Have you ever lost that lovin' feeling?


Love seems an appropriate subject as we go into February.  I think I may stick with it for a few weeks. This week I'll address love lost and how to get it back.

As you may be able to tell by the image above, I'm talking about losing the book love (Neal, honey, you can breathe a sigh of relief).  I think this past month or so I'd lost my way a bit in regards to writing.  I am beginning to recognize a pattern in myself.  And the pattern in this:  I get close to finishing a manuscript and I stop writing.  I haven't analyzed exactly why yet.  Maybe it's burnout, or maybe subconsciously I don't want the project to be over because I worry it won't be good enough or worth all the hours and hours I put into it.  Maybe I'm just a huge procrastinator.  But whatever the reason I found the cure...again.

Why do I say again?  Because every time this happens it seems I have to re-remind myself of what made me want to start writing in the first place. Reading.  I Love books.  I love reading.  I love sitting on the floor between the dusty stacks of the library and looking at spines with names of authors I've never heard of  and thinking I might just find a jewel among them. I wonder if my new favorite book is waiting to be discovered.

Over Christmas I decided to do some reading.  I set aside my writing and picked up a few books.  I started with Catching Fire (are you all gasping, no I had not read it yet).  I LOVED it, as much or more as the Hunger Games.  I just have to give a shout out to Susan Collins (though she'll never see this, I'm sure), Thank you for reminding me how awesome a book can be!  It seems that the title of that first Christmas read was appropriate because my desire to read was rekindled.  For months I'd only wanted to write, but that changed.  For the last couple of weeks I've been reading three of four books a week and I am in heaven. Oh, reading how could I have neglected you so?

What's more, my reading motivates me.  I want to write after reading a good book.  For some reason it's just a natural progression for me.  So, though I don't know why I get the end-of-book-writer's-block,  I now know the cure.  Find something to read, duh!

How do you rekindle your love of writing or reading?

23 comments:

  1. The same way you do! If I read a good book, it inspires me to write better. If I read (or more likely don't finish)a bad book, it inspires me to write because I know I can writer better. Either way, I start writing and I strive to get better at it.

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  2. LOL, reading the Hunger Games definitely urges me to be better. And it prompted me to start my wip in present tense, which I am loving.

    I do lose that loving feeling sometimes, but usually not until I've finished a few rounds of editing.

    If I get stuck before I finish a draft, I'll take some time off and play around with a new idea. I don't let myself type anything, just notebook writing, until I finish the draft. Then I have something to keep me busy while I'm giving the recently finished draft a breather.

    Thanks for a great post!

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  3. I am stuck at the end of my MS, too. In fact, I roughed out a blog post about that same thing last night. I hope to post it later today if we don't lose power. (It's icing BIG time in OK right now.)

    I think writing and reading can be compared to golf. One really great shot can keep us playing even if the rest of the game was terrible.

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  4. Finding someone new to talk about my book idea with. If someone shows interest and wants to know what it's about, then it is very easy for me to feel alive again about it.

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  5. Reading books and others blogs definitely motivates me to get back on the bandwagon.

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  6. I go in spurts, like you. I can't ever rekindle anything, it just happens somehow. But that's a good question I should learn the answer to!

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  7. Oh, you should do book reviews on here. :)

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  8. ah Candice, Candice. Our similarities never cease. :)

    I too was drifting away from writing recently, though not near the end of a book. It was more dragging my feet at the start of one.

    Then I read A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. And just to get excited about a book and be blown away by it made me think, "I want to do that. I want to be able to create this kind of emotion."

    Sometimes watching an amazing movie has the same effect.

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  9. I take my son to Borders and we pick out several books we want to read together. We have so much fun choosing them, reading them, and talking about them that it lights a fire inside me every time. :-)

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  10. Reading always motivates me too. It reminds me why I love writing.

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  11. Yes, reading is so awesome. It does the same for me. And you know what book I would like to read to inspire me to write more and better? ....YOURS! So finish it. :) I get to see you in less than two weeks! Yay!

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  12. I turn to a good book, too. I love reading. I love the escape.

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  13. Well, I am still very new to writing, so I'm still looking for ways to rekindle the fire. I'm not exactly in a slump right now, but I am overwhelmed at how much stuff I know I have to fix. That is making it very hard to finish the thing. Sounds like I need to dive in those books I just bought last week:)

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  14. I'm glad you found your desire to write again. I'm like you...my desire to write and read take turns. The last two times I've felt the NEED to write, it was foggy outside. So that's a very important part of it, too. Fog.

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  15. A good book makes it all better. I'm struggling with finishing too. I keep worrying that it may not be worth the effort. I do want to create something wonderful though. Collins raised the bar so high with the Hunger Games - I've been depressed about my meager talent ever since I read those books. I wish I could get a look at her first draft - maybe I'd feel a lot better - then again, maybe not.

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  16. Linda,
    A bad book is almost more inspiring, lol! I often think to myself, I can do better than this!

    Tere,
    I definitely think a breather can be important. Being able to look at something with fresh eyes is invaluable.

    JenE,
    I hope you don't lose power! That would be terrible, and cold! I'll look for your post. ;)

    Void,
    So true. My writing friends and family members help me keep going so often. Especially when they want to read my work. I feel obligated to finish my stories for them.

    Patti,
    Blogs are awesome. Speaking of which, I want to enter the contest you talked about on yours. I have to remember to do that.

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  17. Glam,
    I might do reviews. I haven't decided yet. If I do, I'll probably only do the ones I liked and just not talk about the ones I didn't. Let me just say, Hunger Games, Catching Fire...Awesome!! But I think everyone knew that already. ;)

    Ren,
    I just bought that book (further indication of our twin brainess) and then my sister started reading it and I left it at her house. I'm glad to know it's good.

    Shannon,
    I LOVE it when my son gets excited about reading. It makes me so incredible happy. It also makes me want to write a book he will want to read one day.

    Jenn,
    Reading your stuff motivates me!

    Kasie,
    I want to read it too. I really do because that means it will be done!

    V.S.
    Sometimes I escape a bit too much and neglect life. That's the downside.

    Melissa,
    Something that I finally learned about six months ago that has helped me so much is that my book doesn't have to be perfect the first time. I just write it, even if it has holes. And then I let my Beta readers help me identify those holes and my second draft is so much better!

    Jessie,
    Fog! That's what I've been missing!

    Mary,
    It's hard not to doubt, but it is worth it! You are using your brain and working hard to create something unique. That in and of itself is a worthwhile endeavor! And I bet Collin's first draft looked a lot like many of ours. :)

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  18. You know, I've found that just making myself read more rekindles my love of reading, and that sparks my writing. I'm doing the 100+ books writing challenge, so that's really helped me to just read more.

    Just found your blog and I love the quote from O'conner!

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  19. Great post! I totally agree. Reading does it for me too.

    I think most writers by nature are empaths. We take on the charge or feeling of things in our immediate environment. For me, reading a good book (or a bad book, for that matter) flicks an empathetic switch that I can't reach any other way.

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  20. I have found that when I read your writing and Kasie's that I mostly just feel like reading more. Maybe that's because I'm always left hanging....Yes, that is my way of saying please send me Jaded! Kasie, you don't leave me hanging as long, but you're worse about where you leave me hanging. In fact, sometimes it's just outright cruel! Love you both!

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  21. Funny, I was just talking to Kasie about Hunger Games. for not being my genre, I thought it was pretty good. I hyper focused a little on issues like what would happen if a kid was blind, or pregnant, or ... long list.

    Anyway, I too stall at the nearing completion of my wip. It's like being two pounds away from a weight loss goal then bottoming out. (no pun)

    Reading does help, but alas, for me, not the cure.

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  22. I do lose that loving feeling sometimes, but usually not until I've finished a few rounds of editing.

    Work from home India

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  23. Ha! I just wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. I agree, there is nothing like reading a good book to make me want to write my brain off. I also like shaking up my writing routine - changing the setting, getting a latte instead of tea, doing a timed writing - anything to wake me up and help get the love juice flowing again.

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