On Writing When You Lack Motivation

Hi. My name is Tim. I’m a bad blogger.((*Insert an Alcoholics Anonymous-like response of “Hi Tim” here*))

Like many bloggers, I lack motivation at times. Life gets busy, people need our attention, and fires come up that we didn’t expect. Unless you’re using your blog to make money((I’m not, even though it’s something I’ve considered in the past.)), when everything in the world is vying for your attention, blogging and writing will typically fall to the wayside. It’s not like I mean for things to be this way…it’s just what happens.

I have a bit of an added source to being a bad blogger that many other bloggers don’t have. I have a backlog of approximately 375 posts from a previous blog that I can leaf through at any time and post on this blog. Four of my last ten non-guest posts fall into this category. Occasionally, I’ll find that one of my old posts is particularly poignant with a current event or something in my life, and I’ll post it to share my point of view. More frequently, however, I find myself resharing those old posts because I don’t have time to write…or worse, that I’m not motivated to write.

Even as I write this post, I don’t particularly have a ton of motivation to blog. It’s been a long couple of weeks, preceded by a very busy couple of weeks, preceded by an extremely hectic first six months of the year. To my right sits an iPad and Nintendo 3DS with Brave Frontier and Fire Emblem: Awakening respectively calling my name. It’s dinner time and there’s a hamburger with my name figuratively written on it and a can of Pringles with my name literally written on it. My phone has beeped at least four times in the past ten minutes with text messages or emails. Writing is not my top priority at this very second.

I wasn't kidding. This is how my wife and I make sure we both get Pringles when they're purchased.
I wasn’t kidding. This is how my wife and I make sure we both get Pringles when they’re purchased.

Things are better than they were as recently as last week. I looked back over my blog posts, noticing that I’ve had a grand total of one post since my wedding((A span of five weeks.)) that had received a comment. It’s deflating. It’s discouraging. It’s disheartening. Instead of being down about it — which I admit was the case for a few days — I decided to go through my Feedly and catch up on the blog posts I’d missed while gone on the honeymoon. 117 posts later meant that I’d left comments on around 40 posts, but it also meant that I had gained a renewed motivation to write.

My motivation still isn’t where it once was. During NaNoWriMo in 2011, I churned out 60,000 words in 21 days. In 2011 itself, I wrote 407 posts on the blog I had at the time. But I don’t need to be at that motivation level now. Where I need to be is at a place where I have the motivation to continue to write and continue to grow my blog. Resources that once existed for growing my blog’s audience no longer exist, so now it’s up to me to succeed. That’s a pretty strong motivating factor on its own.

What motivates you to write? What do you do when you struggle with motivation? Sound off in the comments.

  1. What motivates me to write is anything interesting that happens in my life. My life is pretty boring and repetitive. I do have two posts that I plan to post soon though. And a guest post pending approval. Though it’s been so long I’m guessing it does not have approval and I’ll end up posting it on my own blog.
    When I struggle with motivation I simply don’t write. Haha. I’m not the best example.

    1. I really think that most of my motivation loss comes from times where I feel overly stressed or overworked. There is some level of stress inherent with my job, which can cause me more grief than it should. Regardless, that stress keeps me from writing more than I’d like to admit it does.

  2. I relate to this so, so much. I don’t know what it is, but lately I have just lacked both motivation and energy to write.

    It is also very disheartening that 20SB is gone. I’ll admit that I wasn’t as active on there as I would have liked, but it was nice knowing there was a whole community of people supporting each other as bloggers.

    Sigh. Well, here’s hoping we both pull out of this funk soon!

    1. I really wish that more bloggers were active on Twitter. I try my best to interact with other bloggers on Twitter, though I admittedly could be doing a much better job. Currently I’m at the point where I have a few ideas to write about, but I’ve been far too tired to write about them. At least it’s not (completely) a lack of motivation now.

      1. Jun mentioned Blog Matter, which seems like a potential option at this point. As I said, it used to be a very quiet group, however apparently that’s changed. I’ll be checking it out again later in the week.

        1. Hmm, haven’t heard of that one. Most of the ones I’ve heard of are just too big actually make any connections, kwim? Or they rely a lot on FB and I am not interested in that.

          1. Yeah I get it. I don’t use Facebook at all by choice, which does limit the amount of connecting I can do, especially when so many bloggers find Facebook to be their primary resource for sharing.

  3. I find I lack motivation a lot too. Mainly, I find that it comes down to the fact that I spend all day writing and working on articles that by time I come home, the last thing I want to do is write or look at a computer screen. I’m still trying to figure out a way around this.

    1. I run into this quite a bit too. I’m on my computer nearly the entire day for work, with much of that time spent writing documentation for my employer. The last thing I want to do at night is write, especially if I’ve written a few thousand words of documentation throughout the day.

  4. I think my problem I’m running into more frequently is that I really want to write about the process of where I’m at in the publishing of my book. The problem is that I really don’t have anything else to give as an update. I will in the semi-near future, however it’s just not there yet. Therefore I don’t have a ton that I’m motivated to write about.

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