Sunday, February 21, 2010


It is sometimes easier for me to deal with the big emotions like fear, love and even insecurity. However, it is somewhat more difficult to approach the more mundane feelings that keep us from taking risks and doing things. The enemy of action is most often inertia. It is boredom and laziness, not "feeling like" writing, moving, or taking a risk. This ennui is the father of procrastination.
So often I know that I could make time to write or do something I love an yet I don't simply because it takes too much energy. This is not the same thing as being exhausted or burned out. It is just the lack of desire and drive.
How do you pull yourself out of these sort of ruts? Do you just do it anyway, moving forward despite the lack of excitement? Or do you wait it out, knowing that this too shall pass? What keeps you motivated? I am eager to know. I am trying to store up a cache of motivation for the days (like today) when I feel totally sapped of all creative impulse.


  1. Sigh. I wish I could help, Kate, but I have exactly the same problem. Sometimes I'm able to make myself just do it, but more often chalk the day up to yet another one gone without any progress on writing.
    My situation is rather different than yours in that I don't have to try and carve out a little time away from work and family and everything else in order to write, but I do find that after I've spent time with friends and had some good conversation, I'm often more revved up to write. There's a direct correlation between the stimulation I get, and the urge I have to write.
    But at least you wrote today!! The biggest comeback to lack of motivation is strength of habit, I think. And writing about something out of your usual sphere might help too, or freewriting - letting go of the need of your piece to be meaningful or 'weighty'.
    In any case, you've got plenty of company in this. Good luck!

  2. Here's one I figured out. Going outside and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine can give me new energy. Sometimes this is almost magical in it's power to turn me around.

  3. Deborah- You are right, strength of habit is absolutely crucial in writing. Good conversation and exploring new spheres of thought are also are great motivators I had not considered. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in my struggle to write.

    Cassandra- Going outside is indeed almost magical. Thank you for reminding me of that!

  4. Read this! It encouraged me to get motivated :)

  5. Melissa- I love this post! What an encouragement:) Thanks so much for sending it my way.

  6. This might sound stupid, but I'll go to the beach or take a hike or just go for a drive and take in the sights. Interacting with nature sort of reminds me of my place in things, if that makes any sense, and sort of rights me spiritually. A lot of people exercise or make lists or change their routines, but for me, there is no therapy like the rhythm of the ocean waves : )

    By the way, I'm so glad you found my Journalism blog : ) As you can see, it hasn't been updated in some time, but you've given me some motivation ... yay :)! My personal blog--which is updated regularly and often delves into my teacher life as well--is, if you're interested :)

  7. KLo-Thanks so much for your comment. I was so motivated by it that I went to sit on a nearby wall overlooking the ocean. Even though it was freezing, it made my heart expand with awe and encouragement. Thank you! Also, I was so happy to find your Journalism blog and now your personal blog as well!

  8. i like your post. Sometimes I find the tasks in a day too overwhelming and get stuck in a rut of doing nothing at all. Then I read somewhere about just doing the next thing. Just do the next thing - breaking it down into much simpler steps and if you don't complete all the 'next things' that's oK. Somehow it seems less overwhelming to focus on just that one 'next thing'...
    Kyle + I have been reading this book by Donald Miller called "1000 miles in a million years" You gotta pick it up and read it. It's motivating (0;