2015 has been a strange year for me so far. This past winter kicked my ass. The weather made it hard for me to get out, or want to get out. I work from home, and most of the time I was happy to just stay in my nice warm apartment. But then it turned into something more...it turned into me not wanting to go out, and from there it turned into me not wanting to do anything. I would have been content staying in bed most of the time, and that was when I knew things needed to change. I couldn’t get motivated to do anything - write, blog, exercise...function normally. It was horrible, and I kept wondering what was wrong with me, telling myself I needed to get out of this funk, and blaming the weather for my lack of motivation. I talked to a couple friends about it, and for the most part, got very little support, care, or understanding. I think when you tell a close friend that you’re having trouble even getting out of bed, there would be at least a modicum of concern, if not support, but I had trouble finding it, which made things worse. That wasn’t the case with everyone, thank god, and I leaned on the friends who made me laugh, made me feel loved, and made time for me.
Things slowly got better. I focused on my upcoming trip, concentrated on the thought of getting away for two weeks, seeing and doing things I’ve always dreamed of seeing and doing, and being with a friend I’ve known my whole life. I don’t know what I would have done without that to look forward to the last few months.
My lack of motivation seriously affected my writing. In January, I pulled out a project I started during the summer of 2013, a book called Something in the Air. I'd abandoned it around 42,000 words because I had no idea where it was going. I started and finished a project or two in the meantime, and then I decided it was finally time to go back to Something in the Air. As soon as I started reading it, I realized it was better than I remembered - or gave myself credit for - and I actually didn’t change anything while reading it...but I still had no idea where it was going. After seeking advice from a friend and bouncing around ideas, the wheels finally started turning and I started writing again. It took a few more frustrating weeks until I really knew where the story was going, and I was excited that I was finally going to be able to write this story.
So why is it almost June and I’m still writing? Good question. I don’t really have an answer. I originally intended to publish Something in the Air on April 21st, but that didn’t happen. As of the time I’m writing this post, I’m at almost 65,000 words and hopefully fairly close to finishing. I just couldn’t find the motivation, no matter how much I wanted to write or knew I should write. It wasn’t happening. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, because I knew what I wanted to write, it was more like an everything block, a lack of desire to do anything, even the things I love most.
Then the other night, I had a revelation: my creative well is running low. My life has been so monotonous for so long; I’ve lacked new experiences, new places, new adventures, new people. I stare at the same four walls every day, I see and talk to the same people, I shop at the same stores, I go the same places. When I finally realized this, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was beginning to feel like a complete failure, but once I had this revelation, I knew there was so much more under the surface of simply feeling a unmotivated.
It’s been years since I’ve been on a big adventure, and I’m so ready. I’ve waited a really long time for this and I’m both excited and nervous. I know this is something I need to do for so many reasons, and I’m hoping that seeing and doing new things, having new experiences, and meeting new people will help refill my creative well and I’ll come home ready and able to write. To tackle new projects and push the boundaries. For years, I’ve had a bunch of ideas for stories set in different countries, but I’ve wanted to do first-hand research first, and now I finally get to.
This trip is pushing me outside my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I know I need that. I need to carry that into my writing as well as other areas of my life. I need to make some big changes in my life, and I have a feeling this trip is going to be the beginning of great things.
Have you ever felt like your creative well has run dry? What did you do to fix it? What do you to rekindle your creativity or keep it at a healthy level? Let's talk here or on Twitter!