Hello, Mojo?

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Not coming out!I think I’ve lost the mojo.

Now, I’m not 100% sure what a mojo looks like, but I’m pretty certain there hasn’t been one around here for a while.

This is my first blog post in 3 weeks. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been beavering away at finishing the novel. But it isn’t.Β In fact, the last time I touched the novel was a fortnight ago. And that was the first time in a month.

I still yearn to complete the novel and to crack on with number 2. I still love writing. I’m still hopelessly addicted to the idea of writing for a living.

So what’s gone wrong?

I have pondered and mulled and cogitated and, on occasions, even ruminated. And I think I have come up with an answer, or something very much like one.

It feels a lot like work. And I’m slightly scared.

When I sit down to edit the draft (for the umpteenth time), I feel like I’m trudging over old ground when I want to be gliding gleefully across virgin territory, meeting new characters and plunging them into breathtaking adventures. Not hanging around with the old crowd who I know so well that I can predict their every action.

I’m also scared that re-visiting the novel will cause me a) to become convinced that it’s a simmering cauldron of turgid ineptitude and b) that to transform it into a banquet for the senses will require another 5 years of undaunted effort toil.

Therefore, I find it far easier and vastly less terrifying to fire up the X-Station and sneak around like a ninja, shooting unsuspecting monsters upside the head.

After which, I feel a profound sense of disappointment at not having spent the hour finishing my masterpiece and propelling myself toward the life I most desire.

Writer’s Fear. It is that of which I am in the grip I believe. And it’s hidden my mojo somewhere.

Has anyone seen it?

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12 thoughts on “Hello, Mojo?

  1. When my writing motivation becomes dormant I visit a gallery, see a play or a similar activity. Anything that will open up your mind in a different way to writing that will contribute to your ability to see your writing (old and new) in a new light.

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  2. Gwen Stephens

    I think a lot of would-be writers can relate. It’s certainly happened to me. I set my novel manuscript aside in August 2012 with a similar type of burnout. I’m just now starting to revisit it, and I’m starting back at square one because as you said so eloquently above, “it’s a simmering cauldron of turgid ineptitude.” Really. I know it’s bad and I know it needs work. Just trying to decide on the best way to proceed with revisions. I go back and forth all the time on how far I want to take this writing thing. Right now it’s a joy because I do it for me. If I’m ever good enough to take it to the next level, will it start to feel like a job? Would I still enjoy it? Not sure.

    Maybe set the manuscript aside for a while and work on other writing pursuits. Try some short stories and flash fiction. Or take a workshop and learn more about the craft. You’ll know when you’re ready to go back to the novel. You’ll probably also know when you’re not ready.

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  3. Agree whole-heartedly with Gwen! The shorter stuff allows you to still write, and be creative, but without the MASSIVE time commitment of a novel. It gives you a sense of really finishing something, of accomplishing something and making forward progress QUICKLY, which can really help re-fire your inspiration and motivation for the longer stuff. I have been doing that very thing, as you probably know, whilst at the same time working on novel rough drafts. As someone who hasn’t even completed a rough draft of anything original since HIGH SCHOOL (was too busy completing fanfiction, mind you!) – I really needed those short stories (and even poems) to break up the monotony of plugging away at the novel for what seems like eternity. Granted, the current WIP is moving right along, but that is usually not the case. Also, most career authors I’ve heard talk on this very subject say that after completing a draft, put it in a drawer for six months. Go play with a different story, do something else for a bit. THEN come back to it, and it’ll seem like a new story all over again, making it more exciting to edit. Maybe that would help you out, too! πŸ™‚

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  4. I know EXACTLY how you feel, too, I have totally been there myself. Multiple times. Each time, when I come out the other side feeling better, I sometimes made blog posts about what happened and what I learned from the experience. Lol. Here are some of my thoughts on where you might find your mojo! πŸ˜‰ ….

    Does your novel contain enough of what you LOVE??? (Maybe your mojo didn’t feel the love? And/or hate… it works both ways!)(PS – the story I mention in this post is my current NaNo WIP! STILL going strong! πŸ˜‰ )
    http://jrfrontera.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/write-what-you-love-period/

    And unfortunately it’s totally true… if you want to be a career writer, it’s going to more often than not, feel like work….
    http://jrfrontera.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/pushing-through-the-romanticism-of-being-a-writer/

    Some random things you might check through to see if your mojo is possibly hiding in there somewhere…?
    http://jrfrontera.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/11-most-important-revelations-for-my-writing-life-and-sanity/

    Hope these help some, and if you want me to read over your novel or anything and perhaps give you an ego boost or kick in the pants or anything, just lemme know! I’ll have more time after November…. πŸ˜‰

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    • Wow, thanks for the support JRF!! That’s really superb. I shall peruse those articles at my leisure and file away the golden nuggets for moments of despair. I particularly like the post disputing the romanticism of being a writer – it certainly can feel a long way from the glamour of sitting at a Parisian street cafe casually penning one’s latest masterpiece πŸ˜€ Really do appreciate the comments and the empathy hugely. And if I do manage to complete Novel Number One any time soon, I may just take you up on your masochistic offer of reading it through.

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