Author Topic: Writers Boredom?  (Read 1354 times)  

Offline anotherpage

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Writers Boredom?
« on: October 25, 2020, 10:08:22 am »
I think I'm going through a bout of writers boredom.

I'm don't have writers block as i have lots of ideas
I don't have writers burnout as I can write

I'm just not interested in any of the 10-20 story ideas i have.

They don't excite me. I've written so many books that it feels like i'm treading over old ground.

Sure, I have to keep writing to pay bills and that is fearful motivation but I can't seem to shake this lack of desire in the stories I am trying to flesh out.

Anyone else encountered this?

Anyone found a way out of it beyond just write your way through it?

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    Offline kwest

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 10:38:46 am »
    I think I'm going through a bout of writers boredom.

    I'm don't have writers block as i have lots of ideas
    I don't have writers burnout as I can write

    I'm just not interested in any of the 10-20 story ideas i have.

    They don't excite me. I've written so many books that it feels like i'm treading over old ground.

    Sure, I have to keep writing to pay bills and that is fearful motivation but I can't seem to shake this lack of desire in the stories I am trying to flesh out.

    Anyone else encountered this?

    Anyone found a way out of it beyond just write your way through it?

    This is actually how I've felt for a really long time, so yeah, I definitely understand. At some point it just becomes work. Writing is always challenging, and frustrating, but once you're in double digits as far as NUMBER of books published, for me the sense of accomplishment has diminished a lot. It's more of a sense of relief that another one is done.

    That said, writing fiction beats out every other thing I have ever done.

    I don't really agree with the mindset that writing has to be "fun" or you're doing it wrong. Certainly it CAN be fun, but it's not a requirement. Even if I write a book feeling completely demotivated, my readers still enjoyed it. It has no effect on the quality of my story, at least according to reader feedback and reviews.

    The way I've worked through it is to consider writing as a job, full stop. I'm just a machine spitting out words, like I'm coding a story. It really does become like that once you've reached a certain point. Nothing wrong with that per se. It becomes about "winning" whatever "winning" is for you. When writing a new book consistently becomes routine, your mind naturally seeks a new challenge, and for most writers that becomes reaching a higher threshold of income, though other writers might have other goals.

    The most useful thing to me  has been keep a pretty strict schedule during the day but allow myself some breaks and completely unplug from everything by 5. Sounds like you might be "on" 24/7 and not allowing for some breaks, which is important.


    Offline ForeverQuestioning

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #2 on: October 25, 2020, 02:56:05 pm »
    All the feels. I'm right there with you. I tell myself that it's the weather, or this or that.

    Every day, right when I wake up, I try to write. Some days I can and some days I can't. If I can't, I don't force myself to try all day. But I still try.

    I have multiple projects at any time. Which usually helps.

    Even that doesn't always work, though. In that case, I try to find some inspiration by reading or leaving the house.

    Offline Flying Pizza Pie

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 07:41:15 pm »
    Twenty years of writing articles and books and I'm so bored right now too. Not sure what happened, but even my contract articles I'm waiting until the last day to finish because I don't want to do them. Not writer's block, as you said, because I knock them out when I have too. I just don't want to. Guess I need a vacation.

    Don't give up -  ;D


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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 04:24:52 am »
    I think it's natural. Especially if you write in a genre, and have a few books under your belt. How many times can you re-slice the same pizza?

    But I've found that once I get into a story usually something in one of the characters appears and makes it interesting again -- even if the plot themes, tropes and all get a little stale.

    You can always break it up a bit by going off-genre. The book may not sell as well, but going off genre a little can sometimes keep the creative juices up to tackle the next, more genre-specific book you write.

    Offline Vidya

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 04:34:19 am »
    I sometimes envy writers like Barbara Cartland who wrote the same basic story over and over, 800+ times and never got bored doing it.

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 05:15:12 am »
    I've been writing and publishing fiction for over 20 years.  It's inevitable the gloss comes off from time to time, and during my career I've had breaks ranging from a few weeks to five years.

    I've only just taken a year off to pursue other projects. Now I'm back and enthusiastic again. Just completed a 105k novel, 80k of it written this month. I'm already 10% of the way into the next one.

    I will say that writing a book with only a vague idea of the plot keeps me interested, while writing to a comprehensive outline tends to bore me.
     

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    Offline Louise Bates

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 07:29:17 am »
    I wonder if it would help to try refilling your creative well in other ways, if that would give you zest for these stories? Are there other creative hobbies you enjoy doing? I find knitting is a great way of stimulating my writing creativity. I know a lot of writers sketch or paint. One of my friends is also a potter. Even reading stories in a different genre from what you write in can be helpful, because they can give you a different perspective, ideas for a new twist to put on the old story.

    I hope you are able to find some way to alleviate the boredom!
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    Offline anotherpage

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 08:27:57 am »
    This is actually how I've felt for a really long time, so yeah, I definitely understand. At some point it just becomes work. Writing is always challenging, and frustrating, but once you're in double digits as far as NUMBER of books published, for me the sense of accomplishment has diminished a lot. It's more of a sense of relief that another one is done.

    That said, writing fiction beats out every other thing I have ever done.

    I don't really agree with the mindset that writing has to be "fun" or you're doing it wrong. Certainly it CAN be fun, but it's not a requirement. Even if I write a book feeling completely demotivated, my readers still enjoyed it. It has no effect on the quality of my story, at least according to reader feedback and reviews.

    The way I've worked through it is to consider writing as a job, full stop. I'm just a machine spitting out words, like I'm coding a story. It really does become like that once you've reached a certain point. Nothing wrong with that per se. It becomes about "winning" whatever "winning" is for you. When writing a new book consistently becomes routine, your mind naturally seeks a new challenge, and for most writers that becomes reaching a higher threshold of income, though other writers might have other goals.

    The most useful thing to me  has been keep a pretty strict schedule during the day but allow myself some breaks and completely unplug from everything by 5. Sounds like you might be "on" 24/7 and not allowing for some breaks, which is important.



    Woah, I have to say its like you entered my mind.

    I like what you had to say about "Coding a story" and how the monotony of the job can be very real.

    Yeah, I've not been knocking off at 5 but that's because I don't always get going at 9. It depends on the say. Some day it can be 11, some days 12, other days 3 in the afternoon before i start.

    I also work 7 days a week, though lately, i have been taking off one day.

    All the feels. I'm right there with you. I tell myself that it's the weather, or this or that.

    Every day, right when I wake up, I try to write. Some days I can and some days I can't. If I can't, I don't force myself to try all day. But I still try.

    I have multiple projects at any time. Which usually helps.

    Even that doesn't always work, though. In that case, I try to find some inspiration by reading or leaving the house.

    Yeah, I am trying to be more kind to myself and remind myself that it's okay to go a week or two without writing, and just read, or watch movies. I'm taking drives more now.

    I sometimes envy writers like Barbara Cartland who wrote the same basic story over and over, 800+ times and never got bored doing it.

    That is mind-blowing. I admire anyone who sticks with ONE GENRE. I can't do it. It would drive me into a looney bin ;) I like all the genres except science fiction, can't stand space stuff.

    I think it's natural. Especially if you write in a genre, and have a few books under your belt. How many times can you re-slice the same pizza?

    But I've found that once I get into a story usually something in one of the characters appears and makes it interesting again -- even if the plot themes, tropes and all get a little stale.

    You can always break it up a bit by going off-genre. The book may not sell as well, but going off genre a little can sometimes keep the creative juices up to tackle the next, more genre-specific book you write.

    That's exactly it, regarding the re-slicing the same pizza. I've branched into other genres but then you now have to keep feeding those specific readers so the whole machine starts to feel like an octopus that is out of control.

    I agree, once I get going on another story and I'm like 4 or 5 chapters in, I'm good until the end. It's the in-between. At the end of a book and before starting another. No mans land.

    Twenty years of writing articles and books and I'm so bored right now too. Not sure what happened, but even my contract articles I'm waiting until the last day to finish because I don't want to do them. Not writer's block, as you said, because I knock them out when I have too. I just don't want to. Guess I need a vacation.

    Don't give up -  ;D

    Thanks. Yeah, I need a vacation badly. I was meant to have one in 2018 but had relationship issues, then the following year it was pet issues, then the next year covid hit lol. Hopefully next year in 2021 i will get to go on vacation but more than likely aliens will invade  ;)

    I've been writing and publishing fiction for over 20 years.  It's inevitable the gloss comes off from time to time, and during my career I've had breaks ranging from a few weeks to five years.

    I've only just taken a year off to pursue other projects. Now I'm back and enthusiastic again. Just completed a 105k novel, 80k of it written this month. I'm already 10% of the way into the next one.

    I will say that writing a book with only a vague idea of the plot keeps me interested, while writing to a comprehensive outline tends to bore me.


    Yeah after 7 years of doing this full-time, the gloss does feel like its worn off. I also agree, the more i outline the quicker i become bored with the story as it already feels as though I've told it. I try to stick to a few beats and that's it now.

    I wonder if it would help to try refilling your creative well in other ways, if that would give you zest for these stories? Are there other creative hobbies you enjoy doing? I find knitting is a great way of stimulating my writing creativity. I know a lot of writers sketch or paint. One of my friends is also a potter. Even reading stories in a different genre from what you write in can be helpful, because they can give you a different perspective, ideas for a new twist to put on the old story.

    I hope you are able to find some way to alleviate the boredom!

    Yeah, I do need to get a hobby outside of writing, tv and sleep ;)

    Thank you to everyone for your replies. It's good to know others have felt this too.
    « Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 08:46:15 am by anotherpage »

    Online Crystal_

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 10:12:13 am »
    Absolutely! I think the pandemic makes it worse, because there so much less outside of writing. I used to go out with my friends ever Friday, go to partner dance classes twice a week, hit my favorite restaurants ever weekend.

    I've found some quarantine substitutions (online dance program, occasional group video call), but they don't fill the well nearly as much. When I'm bored with writing and writing is most of my life, and I'm constantly near my office...

    It's harder to say "eh, I'm not excited about this book, but I'll work on it so I can go do other thing."

    I hit a boredom point last year around book 20-something. I picked up an old series and that helped a lot but I'm still bored of what readers say they want from me.

    I find it helps to bring in new, fresh ideas, even if you're doing the same tone or tropes. If I'm writing a brother's best friend romance (which I've done 4-5 times across 30 books), can I write it on vacation? Long distance? What if the best friend is also a guy with a crush on the heroine? (Still haven't done that one).

    Can I change locations? Make the characters older or younger?

    I also find I'm pretty into my books once I care about the characters. They run the show and the exact same plot can feel very different with different leads. But they only buys me an extra book or two. I still need to bring in something really new when I'm writing the same trope a fifth time.

    Offline Sheri LHP

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    Re: Writer's Boredom?
    « Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 09:03:57 pm »
    I find myself getting tired of words by the time I get to my writing time. First, with the main gig, it's talking to people or reading policy and translating it into layperson speak, or zoom meetings. Side gig, editing, is someone else's words. Fixing them, smithing them, deleting them. LOL. Then, my passion gig, fiction writing, I get to do between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m. At my current rate, my first draft will be finished in February. And, everything I write, EXCEPT the writing gig (because I will have an editor), I have to try to edit perfectly. Because it is professional writing, or I am representing my editing service everywhere I go in social media. I listen to music non-stop, no matter what I am doing. The helps refill my pitcher. Unfortunately, another source of entertainment is eating.  ;D
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    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #11 on: October 27, 2020, 01:49:42 am »
    I think I'm going through a bout of writers boredom.

    I'm don't have writers block as i have lots of ideas
    I don't have writers burnout as I can write

    I'm just not interested in any of the 10-20 story ideas i have.

    They don't excite me. I've written so many books that it feels like i'm treading over old ground.

    Sure, I have to keep writing to pay bills and that is fearful motivation but I can't seem to shake this lack of desire in the stories I am trying to flesh out.

    Anyone else encountered this?

    Anyone found a way out of it beyond just write your way through it?
    Yes, I think I can understand. But I think it's more a case of needing break, needing to do something else then come back to it. I also think your answer is in that sentence about having to write to pay the bills. Once it's a necessity, the creativity flies out of the window. You need to take it back to where you were writing for fun. How, I couldn't tell you, but I think if you can find a way, it will help.


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    Offline Corvid

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #12 on: October 27, 2020, 02:39:12 pm »
    I don't know about you, but I'm addicted to novelty. That's why I get 'x' percentage into a draft and I'm already off looking for the next thing. What's next? What's next? What's next?

    I'm always so concerned however, with "knowing where I'm going" with a given story, or having a road map of sorts, that it inevitably leads me to boredom. I've worked on assembly lines, and can tell you from experience, even though I was fine to do it physically, I have one of the worst personalities for that style of mental engagement. I envy the Barbara Cartlands of the world.

    The other problem is I often have FOMO, fear of missing out. "Oh, they're killing in that genre. I'm gonna do that." "Wait, those folks are killing it in that genre, I'm going over there too." It never ends.

    So, what to do?

    Let's just say, I understand Stephen King much better now, all these years later, when I re-listen or re-read his thoughts regarding outlining.

    Lately, I've found pantsing has helped me swim WITH the aforementioned currents, as opposed to trying to fight them (which only leads to impulsivity in my experience). Pantsing in sprints without thinking has led me to finding novelty in each writing day because if you switch your brain off and just vomit draft, there's no telling what you'll wind up writing.

    It's not foolproof, but thus far it's done a decent job of keeping my novelty-seeking brain from getting as jump-ship ready as quickly as it normally does. The trick or the balance is in ensuring that you still keep to the story and the genre while still leaving yourself the space to just go nuts while word-vomiting. Simple, but not easy.

    And it's true, pantsing fast without thinking does mean more revision on the back-end than it would when I would outline, but the trade-off so far has been worth it. Obviously, ymmv.


    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #13 on: October 28, 2020, 12:36:35 am »


    The other problem is I often have FOMO, fear of missing out. "Oh, they're killing in that genre. I'm gonna do that." "Wait, those folks are killing it in that genre, I'm going over there too." It never ends.

    You sound just like my in-laws on a beach in Welsh Wet Windy Wales, with their windbreaks and their umbrellas - Oh, there's sunshine over there! And we all pack up and drive a mile along there, only to find that bit of sunshine is farther along. So they do it again, and again, before they realise the sunshine they are seeing is in France!


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    Offline AmesburyArcher

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #14 on: October 28, 2020, 06:04:20 am »
    I am finding the same problem with my current WIP.  It's part of a historical fiction series about lesser known medieval noblewomen, all written in first person. Needless to say, there are similarities in most of them. This latest figure I'm writing about has little written about the mid-section of her life and as I don't 'make up' stuff, although I may re-interpret it to suit my needs, it has been  a long old slog to make the mid-section of the book work,  and I'm bored. I need it out by the beginning of December, too,  gulp!
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    Offline Jena H

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #15 on: October 28, 2020, 06:37:52 am »
    I'm about 3/4 through my latest WIP.  I know what I want to write, I know what's going to happen, but... I'm stalling in finishing it. No idea why.  Maybe I'm afraid to finish my current work because then I'll have to start something new.  With about four (or is it five?) different series, it can be tough to decide which thing should be next.

    Also, as the OP opines, lately the act of writing isn't as compelling, as urgent, as it has been in the past.  I'm sure it will become that way again, but for now, writing just doesn't seem to be something I feel compelled to do.  (I'm hoping that when I bring myself to do it--which will be soon--the spark will re-ignite.



    (edited for clarification)
    « Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 08:52:48 am by Jena H »
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    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #16 on: October 29, 2020, 01:29:01 am »
    Before Covid hit I made  a promise to myself to scale back a bit. If your schedule is 24/7 you may need a small break to prevent burnout.

    Anyone found a way out of it beyond just write your way through it?

    What I have done is pitch a partner/friend the basic premise of a story. Ask them what do they think would make it more exciting.  Its not that their idea might work but it will get you rethinking your own story.

    But the best thing I have found is to write a 5-10k nonsense story. It clears your mind out and your able to have fun writing something that will never be published. Comedy, horror, sci-fi, whatever is opposite of what you usually write. Try something new with a fun twist to it.  ie Space Janitors from Mars. Once your done revisit your main pen again and it will feel welcoming.



    Online Simon Haynes

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #17 on: October 29, 2020, 03:06:53 am »
    I have a writing buddy who lives nearby. When we're both demotivated she brings her laptop over and we sit in silence, seeing how much each of us can write in 30-40 mins stretches. In between we cook, watch netflix, play computer games.

    Not needed often, but it makes a change. We usually manage 2-3k words during one of those sessions.
     

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #18 on: October 30, 2020, 07:18:51 pm »
    Yeah, I've had that feeling. I've been promoting for so long now that I'm convincing myself that I forgot how to write. Or some ridiculous excuse. I do usually wait for that white-hot premise to hit, or to start on that one that has nagged me for years. Ya know, like King said, "that idea that has left and keeps hanging around and bugging you." I just finished revising and editing a reprint which my publisher wanted. But that doesn't count as writing. I hope I haven't lost it. Now I have to remember Jo Rowling's and Rice's advice to just PUSH through it. After two pages, you'll be on your way.
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    Online Simon Haynes

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #19 on: October 31, 2020, 01:17:51 am »
    I have nine more novels on my TO BE WRITTEN pile, and I'm excited about all of them.  Lat night I kept writing scenes and dialogue in my head when I was meant to be sleeping, so I'd sit up and write them out longhand. Now I have five pages of scrawl for a book which I'm not planning to write until middle of next year.
     

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    Online alhawke

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    Re: Writers Boredom?
    « Reply #20 on: October 31, 2020, 10:57:08 am »
    I'm burning out a bit. So, what I decided to do is change projects. After I finish the finish line on my last book in a series, I'm editing the heck out of an old novel to see if I can resurrect what I wrote four years ago. Sometimes editing is more relaxing than writing from a blank slate. My hope is that this will serve as a break and, although I'm very uncertain about marketability, it's a nice vacation even if I never publish the thing.


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