Friday, 13 January 2017

Troubles Maintaining Interest in Writing

Image Credit: Background is taken by Virvoreanu-Laurentiu from Pixabay.

I don't like using labels to describe myself. It feels like lumping myself into a set identity that I must then share with others, and that's not something I am typically okay with. Not only because it makes me uncomfortable on a fundamental level but also because, in my experience, I don't share much in common with people who identify with a certain label. 

Yet, I know that I am a writer. I know this because I've been writing for as long as I've had the ability to consciously think, secretly away from my parents and in school whenever the opportunity was afforded to me. Since the age of 11, I've been consistently involved in text-based roleplaying. I've written short stories, novellas, and recently completed my first novel (which I then trashed, as I do with all my other writing). I'm also very keen on writing letters to people and have been known to dedicate a few thousand words from time to time to each correspondence. 

I couldn't begin to estimate how many words I've written in my lifetime. A million, at least. I reckon it is likely more in the neighbourhood of five million. 

That's a big number. 

Even with that big number, however, I find myself also consistently facing the same problem. I have immense difficulty in maintaining my interest in the hobby. My attention is fleeting in that I can go from adoring the activity and dedicating hours a day to it to feeling as though the very act of writing another word would kill me or at least bring me great misfortune. 

It is very confusing as I always return and start writing again. I've tried those "write every day" cliches, I've tried limiting how much I write, I've tried setting a certain time aside for writing. It simply does not matter. My interest and my ability to write a coherent thought wanes regardless of the tricks I try. 

"My talent in writing is the one thing that might save me from a life of destitution."

This is problematic as writing is a core component of what I do and who I am. Due to disability, my talent in writing is the one thing that might save me from a life of destitution. My hobby, roleplaying, is entirely reliant on writing regularly. My goal to become a legitimate author hinges on being able to remain interested in an idea. 

The journey towards conquering the issue has been long and arduous. Do I have it all figured out yet?

I don't. I'm not sure if I will, at least not in the immediate future. I fight a battle inside my mind every day to stick with it, to keep writing in some capacity, and I've mostly been winning that fight. From a certain point of view. See, I write each and every single day... but for different things. My problem with interest remains, I'm just covering it up by inundating myself with different things to invest into. You can't fall into a not-writing-anymore hole if you keep yourself surrounded by things that can interest you.

And yet this does not solve the problem. It only masks it. This is something I am notorious for, at least to me, because I typically see some problems as unsolvable and instead try to hide them as best as I can. This applies to every aspect of my life, be it mentally, health-wise, or in my hobbies. If something doesn't look like it'll get better, I go into "cover it up" mode. 

I don't like covering it up. I want to be able to maintain my interest in what I do because my interest will make or break my ability to be consistent and to succeed. Someone who cannot stick with an idea is not someone who will do well, as directly evidenced by my lack of true success. 

"I don't like covering it up."

The question of how to next approach the idea of solving this problem is one left unanswered. I'm not sure what to try next. Is there something else? Undoubtedly, but right now it is inaccessible and unknown to me. 

It may be a matter of just waiting long enough for things to set themselves right. I find this a naive possibility, and not one with much merit. This has plagued me since before I became ill. It's been exacerbated by my health, without a shadow of a doubt, but the problem itself has been a part of me for well over a decade now. 

I hope I can beat it sooner rather than later. Knocking this obstacle down would bring me one step closer to dragging myself out of this rut. 


  1. Is there anything which sticks with you? Anything in the world that you never get tired of?

    1. Not really! Everything wanes, but there are many things I keep coming back to in life.

    2. Hmm... join the army, or something? That's the only thing I can think of.

      If you don't want to live a life of destitution, I can only recommend using this advice from The Art of the Deal:

      "After he lost the election to Ronald Reagan, Carter came to see me in my office. He told me he was seeking contributions to the Jimmy Carter Library. I asked how much he had in mind. And he said, “Donald, I would be very appreciative if you contributed five million dollars.”

      I was dumbfounded. I didn’t even answer him.

      But that experience also taught me something. Until then, I’d never understood how Jimmy Carter became president. The answer is that as poorly qualified as he was for the job, Jimmy Carter had the nerve, the guts, the balls, to ask for something extraordinary. That ability above all helped him get elected president."

    3. Hmm, it didn't show my profile before. Pretty sure I was logged in.

    4. The army tends to not allow those who are physically invalid into their ranks.

    5. Sorry. You didn't specify what kind of health problem you had in the earlier post (or maybe you did and I'm a lazy reader).