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.