On Writing: lack of inspiration?

On Writing

I didn’t join What I’m Writing last week because I didn’t feel that I had actually been writing. Not in a creative sense anyway.

I think I’m still struggling with the definition of writer; if I haven’t at least written a poem or piece of flash fiction, have I really written anything that it is worthy of discussion? I know this is ridiculous, I myself have concluded that writing is writing; whether it be fiction, journalism or technical writing!

But, does my blog ‘journaling’ count? (Thank you to Sam at And Then The Fun Began for giving me the word I’d been looking for!)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short piece about being in the moment, triggered by watching my daughter playing in the leaves. It’s a photo heavy piece, but I am actually quite proud of the writing. It captured a moment and a feeling, and it locked that memory away, treasured and safe. But, it was a blog journal entry…

Last week I wrote a tongue in cheek piece about my husband’s lack of colour sense; devising a checklist for dressing your toddler daughter. People liked it, and in fact it was commented on by people that I didn’t even realise read my blog; it was a Facebook hit! But, it was just a bit of fun. A light hearted piece about avoiding clown and rainbow children. Not writing

When I sat down to write my post for The Prompt last week I had no idea what I was going to write. I was suffering from a distinct lack of inspiration. I hadn’t written anything of substance for a fortnight and I felt strangely nervous and reluctant to write.

In fact, I avoided writing all day, finally sitting down to write an hour before I intended to publish! In the end, the threat of a deadline did its job and I wrote some words that slowly turned themselves in to a poem.

What has really struck me over the last couple of weeks is this: the less I write, the less I write.

I cheat by sticking to the photography projects I’m doing, along with photo heavy kids activity and craft posts. I avoid sitting down and really thinking, and by extension, writing.

I have felt uninspired, but I also wonder if I just need a break?

Life is pretty full on at the moment. The house is being rewired, with the accompanying holes and dust. The garden is being excavated to install new drainage, with the accompanying holes and mud.

Realistically, there is only so much I can do! But, I will certainly have plenty to write about when I do I get a chance :)

What do you do when you feel lacking in inspiration? Do you take a break or do you go looking for it?

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25 thoughts on “On Writing: lack of inspiration?”

    1. It’s really hard isn’t it? I need to be completely happy before I publish anything I take far too long over my blog posts! Hope your creative mojo returns soon, miss you on The Prompt x

  1. To infinity and ivf

    This makes so much sense. I’m sometimes terrified to take a break as I think I’ll never take it up again. And I for even write that creatively. A lot of people do say when you take a proper break inspiration does come. Maybe worth trying?

    1. Oh, that’s just how I feel, I’m worried if I take too much of a break I’ll get out of the habit of writing, which I know is silly, but I’m struggling with taking the risk x

  2. Yes, taking a step back helps. Do some reading. You can’t get much better inspiration from reading a good book, plus it’s relaxing and enjoyable too.

    1. I have slowed down a lot and I have started reading again, which is wonderful, I think I need to continue with that x

  3. Taking a break helps me, sometimes I just don’t want to blog or tweet etc. But I always come back energised , in my opinion it’s nice to just do stuff without thinking can I or could I have blogged about it!

  4. It sounds like you have been doing a lot of writing to me! I don’t think it has to be fiction to count as writing and it doesn’t matter if there are lots of photos too – you’re still writing words! And your blog journalling is just telling your own story.

    I definitely identity with the notion of writing less leading to writing less (and the reverse also being true) but sometimes if you push yourself too hard it can be counter-productive. On the other hand, as you saw with your prompt poem, a bit of pressure can also yield great results! It’s hard to know what to do sometimes – I flit between applying the pressure and withdrawing it entirely!

    It sounds like you have masses going on though so I’d say take a break, let yourself off the hook and don’t worry! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting xx

    1. Thanks Maddy, I completely agree that it doesn’t need to be fiction to be writing, I suppose I just feel a bit of a fraud joining your wonderful linky and being the only one not regularly writing fiction, if that makes any sense! I think I need to stop over analysing!

  5. It sounds like there’s a lot on for you indeed. There’s no harm at all in taking a break-I find it can refresh your mind and encourage new ideas. Sometimes not thinking can be the best inspiration, if you understand me what I mean.

    1. Yes, I do understand what you mean, and I think I definitely need to take some down time, even if it’s just stepping away from the computer at a sensible time each evening and doing something else instead :)

  6. I’m going to be a big meanie here, but I’m saying this with kindness and love.

    You need to stop worrying about “trying to be a writer” and write.
    You are a writer. That’s all there is. You write beautifully. Your poem for The Prompt was great. You write loads of material – and there’s a lot of pressure on you at the moment, you really don’t need to be adding to it by wondering if you’re “allowed” to call yourself a writer (which you ARE TOTALLY!)

    Ok, I’ll take my mean head off.

    Getting stuck is horrible and it normally happens to me when I’m overwhelmed. I wish I could say I just sit back and relax and do something else, but I don’t. I tend to hammer my way through it and write something else. I have around 50 unfinished blog posts lurking around and little snippets of “things”. I also write music or dissect my current eargasm into its component pieces and find different ways to describe it. Basically ANYTHING that I know normally throws me into an inspirational (or manic) cycle.
    There are things you can do to switch your brain off but still feel creative. I like to knit or play something that offers a quick reward like Minecraft or low level World of Warcraft. These things give achievement feedback really quickly for repetitive actions which can unlock the imagination.

    Thank you for linking up with #whatimwriting, Sara. I always love to read your posts.

    1. Thank you Chrissie, I think I needed to hear that! I do need to stop over analysing, I guess I’m having a crisis of confidence! But I suspect I’m also trying to push when I should just be letting things flow. I’ve been going back to some draft posts and looking at finishing them and just getting a load of stuff scheduled so that I can take more of a break (I’m too competitive to let go of the blog completely!). I’ve been reading a lot more, and actually watching a bit of TV (!) and I think I’m starting to get some balance back.
      Thank you for your lovely, lovely words, they mean the world to me x

  7. I’d say you’re still writing! Even if you’re using photos or talking about real life events, it’s all part of the creative process to get your thoughts down and published for people to read. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Maybe the ideas for fiction may come again soon. I find reading helps my ideas, recently I’ve tried to read books outside the genres I usually choose and it opens my mind to new ways of writing and new types of characters to write about. I think the prolific writing periods come and go, but as long as you’re creating something regularly that’s not a big problem. I hope you feel more positive about writing soon.

    1. Thank you Emily, I think I like to feel constantly productive, but that’s just not really possible, is it?! I’m making far more time to read, and just taking the pressure off a bit x

  8. I reckon you shouldn’t underestimate the quality of your writing in your journaling (love that word). There are ways and means of capturing the everyday and you do it beautifully – and undeniably with the skill of a writer. In terms of feeling lacking in inspiration for more fictional pieces I think absolutely take a break if you need one. I often find inspiration comes in waves and then the problem is finding the time to get it all down! When it’s not flowing though I find it helpful to take notes as flashes of ideas come to me, even if they’re not fully formed… I’m sure you’ll be bombarded with creative ideas again soon! Xx

  9. Thanks for the name check hon! I’d say taking a break can only be a good thing. I’ve been struggling for inspiration lately too – I’m flitting back and forth between trying to ‘upgrade’ the blog a bit technically, fulfill the potential I have as a blogger which other people have grabbed with two hands long ago, brainstorm for blog projects, and at the same time keep up with the writing and posting. I won’t be joining in with The Prompt this week because I don’t want to talk about my relationship because my feelings on it are so complicated and I can only see the words ‘opposites attract’ as a prompt for people to discuss their marriages and why they works so well – as they should. We need to take the pressure off ourselves and I reckon that’s when the ideas will flow! X #sharewithme

  10. maybe I am just different but I think blogging no matter what you write in a post is writing creatively and even if its heavily photo thats ok too. It about sharing your thoughts, your creative ideas and your moments. You are doing brilliantly as always but I have been told if you take a week off it helps the juices start to flow again. The beauty of a blog is, it’s not a novel, its your baby to mold and do whatever you want with it. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  11. You most definitely are a writer. I still have in mind that piece you wrote about your camping trip turned engagement. You ARE a writer, and sometimes, writers need a break to feel even more inspired and get even better at what they do. x

  12. Hello there, it’s a hard one sometimes and I usually find inspiration strikes when I least expect it! Almost if I just stop thinking about it something pops into my head, which I guess is the same thing as taking a break. That said, it doesn’t always work. I think any kind of writing in this way is expressive and creative, communicating your thoughts and feelings-and sometimes less is more, especially when you use lovely images. I really enjoy your blog and don’t underestimate yourself! x #sharewithme

  13. Great post – I know how you feel! I tend to do a bit of both. I decided I would blog every day this year and that’s resulted in some late nights staring at a blank screen, but I’ve also found the more I do that the better my creativity has developed. But I’ve also taken breaks too – so I only manged 6 months of blogging every day! But I still try to make myself as actually I do have ideas but sometimes life and/or laziness gets in my way !!

    Thanks for linking up to #Allaboutyou xxx

  14. Taking a break always helps me. A walk in a forest or just getting outdoors is perfect. But there are some times that I have to go searching for inspiration and that can come from many different places. A photo can do it or someone else’s writing. The main thing is not to stress about the lack of inspiration, it’ll come to you at the most inopportune time! As with all writers it’ll probably hit when you’re in the shower or out and about with nowhere to jot down ideas! Good luck with it. xx

  15. Pingback: #Whatimwriting October Round-up - The Muddled ManuscriptThe Muddled Manuscript

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