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Lost My Creative "other Half" And My Motivation, Too


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I've been in a creative rut lately despite my best efforts. I lost a large part of my inspiration recently, but know that if I stop I'l regret it.

I started writing when I was in early elementary school and was successful enough for my teachers to openly praise me to my parents. My mother told me when I was older that I was reading and writing at a college level in 5th grade, which I suppose may have been the upside to terrible math skills early on. I'm not sure about the writing part, but I can believe the reading because I started early and read voraciously. My father's old encyclopedias were some of my favorites and I could go through 2-4 Goosebumps books a week. I'd read my brother's fantasy novels like Shannara and The Hobbit. Not even video game guides were safe.

During high school I fell into a slump and slowly stopped writing entirely. I guess it was a combination of not knowing why I was doing it beyond surface reasons and not knowing how to express my ideas. When I was a child there had been a hundred reasons, and suddenly there were none.

A couple years ago I began talking to a poster on a different forum I frequent. While we were very different people personality-wise we had a lot of creative interests in common and were both aspiring writers (as a lifelong artist and freelance programmer I always thought he was the more creative one). We began sharing our work when he wanted feedback before entering a short story in a contest, and his reaction to an unfinished draft of mine inspired me to begin writing again. At first I wrote because he was my friend, because he was in pain after having a similarly abusive childhood, and because it gave him something to look forward to, but eventually it became a personal journey of discovery that reignited my drive to create.

We spent hours discussing the subject of writing as well as the relationships human beings have with fiction and writing, which is something I've never met someone interested in before. I have a whole shelf full of special books with author's notes on the subject that were the first exposure I ever had to someone with my feelings. There were periods before discovering those notes where I thought I was immature, overimaginative, or mentally ill for feeling the way I did. We spent entire evenings brainstorming together. We came up with new ideas, thought-provoking questions, and creative breakthroughs. He offered to illustrate one of my projects free of charge and I started thinking about the possibility of working as a team if we ever wanted to publish instead of share online in the spirit of the free online stories we enjoyed as children.

Then it stopped. Just stopped.

When he first slipped off the radar and stopped logging into Skype, appearing on forums, or signing onto other accounts for almost two months, I feared the worst because of his occasional mention of suicide. We were regularly in contact and thinking of each other offline, though there was (confirmed untrue) nothing romantic going on. While searching for emergency contact information or anything to give me a sign of what may have happened I found that he was coming online, just not anywhere we'd see each other. I sent a message expressing my concern as well as my fear that something may have happened to him and was ignored.

It's been three months now. I can't believe that I don't even get an acknowledgement. I don't get to know if I'm being punished or if I'm simply expendable.

I want to keep writing because the reasoning behind it is good. I recognize what a therapeutic and special medium fiction can be when it comes to things like loneliness, mental health, and neglect or abuse, and want to write for children, young adults, and adults with a strong inner child. I believe it's possible to make a difference this way, or at least I did when I was seeing that difference almost every day in my friend. I just can't seem to get moving and stop second-guessing myself.

Edited by Licorice
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Wow Licorice, really sorry this happened to you! Something like that happened to me before and I couldn't understand it for so long. And sadly I cannot explain why it happened to you either. Its really rough. Please don't blame yourself though. People are so complicated and unpredictable. In my case, the friend I lost . . . well . . . it turned out I lost him over something really minor. Minor to my way of thinking but major to his way of thinking because of some event from his childhood unpringing. I can't really bear going into the details but I know stuff like like this can happen now.

The brain is so complex. It reminds me a little bit of when my computer crashed and I found out it was something so miniscule that brought it down. I wish I knew how to console you for your loss. I hope you recover soon and get the joy of life and the joy of writing back. I also find writing fiction therapeutic. I send you my best wishes for all good things!

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Never give up on something you're that passionate about because of another person. Don't let his insensitivity leave you with doubts... especially when you know it had nothing to do with your writing or your aspirations. He encouraged you at one point, didn't he? Inspired you? Hang onto that. He meant it then. And I'm sure he still does... whatever is preventing him from communicating with you is probably another matter entirely. It just sounds as though the romantic wires were unintentionally crossed. I'm sorry. I know how rough that must be. But as someone who also has an interest in creative writing (and the use of language in general)... you really moved me. Your belief in the possibilities of the art of fiction is worth hanging onto.

Edited by ASLycoris
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I have a friend who has a simple mantra which I believe applies- "keep going, don't stop"...

I'm jealous of your creative talent and ability to motivate yourself. I have pretty good writing skills but have never been able to motivate myself to develop a habit of writing- I have a dear friend who is a published authoress who lives in South Africa- she told me that true writers have a compulsion, like an addiction- they must write regularly.....they must....unfortunately I don't have that....if you do....keep feeding it!

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Wow Licorice, really sorry this happened to you! Something like that happened to me before and I couldn't understand it for so long. And sadly I cannot explain why it happened to you either. Its really rough. Please don't blame yourself though. People are so complicated and unpredictable. In my case, the friend I lost . . . well . . . it turned out I lost him over something really minor. Minor to my way of thinking but major to his way of thinking because of some event from his childhood unpringing. I can't really bear going into the details but I know stuff like like this can happen now.

The brain is so complex. It reminds me a little bit of when my computer crashed and I found out it was something so miniscule that brought it down. I wish I knew how to console you for your loss. I hope you recover soon and get the joy of life and the joy of writing back. I also find writing fiction therapeutic. I send you my best wishes for all good things!

I have to wonder sometimes what's the point of maintaining close friendships when they can vanish in an instant. Doesn't anyone talk out their problems anymore?

I have a friend who has a simple mantra which I believe applies- "keep going, don't stop"...

I'm jealous of your creative talent and ability to motivate yourself. I have pretty good writing skills but have never been able to motivate myself to develop a habit of writing- I have a dear friend who is a published authoress who lives in South Africa- she told me that true writers have a compulsion, like an addiction- they must write regularly.....they must....unfortunately I don't have that....if you do....keep feeding it!

Stephen King has talked about the writing compulsion on occasion, which I relate to but not as much as the visual way in which he writes. We both see and sense things and then try to put it into words, and uncover stories rather than plot them out in detail.

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