of anything that's been done so far.
Find a book or story you especially like, one of the ones that inspires you as a writer, and retype a few pages of it.
Find a book or story you almost liked and plot out how it should have gone.
Take a character from a story or book you want to write and write a separate story all about him or her that occurs before the original story. Roger Zelazny used to do this, with no intention of ever publishing the side story, as a way of giving his characters more depth in the main story. They had a history, you see...
Stop writing for a week, or a month, and do something else you've always wanted to do but never have.
Collaborate with someone else. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's worse, but sometimes it's magic.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
Pull out your old stuff, stuff you haven't looked at in years. Edit it. You might be surprised how much of it is usable. Maybe just a good line or snatch of dialogue. Maybe a story idea that dead-ended because you weren't good enough then to write it. Who knows?
Posted by Goody Scrivener (Member # 6742) on :
When I get to that point with my stitching, I walk away from it for a while. Ignore the needle entirely and read for a few days. Or grab a hank of yarn and a crochet hook. Or just tinker around on the computer. Eventually the needle's siren song lures me back in.

Course, I rarely work on anything with an actual deadline, so I'm not really losing anything by doing this.

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