I find this challenge getting more difficult every day.
I thought I would find momentum after a week and it would just all start flowing out of my finger tips, but alas that is not the case. I am fighting through over a year of creative inactivity. I know deep down, though, that it is the struggle that makes us all stronger and not the breakthrough.
For me, sometimes the breakthrough is detrimental to me. I allow my success to result in laziness. You work so hard at something and then you have some sort of breakthrough, but then as a reward you take a break. Not just a restorative break, but rather a long term break that leads to atrophy.
Do marathon runners take long breaks between their races? How could they ever expect to perform if the last time they worked hard was their last race. They will fall very short. Do successful NFL rookies stop working out after being drafted? (I watched every pick in the draft this weekend)
Maybe that is something that college did well for me. I was always going. My motor was always running. I couldn’t just function when I had a large paper or project because there were always readings and assignments in between. I had no choice but to always be on my “A” game.
I wonder if writing is similar for athletes in that, when I am inspired and when my creative mind’s eye is on point I can write for hours and I can produce some killer work. Now for athletes I wonder if game day holds that same luster. But with situations that spur us on, there are surely others that just do not.
What I am getting at is, writing on days that I do not feel inspired may not be that different from practicing baseball on a rainy day. Both are so incredibly important to the individuals long term success. Neither is a very attractive option. The athletes I know that are successful are able to twist the way they see those boring/exhausting practices. They see them as competition with themselves. That is how I twist seeing anytime I work out. I turn it into an internal competition. That is how I push through.
I do this with writing too. I force myself to create and sometimes what I create is not half bad. Even on an uninspiring afternoon.
So to my fellow writers:
What techniques do you use to overcome writing atrophy?
What do you do to force inspiration?
Have you ever had a time (even if writing is your one and only true love) where the last thing you wanted to do was write?
How did you handle it?
Feel free to comment with your thoughts