November 24, 2008

Finding Motivation to Write Again

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:53 pm by Katelyn

I want to write a post about my lack of motivation for writing these past few months.  As you can see, a post on Save the Lobsters is a rarity these days.  For the past week or so I have been trying to pin point the reasons so that I can work on changing it, and I have come up with 2 explanations so far…explanations mind you, not excuses.

1.)  I’m sure I am not the only one who has days where you leave the office at 5 and can’t put your finger on exactly what you did all day.  I sat at a computer, in a cubicle, in an office, and that’s about all I know.  I find days like these (especially when they are not isolated incidents) even more draining than days where I’ve been busy or felt that I made a contribution to something.   By the time I’m home at 5:30, if nothing is planned, I make an easy dinner, do a little picking up around the apartment, and then my motivation is completely gone.  I turn on the tv and knit or do a little reading for a few hours and then I’m ready for bed – dreading the routine that I’ll start all over again the next day.  How do I find motivation and stimulation in the evenings to drive me to write?

Questions: What do you do when you get home from work that gives you the motivation to accomplish something like writing a blog post?  Do you set aside certain nights of the week where you promise yourself you’ll write?  Is there a routine that you do to stimulate your mind after 8+ hours of an idle brain?  I’m willing to try suggestions to pull my mind out of this post-5 funk.

2.)  The second explanation I have come up with is in terms of content.  With a pretty routine schedule both at work and personally, I often feel that my stories or insight are simply not interesting enough for anyone to want to read.  I’ll think of a vague topic idea during the day, but by the time I am home and pulling out the laptop I have talked myself out of the idea and I end up not posting at all!

Questions:  Do you ever have these thoughts that your ideas are too mundane or routine to blog about?  If so, what pushes you to post anyway?  How do you spin your routines so that others are interested to read?  Or is it simply by being different from their routines that makes blogging compelling?

I’m treating this like a mini-therapy session.  Your thoughts, suggestions, and stories are more than welcome!



  1. matt said,

    I think there is a fine line to be walked between self indulgence and honest insight (dance like no-one’s watching kind of thing). You’ve got it about right though. There is beauty in humility and the hopelessness of the human condition…oh to be a lobster! Life is just so much easier (I’d imagine) as a crustation.

  2. Nate said,

    Hi Katelyn,

    Regarding the motivation to write, I think that probably comes in part from understanding your goals in writing; what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s easier to commit to the daily accomplishment of your short-term goals (writing a blog post, etc.) when you know why you’re bothering in the first place. I also spend my workday in a cube (in my city in the midwest), so I can completely understand what you’re saying about trying to find the motivation when the day is done. One suggestion: I don’t know if you walk or run or bike or whatever, but I’ve found that if you can begin the after-work hours with a session of exercise it’s amazing how your mind can be cleared and energized. There’s one more it to schedule, but if you can do it you’d be surprised how helpful it will be. It seems to provide a definite break in the day, and maybe that’s what you need to start that “second half”.

    As to your questions about the value of the content you’re producing, I really don’t see that as a problem for you. I’m not fresh out of college, but rather I’ve been in the working world for 20 years (How did THAT happen?). Even so, I found your blog and read through a number of your entries and found that I could relate to your concerns. The issues you face are more universal than you know, and most people don’t just want to hear about issues, they want to hear a real person’s thoughts on those issues. As you continue to write you’ll continue to find your voice, and probably your audience as well. It seems to me that confidence in your work is largely a matter of pushing ahead even on those days when you don’t think what you’re doing makes a bit of difference. In the end, to someone, it does.

    Lastly, I’d say that reading your blog makes me wish that I’d been more self-aware when I was fresh out of school. I’ve been very pleased with the way life has turned out, but I too have always thought I should be doing more. Maybe that’s a universal truth. I think you and your partner in blogging have provided some terrific words for the rest of us to consider, and you should keep that in mind when you’re struggling for the inspiration to write. The nature of blogging is that someone is inevitably reading your work, and, unbeknownst to you, your work is affecting and shaping that someone as well. I hope that you and Lindsay continue to write, because it’s good, and it matters.


  3. My biggest suggestion is to set up a way to write down those post ideas as soon as you have them. Whether it’s good old pen and paper, an iPhone note, or emailing your personal email address. Just pick a method and put your thoughts down on paper so that you can remember them and not lose track of the fleeting inspiration because you have to stay in the cubicle until after 5. 🙂

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