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Old 12-09-2012, 07:10 AM
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Default Lacking conviction and/or motivation?

I seem to have a common issue. I start something, anything, and about halfway through it I start something else. The first "something" gets neglected so much that eventually I completely forget about it. Then halfway through the new something I try to start another thing.

The pattern repeats in a never ending loop of me feeling bogged down when I look around my computer and see about 50 half completed things staring at me asking "Why did you abandon us master? Do we not please you?"

The truth is, more or less, that I just got bored with my own ideas long enough to have something else jump into my noggin, and by the time I try to return to an old thing I either don't remember what I had planned for it OR it's now more of a chore than a fun thing to do.

Case in point: All during middle school and high school I was writing a sci-fi novel series. I loved it, friends loved it, everyone I showed it to really liked it. But once I entered college I stopped writing so I could work on a dictionary for one of the alien races. Halfway through that I started typing my series on the computer, fixing mistakes and adding spots for character depth. I decided to work on a tabletop RPG for this series too, which only made my friends even happier. When I left college back in May, I stopped writing and working on the rpg all together. Everyone seemed rather upset, but I was too bored to care.

The most annoying part of this, is that there's no idea to toss the blame on this time. My mind used to race with the speed of an Olympian champion, birthing new ideas every day. I have a whole notebook filled with stories and ideas.

This time though, everything just stopped. The gears inside seem to have rusted up.

Does anyone else have a similar problem or any advice? I'm sick of hearing all my incomplete projects whining.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Lacking conviction and/or motivation?

It's all about finding your personal drive. If you're giving yourself too much of a task to finish, maybe start with something a little more realistic. I started making music a couple years ago, and the only reason I still do it to this day is because I want to more than anything else. Instead of jumping in with the idea of making an album right off the bat, I've taken a slow but steady path to get where I am now. My advice, take small steps, unless you're absolutely prepared to dedicate your life towards making the big leap.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Lacking conviction and/or motivation?

ha ha look at my songbook. It is filled with chorus of different songs that I never finished writing. Some songs have full lyrics and no chords, others have chords but no lyrics. Heck, even when I learn a song I eventually get bored and don't finish learning it. Motivation is key. You don't have that initial excitement forever.

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Lacking conviction and/or motivation?

Sounds like burnout. I used to write novels myself until the sheer difficulty of ever becoming published and thus being able to share your work with people and have it reach beyond friends and family single-handedly killed my passion, even though it's obvious Hollywood could certainly use good and original plotlines right about now.

To me, it sounds like you need a clean plate and a fresh start. That sci-fi novel series probably got too big, complex, and too deep to manage, and after a while, you just couldn't take it anymore and you were getting worn down from it. Usually a lack of motivation is a sign that it's time to move on, and the spark of creativity and passion that used to drive the urge to keep it going burnt out and it was a sign to start over with something new.

Writer's Block is the #1 murderer of stories and projects, but it's mainly because it occurs when the writer has already accomplished all the things they really wanted to do with the story and the rest is just ho-hum stuff that they feel they're obligated to do to finish what they've started and give the project closure. This is also why I don't plan ahead very much. It's okay to have a faint game-plan for the future of the story, but don't outline creativity. I have tried outlines before and holy cow, I almost always go against them and throw them out anyway. To be creative, you just need to be dynamic and let things go in different, unexpected directions. A journey is simply a boring commute if you already know the way, but when you head into the unknown where anything is possible and surprises lurk around every corner, that's where it becomes a real memorable adventure.

So yeah, I think you just need to appreciate that sci-fi series for what it was, remember it in your heart, remember all the good times you had with it, and move on to give yourself a break, let the slate be clean for a little while, and then dream up something new and intriguing.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Lacking conviction and/or motivation?

You could be getting sub-consciously bored by doing that for long periods of time. Try taking a break every once in a while. Instead of starting new things, go play video games or something to take your mind off of it for a bit, then you'll want to start doing the old thing again. I'm very prone to start and stop things in the midst, but I'm not so bad as to do it now, for some odd reason I've not quite figured out. I guess I get bored with it and something new comes along. *shrug*
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