Feeling uninspired in your writing? Career? Life?

November 8, 2013 LifeWriting  One comment

 As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
Gandhi

Me too.

Like Down by Jason Walker depressed and uninspired (YouTube it = instant pity party anthem).

So, whether you’re  a writer or some other kind of artist, or a teacher, a social worker, a cashier, a hair dresser, a counselor, a bartender, or any other thing you could possibly be … I’ve got some simple advice (I strongly adhere to the Keep It Simple Stupid philosophy) to help you feel that all-consuming passion for your career/occupation/life again.

Now I could tell you to go outside and get some fresh air or exercise or take a vacation. And I’m sure these things are all fine and dandy in the short-term, but for more heavy-duty scenarios I will bestow upon you this …

Get back to basics.

No matter who you are or what you do, get back to why you started doing it in the first place.  Remember what fueled you to chose the career path. What excited you about it? What challenged you? What was it about that choice that made it the choice for you?

Dig past all the bullshit and gossip and rules. Is that thing still there? Is the thing that inspired you to do what you do still there? Can you find it?

Take a minute, hour, day, weekend, or however long you need/can reasonably get away with and reconnect with what you love about what you do.

Now, every job, no matter how great, entails tasks that just down right suck. And it’s expected. But it becomes a problem when you start drowning in those tasks and it floods over the “good” stuff. Something has got to give when this is the case.

Is there a way for you to shuffle priorities so that you can spend more time what you wanted to do in the first place? Is there a way for you to delegate or organize your time in a manner that is more efficient for dealing with these unpleasant tasks?

If there is, great. Do that. If not, is there maybe a way for you to change your perception of the situation? Say you are spending 70% of your time doing that very thing you hate doing, while the thing you love doing gets a meager 30% of your time and attention. Is there a way to make that 30% feel more important and rewarding and worth-while?

For me personally, when I reach that point where I can’t write one more word or don’t even know why I’m doing it in the first place – I take the day off, curl up on the couch with a good book, and lose myself in it. As I pour myself into the book, get to know the characters, study the dialogue and prose, and get lost in it – I remember why I wanted to start writing in the first place.

Because I’m first and foremost, a reader.

I love words. I love characters and settings. I love being taken away from reality and transported to another time, place, world, etc. even if the setting is taking place right down the street. I love those books that have, what I affectionately like to call the ‘zing’ factor – you just cannot and will not put it down upon penalty of death. Books with the ‘zing’ factor are those books that you read in a day, and then start it again the second after you finish it. They are the books that you can’t stop thinking about the story and the characters for days, months, years afterwards.

And I want to be able to do that for someone else. I want to be able to take someone away from their troubles, if only temporarily, and let them connect with my stories and characters in such a real way. If I can do this for only one person, I have done my job.

But what if I am just done? What if I can’t go on for one more second?

Maybe you’ve outgrown where you’re at. Or maybe your job has turned into a whole other monster that you did not sign up for. Or maybe you’ve changed and you need something else. It happens. And you know what? That’s okay.

In this case, if you haven’t identified what’s next for you – you better start looking with eyes wide-open. But alas, I am not a career counselor and my advice for you ends here. Best of luck on your voyage.

 

Now, get back to basics. Reignite your passion for your work and get back to it.

 

Until next time, farewell, & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

 

photo cred: Anastasia Laktina

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