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Is it normal to lose interest in your own writing?

Most writers lose interest in their writing at some point. This is actually a good sign that it's time to challenge your own process in a new way. It can be helpful to think of an author whose writing recently excited you. Read that author’s books, then find out what books that author is reading, and read those too. A new reading list can jump start your awareness of what’s possible in a story or poem. You might be inspired by new voices or even observe techniques you’ve never seen before.

If you're bored with a particular piece of your own writing, step away from it for a while. When you finally return, you’ll have fresh eyes that will likely recognize your old tendencies. You’ll see more clearly where things need to change.

You may find that your issue is simply that of repetition. There are certain words and phrases that we repeat without realizing it. I think every writer deals with this. There are words that seem unique and stand out to some people, but seem invisible and repeatable to others. It's sometimes useful to do a search for certain words you suspect yourself of using too often. Count how many times you use them, then try to find other ways of describing that certain something. It's an exercise every writer needs to do now and then. Even the greatest writers fall into habits as time goes on. We all have patterns, and our writing is a great place to recognize them.

Originally published with The Loft Literary Center.


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