Sarah Dessen, who wrote my favorite book This Lullaby and many other wonderful YA novels, has been quoted as saying her favorite book is the one she hasn't written yet. Why? Because she hasn't had to do any of the hard work yet. She hasn't stalled out yet or found flaws with her plot. She still has that spark.
Losing motivation is common. It happens to us in all areas of life, doesn't it? Here are a couple thoughts on it:
1. I've said this before, but that old adage about health and exercise, "a body in motion stays in motion" applies to writing as well. A writer in motion stays in motion. My husband loves exercising, but there are still days that it's difficult for him to feel like exercising. You know what he does? He does it anyway. As artists we tend to lapse into, "oh, my muse just isn't around today," but that's not the attitude to have if you want writing to be more than a hobby. You make yourself write regardless. Sometimes when I do this, I write some real crap. But most of the time, I get into a rhythm, fall back in love with my characters, and work myself out of the funk.
2. But sometimes we lack motivation because we're drained. Tired in our soul. We've got nothing left to put on the page. Be nice to your inner-artist. It needs replenishing same as your body needs sleep. Spend some time reading your favorite book. Watch wonderful movies. Enjoy life for a while. Observe. Give yourself a couple weeks vacation, and then I bet you'll find yourself eager to get back to the pages.
3. Utilize the buddy system. I know this can be hard, because writing isn't like soccer. You can't just go join the team at school, you know? In high school, you know how many girls I knew who were trying to get a novel published? None. I had no writer friends, and no hope of finding writer friends. But with beautiful sites like Facebook and, ahem, Go Teen Writers, you have the chance to connect with other people your age who are also serious about their writing. I have a couple of writer friends I'm close to, and I can't tell you what a difference it's made for my writing that I can send them an e-mail saying things like, "This sentence isn't working, can you tell me why?" Find yourself some writer buddies.
Or if you can't do that, find somebody in your life who you can talk to your writing about. Who's interested in hearing your stories, and even reading them. A good friend of mine in high school, Janette, was wonderful about reading my stuff and offered me wonderful feedback. Her aspirations in life were different than mine, but she was still interested in my desire to be a novelist and didn't mind helping me out.
Anybody else have tips to share?