Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unmotivated

I'm having a rough time, friends.

I'm totally, completely, utterly unmotivated.


This is what my day is looking like lately...

Work. Stare off into the distance during breaks.
Drive home. Take dog to dog park. Play Draw Something.
Eat dinner. Collapse on the couch.
Comment on blogs...maybe.
Scroll through Tumblr. Reblog with abandon.
Get in an argument with the husband about going to the gym.
(Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't)
Fall asleep thinking about the things I haven't done.

Yeah.

The more I repeat this cycle the more I get used to it. The more I get used to it, the more frustrated and BEHIND I feel. The more frustrated and behind I feel, the less motivation I have. And on and on.

How do you guys get motivated when you are in a mood like this? I have so many great books to read...they are just sitting on my shelves. I have picked up The Disenchantments and put it next to me or put it in my bag AT LEAST four different times now. I know I will love this book! Why won't I open it?

And my WIP...I love the premise so much. I've hit a little snag, so I know that's my problem there, but I'm usually so excited to brainstorm and figure it out and I'm just...not. I just stare at it.

And we won't even talk about how my pants STILL don't fit.

UGH you guys...this isn't even all of it. I could go on and on and on, but I'm already on my own nerves.

How do you shake yourselves out of these moods like this? How do you motivate yourself? I've posted about being in a reading funk before, but this is an everything funk. And I hate it.

Someone kick me in the pants, please.

41 comments:

  1. GIRL. me too. motivation is not normally an issue for me, but i'm like a shell of my former, productive self lately.

    this is/was my plan: make my CP force me to send a chapter. even if it is basically trash writing, i need to feel momentum.

    in the past, it's helped me to start small and manageable. like, read 1 chapter of this book or do 15 minutes of free weights at home. i'll probably be checking back here for other ideas! xo

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    1. I think small and manageable is a good place to start. I feel so productive when I meet even my smallest goals. Maybe I'll give that a try.

      I hope you shake out of your funk soon!

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  2. this has been my whole week too, so at least you know you're not alone. I have so many great books I need to/want to read (including Disenchantments!), so many ideas popping around in my brain... but all I can do is sink into the sofa and watch Law & Order reruns. *sigh*

    Usually in times like this, I use music to motivate me. Songs that inspire me, make me want to jump around and do something. Usually Florence + the Machine is involved.

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    1. Good idea. I really need to turn off the Bon Iver.

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  3. I firmly believe that sometimes you just NEED to do nothing. So, maybe you're feeling unmotivated because you've been doing so much and your body decided to take a break?

    When I'm in a funk, I have a really hard time getting out of it, so I have very little advice there. Generally, I just lean into the funk, let it happen, and it's surprisingly more relaxing that way. Once I've relaxed for a bit, things start coming back.

    Hope you find your way out of it soon :)

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    1. I think you're onto something there. I think my body and my mind are trying to force me to take a break for a little bit. Maybe I should listen. ;-)

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  4. When I am unmotivated, I find something that breathes a little life back into me, and slowly it comes around for all capacities. Good luck!

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  5. I am struggling with major revisions, big time. I'm so full of doubt about them that I just want to avoid! I'm getting through it by forcing myself to work on them for 1 hour every night. It doesn't matter how much I get done in the hour--1 page, 1 sentence, even (okay, it's not normally that puny)--I just have to sit and think and try to work for 60 minutes. Then I can go and be as lazy as I want. It's working for me.

    But like Crystal said above, sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and do nothing. Maybe give yourself permission to take a week or two to be wholly unproductive?

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    1. Hm...this might work. I think if I carve out a little time and make myself do something during that time I might do more than if I just sit here all night long and stare.

      Good luck with your revisions! You can do it!

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  6. I totally understand how you feel. I've been the same way the last few weeks and I'm finally getting out of it. It all started right after I finished a round of revisions on my WIP and sent it off to beta readers. I felt super burned out and literally spent a weekend doing nothing but watching Felicity episodes on Netflix. I've behind on my reading goals (I should be reading a book a week but I'm like 6 books behind) and it's taking me forever to get beta comments to one of my friends. Ugh. I'm starting to feel more productive so I'm sure you'll pick up again soon too!

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    1. Good to know you are shaking out of it! Hopefully I shake out soon, too. I hate being like this!

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  7. I've been there too, and I always tell myself if I could just get a handle on one aspect of my day, then everything else will fall into place. It never works like that. Sounds like you may be a little burned out--don't put too much pressure on yourself to DO ALL THE THINGS, and your motivation will come back on its own soon enough :)

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. I really do try to make myself DO ALL THE THINGS. I need to give myself a little break every now and then, huh?

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  8. Take a break. I'm doing the same thing right now. I'm not writing anything because I've been writing for almost 4 years straight and I am TIRED! Give yourself permission. Just do it. Your motivation will come back on its own. Or at least it does for me.

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    1. I sort of got a little twitchy when I read this. A BREAK?! WHAT'S THAT?

      (I think that's a sign I need a break, huh?)

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  9. Taking a break is a good one, but sometimes doing something completely new is good too. Last weekend my son was in a spring break is over funk and so we headed out to the batting cages. It was new for both of us and shook the funk right out of him. :)
    Hope you find your mojo!

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    1. Oooh, fun! That sounds like a really good idea! Maybe I'll find something fun to do to free my mind a little bit. :-)

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  10. Oh, Jessica! I know EXACTLY how you feel! I spent my entire month of March doing pretty much the same thing (with The Disenchantments too, btw). I would stare into space for sometimes 30 minutes, then kick myself for not getting anything done. I cried (a lot). And I wrote and revised nowhere near what I wanted to. About the only thing I seemed to get excited about was The Hunger Games. By the end of the month I was so frustrated with myself and my progress (or lack of) BUT I had to forgive myself. It helped to talk to other people about what I was struggling with. I reread sections of my WIP that I LOVE. I started blogging again. And I set aside to read The Disenchantments. It was truly the PERFECT book to help jump start the reading again.
    Here's what I think YOU should do. Take the rest of the month off. Allow yourself time to relax. I think as writers we are so go, go, go that we forget about that very important aspect of REST. And then come back in May. Just as A-Z was the perfect rejuvenator for me, maybe Blog Me MAYbe will do that for you. And I'll flood your inbox with lots of hugs. :)
    Hang in there. <3

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    1. Oh man, Alison...we are so in the same place! Maybe some of it is a teacher thing. It's that time of year, you know?

      I hope you are getting your groove back!

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  11. haha - *time* to read The Disenchantments. :)
    Also, I STILL have moments like my March days, but they're not as frequent. :)

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  12. I'm in an everything funk right now too. Just relax and give yourself a few days off.

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  13. I know exactly how you feel. I'm completely unmotivated too. I have SO MUCH I need to do, so many things I want to do, and I can't bring myself to do anything. Maybe you just need to relax and take a break. You always have so much going on (way more than I ever do!) and maybe you just need some time to do nothing. I've been dealing with some health issues this week so I've been forced to do nothing. Don't let it get to that point! As far as motivating myself... what I do is either do something I KNOW I'll love, or try something new. (I'm more likely to do the something I know I'll love.) For me, that usually involves eating junk food and watching Criminal Minds. Then, when I'm done being completely lazy, I can try to focus again and get something done.

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    1. I'm sorry you're dealing with health issues, dear. :-( I hope you are feeling better soon!

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  14. My SIL is a junior high teacher and she gets totally burned out at this point in the year. Summer is just on the horizon and it's basically the "home stretch" but she just. doesn't. care. She's done. I wonder if that's the same thing you're going through?

    Sounds like you need to take some time to reboot. The gym and your WIP will be there next week. But give yourself the weekend to do whatever your soul wants. Hang in there!

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    1. YES...there really is something about this time of year for students AND teachers. It's rough.

      Thanks for the encouragement! :-D

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  15. I have sooo been there. All I can say is that, this too shall pass. :)

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  16. Eek... I've been there, Jess, many times! And yeah, there's nothing much I can do about lack of motivation until it passes. Sucks, but you are SO not alone. And please read THE DISENCHANTMENTS as soon as you've got your spark back. It's fantastic!

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    1. I know, I know! I want to! I've had it since its release day...what is my problem?!

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  17. Aw, man. That feeling sucks. Honestly, I don't know how you do it after teaching all day. I didn't feel motivated to write until I'd been out of the workforce for 4 years.

    Sorry, Jess. :-(

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    1. :-( I'll shake out of it soon, I hope.

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  18. This place is not a fun place to be at, Jess but as many have said this will pass.
    I think, you do need to give yourself a pat on the back and a pass for relaxing.

    Look at everything you´ve achieved, look at what´s ahead (aka MFA) and realize that while you are indeed superwoman, even she sometimes needs to kick her shoes and just take it easy.

    Sometimes, it does help to write down small things that you want to achieve while still adding the things you do anyways (you do teach all day, you do take the dog out...) Another thing that helps (and is supposed to have a positive effect on something in the brain dixit my dear husband) is to write down 3 things every night which made you happy/grateful for at least a month.

    I am doing that right now actually and it does help to re-discover the little things which make me happy throughout the day because they´re just big to me.

    I know your writing/reading groove will be back but in the mean time, be gentle on yourself!

    Hug all the way from Germany!

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  19. You know, sometimes we just need a break. I mean, I've gotten into similar funks before, and I just had to cut myself some slack. I needed some time to just relax. And it passed all by itself. Not that I didn't get frustrated while waiting, but that's okay :) Anyhow, I hope you feel like getting back into things soon!

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  20. Now that it's time for me to study for exams, I can say that the picture in your post is the male version of me.

    Motivation is like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Impossible to find!

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  21. Ach, I hate those regressive spirals. They hit me near report card time or STAR test review time. You are probably just on overload. Take your laptop and go somewhere where you have nothing to do but sip a delicious coffee drink and write. BTW I'm Jedi Les on Draw Something if you want to get another game going. I'm totally addicted.

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  22. Jessica, I went to see Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman, who were in Dallas for a few days--Palmer did a "ninja gig." THAT amazing evening inspired me to write. Maybe it was Amanda's feminist, celebratory, don't give a f*ck about the haters, ukulele songs or if it was watching Neil make googly eyes to his love while she sang, and then read love poems to her. In her Ukulele Anthem, there's a line that goes something like "stop pretending art is hard, just limit yourself to three chords
    and do not practice daily." Changed. My. Whole. Perspective. She's got her ukulele, and we're got our Scrivener. Watch and be inspired! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CBDqQ3UxmM

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  23. Or you could take a look at this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/13-simple-steps-to-get-you-through-a-rough-day

    :)

    Hugs. Now don't feel bad! Inspiration comes in waves. You have to enjoy living the non-writing days, too.

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  24. I think this must be in the air, cause I've been in the exact same funk lately. Wasn't in the mood to do edits (seriously, hadn't touched my manuscript since December...that's how bad!), forget about exercising, didn't even turn on my computer when I got home, and who knows what else.

    But, this past weekend, I just decided - SCREW IT. I'm done sitting around and hoping inspiration will find me...

    So I set some small goals with great rewards, and dug in. Revisions? Yeah, I got more than HALF my manuscript done over the weekend! And today? I finally went to the gym and ran for 1 hour. And my rewards? I bought all 3 books in the Graceling series.

    Anyhow - I think you just need to not be so hard on yourself. Maybe tackle one thing and not everything on your list...that way you won't be disappointed if you don't get it all completed. Or - maybe you just need a much deserved break from it all? No one is going to judge you, Jessica (although we'd miss you! :)). In the end, you need to do what's right for you...

    In the meantime, big hugs to get you back up on your feet. And just think, Summer break is almost here (I'm so jealous!)!

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