Lack of Inspiration
What is it about having to sit down and write something that makes all inspiration evaporate like jelly on the sun?
I thought writing would be an easy thing to write about when I made my list of daily subjects last week. I wanted something easy for Mondays…
It’s not been the best day for inspiration, but I still managed to plug away and churn out a diagram and 350 words. Eventually. Once I had the diagram, I could write about that. It doesn’t feel like my best work, but it’s only first draft, so there is time for adding a fine polish.
I sometimes worry that there are some things that just don’t polish up well though. Bread. Pillows. Geraniums. Unsalvageably dull prose…
I think it might be because I’m too close to it. I’m writing up results I’m very familiar with, so it feels as if I am just pointing out the obvious. But I have to bear in mind that I’ve been working with this stuff for 3 years now, and nobody else has, so what feels stale and obvious to me might not to others.
I hope not anyway.
Otherwise I’m up a certain rather smelly creek with evaporating paddles and a hole in the canoe…
My favourite working days are the ones when focus comes easily, inspiration flows, well structured prose bursts from my fingertips and fills the screen with observations of pure genius. A thousand words before breakfast sort of days.
More common are the days when I take an hour to warm up by freewriting in my Thesis Thoughts file about how uninspired I am, how I don’t feel like writing about any of the things I ought to be writing about, how I have to write or I won’t meet my deadline so I can’t skive.
Then, having done an hour of writing I need to do something else. Have a wee, get breakfast, check my blog stats…
Then I drag myself back to it and try to warm up again. Play a game of minesweeper. Open the thesis file. Stare bleakly at what I wrote yesterday or the day before, or a month ago, hoping that somehow that will make me want to write something. Play more minesweeper. Freewrite about how rubbish I am today.
If all else fails I have to bring on the cavalry, otherwise known as Making A List.
Lists are very useful.
I might list my options and work through the pros and cons, so I can rule out the ones I can face least and whatever’s left I have to get on with. Then I break it down and list each sub-task required to complete it. Hopefully one of those will give in, wave feebly at me and let me know I might stand a chance at completing it.
Or at least starting it.
Starting is good.
Often once I’ve managed to start it is not so hard to carry on.
If not, I might just give up and try again later, or skive and hope that refreshes me for the next day.
What do you do if you’re not inspired? Any tips?