After starring at the same words for months, maybe years it is easy to feel lost in your project. The passion is just gone. Maybe there are other plot bunnies floating by your head, tempting you with their ideas and characters and they look so appealing.
I turned to advise on how to keep passion in romantic relationships and tried applying it to the relationship between writer / WIP. You two started out this relationship great- it was an instant connection. The words were flowing and you were having an amazing time exploring this new concept. Then something happens. The dreaded middle, writer’s block, maybe things just aren’t going the way you planned. Maybe you’ve edited the thing so many times you are sick of it!
Fear not. Everyone has these moments of doubt. It isn’t anything new and it will pass. That is the most important part, so let’s repeat it. It will pass. But if you need an extra boost to rekindle that passion and love you once had for this special project, below are a few good places to start.
Next, it is important to remember what drew you to each other in the first place.
Reread some of your favorite scenes or skip ahead and write those scenes that you feel passionate about. These were the things you loved about the project so revisit them. Remind yourself why that connection was there.
Have a scheduled date night.
A lot of advice recommends that you step away from your project. And I agree with this. You can’t stare at it forever, but you also shouldn’t leave it in the dust for a shiny new project. I’ve taken a break from projects only to return in a month or two (or six) with no clue where I left off. Make sure you schedule a date with your big project. Come back to it once a week and reread those old words. You’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes and keep your finger on the pulse of the project.
Do something fun together.
Partake in fun #thursdayaesthetics, make graphics, make a playlist, or enter contests with this project. Just do something kind of fun. It isn’t writing, but sometimes just typing out words is part of the problem. You’re focused on finishing the project, and not enjoying the characters or the words you’re putting down. Taking the time to have fun is just as important as the actual writing part. Don’t forget that.
Try something new!
Maybe you know exactly the next scenes of the story and that is why things seem to be getting a little… boring. This is the perfect time to spice up your story with something unexpected. Something you, as the author, wasn’t even tracking. Look up prompts and incorporate them into your story to spice things up. Another option is to try a new approach to the story. Write a short story about a character or aspect of the world, try a different POV. Approach it from a different angle to get you out of your headspace but still keep you engrossed in the world you’ve built.
Make sure you have your cheerleaders.
Relationships are ten times harder when you don’t have the support of your friends and family. Having someone besides your significant other (or in this case your beloved WIP) to talk to is essential in order not to go insane! I can’t stress enough how important writing friends are. They keep you motivated, help you solve those problems that bog down your writing, but most importantly they bring passion. Sometimes passion is contagious. If I feel stuck in my writing sometimes all I need to do it hear how well my writing friends are doing and I’m ready to get back into it. Most of the time I just need encouragement that my story needs to get out in the world and that is enough.
Does Mental Health play a factor in Passion? You betcha!
Depression, Anxiety, and overall mental health play a huge factor in your work. In my opinion, these things are the biggest passion killers. After all the time spent fixing your writing, it is easy to believe that the WIP is bad. Stop it. The idea of the naturally perfect novel is toxic. It never goes away. Just the other day I needed my husband to talk me off the ledge regarding my own writing. Those thoughts kill your creativity and your passion. Return to step one, remind yourself why you love this project and read some of your favorite scenes if that is what it takes to remind yourself that your story doesn’t suck.
Ultimately, I encourage you all to stick with your passion projects. You’ve put so many hours into plotting, writing, and editing. Don’t let frustration get to you. The best things in life don’t come easy and the same is true for writing. Stick with your gut. Your passion project is important!