Nine Ways to Kill Your Writing Mojo

Listicles are still popular, right? Is this 2008? I am not always up on contemporary society, struggling as I am to attain the title of Eccentric Recluse without the infamy or, for that matter, the noticeable accomplishment. Yet since I’m here and since I have some experience in these matters, scoot closer to your favorite Gothic neighbor-lady and she’ll tell you a thing or two.

But don’t you think about coming up onto my porch. You just keep your butt on those steps, you hear me?

  1. Giving Yourself Unrealistic Goals: This one needs little explanation because we’ve all been there. We’ve all sat thinking about the someday when we’ll have enough time to write 5,000 words a day and have the energy to work on multiple projects at once and how we’ll be able to produce multiple titles per year. We could have written about 1,000 words during our daydreaming session. We didn’t. Someday, tho.
  2. Excusing Excessive Daydreaming as “Writing”: Sometimes it is, when you’re thinking about plot, or setting, or characters, etc. Sometimes daydreaming is just letting the story soup stew in your head, allowing the flavors to melt into one another. Those moments should count as writing. Daydreaming about that perfect traveler’s notebook that will really get your novel organized is not, however, writing.
  3. Judging the Writing Processes of Others: See what I’ve done here? Scolding myself in order to excuse my previous comment. It’s a typical rhetorical trick that is supposed to convince you that since I am self-aware, I am not a judgmental asshole, because, well, I do it too! See how that works? I zig, but I also zag. Don’t do this. Be honest and kind. But don’t spend too much time on your journal. That may not be the writing you want to share with the world.
  4. Losing Interest Halfway Through a Project: This happens to everyone. It’s happening to me right now and I’m using it to show you that it is okay to abandon something that is not working. A project that you dread coming to should be shelved. You may have fresh eyes for it in the future, or you may not. Write the project you want to write. CAVEAT: Finish your work as much as possible. If you find yourself abandoning nearly every project, perhaps you should create in a different medium for a while. Paint, sew, carve, sing, any number of ways to express yourself. Don’t let staleness stop your art.

You can figure out the rest, and the joke, from here. There are plenty of ways to motivate you to keep working, keep creating, and if you’re like me, you’ve consumed a bunch of them. But I’ll give you one more for free:

Keep creating.

What are you doing next?

I love your work.