My journey while lacking motivation for the last 6 months and how I found my way back to reading and writing.
Hello! Long time no see, I know. Life got busy but I am back today to have a talk with you all about motivation.
From May to early October, I struggled to find motivation to do the things I used to do so easily: read, creatively write, and eventually, blog. At first, I was like, “Okay, I just need a little break because I’ve burnt myself out.” This happens; burnout happens. However, little did I know, I needed 6 months to gain back my motivation!
That’s okay though. Even if it doesn’t feel okay in the moment (because it really didn’t), we all need breaks and sometimes, those breaks are longer than others.
My main anxiety during these 6 months of barely reading or writing for myself was that I was never going to read or write for fun again. That terrified me! The idea that these two activities I had spent the last 6-8 years doing religiously, and that had become a HUGE part of my identity, possibly losing interest to me made me panic. What would I do if I didn’t read or write? I still don’t have an answer to this question because I didn’t need to answer it (thankfully).
It’s not like I didn’t try to read over the last several months. It’s not like I didn’t try to write. I started about 3 or 4 books between May and October, and only finished one (Daisy Jones & the Six –which is one of my ALL-TIME favourite books so this barely counts! I can read this book in a day regardless of how busy or tired I am). One book in particular, I was 400 pages into and only had 50 or so before the end, but I just never had that initial interest in it. By page 400, I had NO idea what the plot was or who the characters were –and this wasn’t the author’s fault, it was mine. My attention and interest wasn’t there. I looked at these books I was trying to read and felt no desire to open them.
The same goes for writing. I attempted Camp NaNoWriMo in July and got around 5,000 words down that month. To put it lightly, shit hit the fan that month and even if I was in the mood to write, I wouldn’t have gotten anymore done than I did. I can’t even tell you what I wrote that month because I was so disconnected from my passion to write.
However, this month, something flipped inside of me. Suddenly, I am reading 3 books and enjoying all of them (Fifth Sun by Camilla Townsend, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare)! I think I spend more time reading than I have in the last 2 years. Suddenly, I am furiously outlining a new version of my Aztec mythology-inspired story for NaNoWriMo (mostly thanks to the Surrey International Writers Conference that happened this past weekend that turned my small spark to return to writing into a forest fire!). Also, now I am writing this blog post.
Basically, my point for this post is to reassure you that just because you are not reading or writing right now, and haven’t for the last month or two months or more, doesn’t mean you will never return to them again. Even if you don’t, that’s okay.
Reading and writing are such monumental aspects of my life that it made me sad and anxious thinking about never returning to them again because for me, they bring comfort and clarity to me. They always have and without them, I felt blind. Over quarantine, my anxiety definitely skyrocketed and it still isn’t great, however, ever since I found my way back to reading and writing, it has been so much more manageable.
I didn’t rush myself back into reading and writing. I only got 5 or so pages in each session, but I never pushed past that. And sure, I was disheartened that I didn’t want to continue, but that’s because I didn’t realize how badly my body and mind needed a break! So, here is your reminder to embrace that break. Work on other hobbies, discover other hobbies, spend more time with friends and family, or whatever else interests you. Reading and writing will wait for you; they will still be there when you’re ready to come back.
Now, I wanted to talk about something very, very new in my life that has helped me stay motivated and productive. This sounds sponsery, but I swear it isn’t! In one of the webinars from the Surrey International Writers Conference, the host talked about tools that help her stay productive and she mentioned Habitica. I swear everyone has heard about this but me. If you haven’t though, I highly encourage you to check it out! It allows you to keep a list of habits you want to keep, daily reminders you want to achieve, and a to-do list for that day, all laid out on one page in front of you. When you check each task off, you get coins and items. Basically, it is a game, but this game inspires me to check off all my tasks because I want that new pet or potion!
(Sorry for that random tangent but seriously, check it out if you haven’t!)
I hope this post was as enlightening and helpful for you as it was for me experiencing it and then writing about it. I also wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for continuing to read and spread love on my blog posts even though I haven’t posted in over a month. It makes me smile to see comments and likes still coming in –it truly makes my day!
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂
Last Blog Post: My Favourite books of 2020…So Far