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Yellowdog's avatar

How can you rekindle passion you once had for a something you once really enjoyed and/or were really good at?

Asked by Yellowdog (5980points) 3 weeks ago

I still am a pretty good writer. But I once wrote prose and mood/color pieces that were dripping with atmosphere and imagination, without sounding pretentious. My teachers in college lauded my writing, and I am always impressed when I find things I wrote even in my late teens.

I also have some excellent early-in-life artwork, house plans, plans for a retreat center, and other projects which I never completed, my main reason was they often had no real life application so many of these projects went unfulfilled because of more pressing matters that had to be done.

I also once was a good Dulcimer player and played in talent shows and with local groups at small town events and folk music events. And I wrote dissertations in college en lieu of class requirements. I wrote detailed sermons and studied and led Bible studies which were in-depth and interesting and full of explanations in Questions and answers. Where did it all go?

I would like to rekindle some of these earlier, unfulfilled disciplines because they were challenging and creative and stimulating. But in more recent years I feel mostly jaded and like all these creative projects and activities are behind me.

I sense Fluther to be comprised of many individuals who deal with reality and have to put aside creative endeavors due to schedules and work, or have to overcome writer’s block.

So, how do you do it?

How do you keep creative energy and activity alive, or rekindle what you were good at in the past? How do you avoid the ‘been there done that’ attitude that its not worth picking up again?

Who knows? What once seemed it had no practical application, maybe someday might apply to something, and something is made out of it.

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10 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

For writing, start with a prompt. This is a dumb example (I’m sure you can find better ones on the web):

“Sarah’s pulse raced as she desperately tried to evade her pursuers…” let your imagination fill in the blanks.

Zissou's avatar

If internal motivation is insufficient, then you must find external motivation or give it up.

Money and social connection can be effective external motivators. I enjoy playing my mandolin for its own sake, but I also have the external motivators of occasionally making money from playing (not often enough to turn it into a grind) and I also enjoy socializing with people at jam sessions and open mic events. I was also in a music ensemble at church for a few years, which was both a social and a devotional activity.

Getting paid can be motivating, but paradoxically perhaps, paying for it can also be motivating. I have piles of art supplies that I rarely use, but when I pay for an art class, which I do from time to time, I try to show up for every session and get my money’s worth.

As for writing—you’re writing here, aren’t you? Get off social media and use that energy to write something for publication.

kritiper's avatar

I have always liked hamburgers. I don’t think I could ever not like them. I suppose that if I had a falling out, I could rediscover them by finding a new place, like when I first discovered Burger King.
So I guess that is my answer: Find a new place to rediscover that thing you love.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Find low quality examples of the things you like to do.
After a few times telling yourself I could do better than that, you get revved to prove it.

JLeslie's avatar

Where I live this is exactly what so many people do here. It’s an active adult community, which basically means most people here are retired, and many of them get to do the things they loved when they were younger, or learn something new. How they did it was they stayed healthy enough to live long enough to get to retirement, and saved enough, or have pensions, so they could stop working and live here. Or, they work and live here. There is probably no other place in the US like where I live for the plethora of classes and groups here. Some people pick up old hobbies, some learn new ones here.

We have a cheerleader squad, theater groups, drum corp, softball teams, many bands and an orchestra, many art classes, pottery, a few different writing groups, we even have a Memphis/Shelby County group (I kid you not) and much more.

A friend of mine started going to one of the writing groups when she moved here. At hers you send a writing piece to the members ahead of the meeting, and then you also read it aloud I think at the meeting. The people participating critique it. She decided to write a book, she would submit the chapters to get critiqued by the participants in the group. She just published her book. Some writing groups you write in class.

For me, I’ve been looking for a folk dancing class for years. I did it as a child in the summers with my grandmother. Finally, here where I live they have a class.

Almost every group or class here is free, so that makes it easier to participate. You start to make friends with other people who go to the class. People come when they can, and if you miss a class it’s fine, there is no obligation to show up, unless you are the instructor.

My suggestion is try to look for a group that does the things you’re interested in. In Memphis we joined the Porsche club, and it changed my husband’s life. He made great friends and started racing. He had wanted to race since childhood.

Or, you can start your own group. Leading a group you are interested in could make you feel some purpose, but it’s an obligation then too.

If you turn your hobby into something that you can make money doing, then that can sometimes help rekindle the interest. People buying your creative projects is a lot of positive reinforcement.

flutherother's avatar

As far as the writing goes I would start by reading; Lovecraft, Dunsany, Machen, Clark Ashton Smith perhaps or Jack Vance. I find that reading authors I like gives me the stimulation I need to write -though to be honest I rarely write anything these days apart from a daily diary.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, one thing you and I have in common, @flutherother, is a penchant for the ‘weird fiction’ genre. The strong psychological writing and subtle but powerful horror and the overall atmosphere—very inspirational. As good as exploring weird places like abandoned mental hospitals and places that seem a little off, but atmospheric.

I like Tolkien as well though he is not in the eldritch, weird category. I definitely need to do some reading again of the writers you named, That would get me there.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Is there a cause that you would like to write about?
Is there something that you want to say before you pass on in life?
Write journals daily of how you feel, whats going on in the present in your life and what you regret or not regret doing,the people who you want to remember, forget, or thank?
The key to writing is to write everyday on anything that interests you..then when a topic intrigues you enough to write lengthily pieces will give you the clue as to where to direct most of your writing on.
A good writer is one who reads a lot of various genres in writing to open up a possible area to focus on.
Even go out of your comfort zone to read things that you never had read about and by different authors.

Yellowdog's avatar

I write mostly in journals and in ever-expanding computer files—some over 800 pages, mostly compiling notes but never really getting a story written.
I once wrote a lot of my ideas to a girl I dated in high school (we were still close friends, 800 miles removed))—writing six hours overnight in the form of emails and attachments most of the summer of 2013—so I’ve compiled a lot. My living arrangements do not permit this now, regrettably—but that has to change

Inspired_2write's avatar

@Yellowdog
I suggest now to scan ALL of your writing and keep a digital file of them.
Transfer drafts to USB flash drives and keep in a secure place as if you move etc you can recover all your past work projects and later when you view them again you may come up with an idea to place into a story ( of your life?) perhaps?
Sorry just reread your post..that you already have computer files..now to transfer to flash drives for a back up in case your computer crashes and you lose all the work that you had done in the past. Preserve them in different ways as a backup.One day you will need them.

I have: computer files
I have several Flash drive copies.
I have printed copies of drafts ( 50,000 words /novel) to place in storage as well.Plus several others in progress.
Some people get an external computer tower to transfer to..but I did not do this as in an emergency I would not be able to take with me anyways.

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