Have You Lost Your Desire To Write?

I’ve witnessed many people saying that they seem to have lost their writing mojo since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Likewise, it happened to me. 

I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t feel in the mood to write any forms of specific creativity. 

I couldn’t even bring myself to look at any of the drafts I had for new short stories, or even the two books I have in my computer’s archives. 

My desire to delve into them had taken a vacation which had no end date.

I had no idea why it was happening. Then I put something to the test. 

Like many, I’d found myself reading blog posts that had a ‘doom and gloom’ theme to them. 

The majority of those post, of course, were COVID-19 related. 

However, since cutting down on the number of COVID-19 blogs posts I read, my writing mojo seems to occasionally show signs of returning.

I can sometimes see it waving at me before disappearing again. I was never any good at ‘hide & seek.’ I was always the first one to be found and could never find anybody.

Image by sinepax from Pixabay

When my writing mojo does appear, I do all I can to grab it by the horns and get writing. 

Writing something – anything – makes me feel good. In fact, it makes my day!

This led me to seeking out more and more blog posts that contain positivity, laughter, humour and good news. Yes, despite what’s going on in today’s world, those happy blog posts are still out there.

Of course, not all COVID-19 related blog posts are full of doom and gloom. Some contain humour, so I haven’t cut myself entirely off from what’s going on in the world. I’ve even written a few myself, but so have many others. 

Take, for example, Willow, at Willowdot21, who published a blog post that included a video of a new version of a song I know many will know and love. Click here to view Willow’s post.

Yes, there is a COVID-19 connection in her post, but the video has made many readers smile and laugh. Thank you Willow, for giving me and many visitors to your blog a lift, and making our day with the video you shared. 

Then there are simple blog posts like the one from Elizabeth, at Tea & Pepper, which features a photo of something that brings joy to her moments of solitude. Her blog post made me smile and confirm to myself that everything will be OK. Click here to view Elizabeth’s post.

Social Media joins in with the humour

We mustn’t forget social media. It’s also playing its part in taking a bad situation and turning it into something that will make some of us smile.

Is now the perfect time to write?

You’d think that this moment in time would be perfect for writers and authors to get on with writing and editing their works-in-progress, especially given that many of us find ourselves at home. Yet, many have no urge to delve in and bring those pieces of fiction and creativity to life.

In a recent comment, I left on the blog of Cher Garman (The Chicago Files), I compared my current life to that of starting a new chapter in a book; a chapter in which I didn’t want to feature. Here’s what I said –

I look at the current situation we’re in as a chapter in a book, Cher. I’ll get to the end of that chapter soon, and a new one will begin. And, best of all, these chapters are a pathway to a happy ending.

The comment got me thinking, and I started to wonder if what is happening in the world today is only happening to me? 

  • Am I witnessing something that is a warning to only me? 
  • Are all of you out there just figures of my imagination?
  • Am I just a figure of your imagination? 
  • Are you watching a sci-fi movie of which I am the leading role?
#DoctorWho #television #scifi
  • Did I wake up one morning not realising that I had crossed over into a parallel universe?
  • Have we been put to sleep, and what is happening is a dream/nightmare we’re all experiencing at the same time?
  • Have I become the victim of one of my short stories because of all the scares they’ve given readers?

My creative desire to write may have hit a dead-end, but it seems my imagination is still in overdrive.

Thankfully, for me, it was only certain forms of writing I found myself struggling with. 

I’ve managed to continue to write and publish the weekly episodes featuring newlyweds Doug, Sophie and their friend Mike. And I’ve had no problems with posting my Wordless Wednesday featured photos.

A few weeks ago, I also started a new feature, The Entertainment Files, but all of these required only small amounts of writing. But, little steps lead to big success, don’t they?

After reading a blog post from Esther Chilton, I got those little steps moving and joined in with her request to write a limerick. What great fun that was, especially reading the limericks from other participants.

There was a young actress called Sheila

Who drove her friends mad with her new feature

A strange ring through her nose

As big as her big toes

Made her look like an outa space creature.

Hugh W. Roberts – 2020

Laughter is a medicine we all need at the moment.

Something else that also happened was that by way of a comment, I heard from another blogger who told me how they were trying to spread some positivity.

What a great idea in helping some individual bloggers move away from blogging about COVID-19 by challenging them to write something positive instead.

I may decide to challenge some of you, so watch out for some pingback notifications from me.

Do you still want blogging tips from me?

I’ve wondered if during these uncertain times if anybody wants to continue to read blogging and social media tips. Given I’ve had little appetite for reading any, is this something people still want to read on my blog?

Please let me know by leaving me a comment.

  • Are any of you finding that there has been a decline in engagement on your blogs since the COVID-19 pandemic began? 
  • Have the number of comments you usually get decreased in number or have the comments become shorter? 
  • Have you noticed a change in the writing styles and subjects from bloggers who typically write and publish about specific genres? 
  • Are you carrying on as usual and writing and publishing the same stuff you always do? 
  • Have you noticed other bloggers doing the same?  

It’s a strange world out there, but as I look out of the window, nature doesn’t seem to have stopped. There may be a lack of people, traffic and life outside, but everything else looks the same.  

Some believe that COVID-19 will change the way we all live our lives in the future. I wonder if it will also change the way many of us write? Or are these changes already happening? What do you think?

Just before publishing this post, I read an interesting blog post by Anne R. Allen which goes into much more detail as to why many writers are finding it tough to write at the moment. Anne gives some excellent advice on how to beat the slump. Click here to read her post.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

117 thoughts

  1. I’m still working so some “normal” in my routine. I’m trying to stay positive at home doing things I enjoy. Still blogging, also paint-by-numbers. Yes, I find my attention span isn’t great. For me it is seeing something at the end of this – lessons learned for society. For me I’d like to see projects done – Oh I can take that off my list.

    1. Same here. I love making lists and crossing items off them. It makes me feel so good.

      It sounds like you’re keeping yourself busy and occupied, which is a good thing. Keep on doing that, and the time will soon fly.

  2. This is such a timely post, Hugh. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down for pretty much all of us, and many of us are adjusting to a new normal for now, and maybe also for the future.

    I like your light hearted musings. Maybe we are in a nightmare. Maybe we are in a parallel universe. Or might I add, maybe we have all time travelled a hundred of years into the future.

    I can’t say my blog engagement has decreased and that’s because I haven’t been active on here for a while for a number of reasons offline. I do think people still want to read blogs during time strange time – either read something uplifting for a mood booster or something more serious to reflect and learn.

    It’s a good time to write right now if we feel like it. No point in writing when you don’t feel it, and might as well do something else. I think they’ll always be a place for blogging. Perhaps we might not blog much more about travels and going out occasions for now, and that can challenge some of us to blog out of our comfort zone.

    1. It’s very true about blogging outside of our comfort zones, Mabel. However, it can be challenging to do when our minds and hearts are not in the writing zone. It’s precisely how I was feeling before I discovered that was causing me to lose my writing mojo was all the ‘gloom and doom’ posts I was reading. For some reason, I found myself becoming addicted to them. I’m glad that I turned my intension to reading more light-hearted stuff, especially given that I didn’t think people would still be publishing it. How wrong I was.

      Since publishing this post, I’ve seen a steady climb in both engagement and new blog posts being published, although I’m still steering clear of reading too many posts that are COVID-19 related and which have a doom and gloom feel to them. It’s nice to see the blog world, at least, returning to a little bit of normality (whatever that is).

      1. It’s interesting how we can be drawn to ‘doom and gloom’ posts. I think these posts can point out reality very clearly. However a dose of hope and positivity is also much needed in these COVID-19 times too.

        Hopefully things get back on track at some point. I think moving forward life will be different, and I hope we can all find our routines.

  3. Hey Hugh! With respect to your question about whether Covid will permanently change the way we live our lives, or change the way we write, I’m skeptical that it will. It seems that every decade or so we go through a globally traumatic event that is supposed to “change everything.” But, as pointed out by this article by Andrew Coyne at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-this-changes-everything-unless-it-doesnt/, things that were supposed to change everything tend to only change some things for a while.

    1. Thanks for the link, Steve. It’s an interesting read. My only hope is that the human race will see how it took a virus to realise what it was doing to the planet. My fingers are crossed that there is already a sharp decline in greenhouse gases being let into the atmosphere. I have also read many accounts of people saying things such as ‘they can hear birdsong again’ and ‘the air smells and feels much cleaner.’ I hope it’s one change the current pandemic will make and that the change will last forever.

  4. Hi Hugh,
    Yes, the world needs your blogging tips! Don’t stop!
    I try to stay regimented during Coronavirus fears.
    Staying focused gets my mind on blogging instead of on fear.
    Janice

  5. Dear Hugh. Thank you for dropping this link on my blog. I must admit, that I hardly have time to read other blog posts, be it positive or negative during this Covit crazy period. I am so snowed under with work, that I must admit that the limited time I do have, I prefer to NOT read about Covit. I am not denying what’s happening, but I am so inundated with it at work (nature of my work) that I want the other waking hours to be filled with love, laughter, and joy and prefer it to be something raising my moral.
    As for comments on my blog, it’s actually strange, but it seems to me that I have more comments and traffic at this crazy period. As Lisbet mentioned, maybe because a lot of people seem to have more time.
    Take care all, and may you all stay safe and have a blessed Easter

    1. It sounds like you may be on the front line, Esmé. Please take good care of yourself during these uncertain times.

      This week (since publishing this post) I have noticed a steady climb in the number of blog posts being published. It’s refreshing to see that many include humour, laughter, smiles and positivity. They are all things we all need at the moment.

      Stay safe, and Happy Easter.

  6. Hi Hugh,

    I haven’t noticed a change in the behavior of my blog readers. People have more time now, so it seems like they look forward to new posts showing up in their inbox and respond sooner. One thing I noticed in my last post is that I linked to a fellow “frugal vanlifer”’s post in regards to our monthly expenses (which I have done in the past) and this time around, people checked out that link. 🙂

    I have no problems writing blogs and “simple” things, like emails, my daily journal, and such, but I have lost my desire to dig into bigger writing projects as well. The entire COVID-19 dims the mood. But it too will end and hopefully people learned from it!

    1. Hi Liesbet,

      I have seen a steady rise in the number of blog posts being published since this post went live, so I’m also putting that down to people having more time to now write. However, from the comments, it seems many of us are finding no desire to write longer pieces of work. It’s good to know that we’re not alone in this strange boat we find ourselves in.

      I hope you’re managing to still find safe places to stay? Many camping grounds in the UK have been closed down. We’re also not allowed to travel outside the local district where we live. It made me think about you guys and where you’d been staying. I hope you’re all OK?

      Take care and stay safe.

      1. Hi Hugh!

        Thanks for asking and thinking about us. We are doing OK. Here in the US – in all the states – campgrounds have closed as well. In the beginning, I didn’t think it would affect us as we always free/primitive camp without facilities and they were closing down the pay campgrounds and the free campgrounds that have facilities, like toilet buildings.

        Still, we thought we’d be OK, until they closed down primitive campgrounds as well. Not quite sure why as the spaces are large, in nature, and no interaction with others is needed. No porta-potties to clean either. I think they are doing this to discourage people from leaving their houses, maybe? But, it’s tough for us, full-timers, who live in our campers and don’t have another home.

        Anyway, there are resources available to find a longer term option throughout the country, mostly pay options. Another issue for us has been getting fresh water and dump our tanks, as we used to do this at state and national park campgrounds. These are all closed.

        Anyway, I’ve been writing about our experiences a bit on my blog. The bottom line is that we did find a peaceful place, but it was extremely hot, humid, and buggy. So, we will check out one more secluded place and then head up to Massachusetts (still 1,000 miles away) and stay in a detached room at my in-laws’ house. The vanlife will have to resume after all this is over.

        1. I’m so glad you have a plan and have somewhere safe to stay while the pandemic continues, Liesebt. It seems all our lives are on hold at the moment. However, we’ll get through this and will be able to start again where we left off.

          Take care.

  7. I am finding it hard to write fantasy so instead I am focusing on writing realism with a touch of humour – diaries on my blog about my family and our experiences. I am also writing short stories, flash and poetry about this time and imagining the future beyond the pandemic. I’m discovering it is really difficult to read at the moment. So, I’m choosing short stories, poetry, and the like rather than long novels to read. Also I am updating my blog and the like. Anything to take my mind off what is happening in the world. Take care. Marje x

    1. Updating our blogs and giving it a bit of a makeover is a great idea while we all find ourselves at home, Marje. It’s something on my ‘to do’ list, although I haven’t got around to doing too much yet because of the household jobs I’ve been catching up on. And, with the lovely weather, we’ve been spending lots of time in the garden. We must make the most of outside space if we have any. I’ve found that it also helps clear the mind and keep me calm.

      Glad to hear you’re still writing. Even if only a little, it’s better than nothing at all.

      Hope you’re all well. Stay safe.

      1. Hi Hugh still have a lot of blog work to do. Just found out today I’ve been furloughed so who knows what will happen after 3 month period. Anyway it doesn’t surprise me. We’re all going good. Take care
        Marje

        1. These are uncertain times for many of us, Marje. What matters most is that we take good care of ourselves and our families and proper care of our health. I believe we should also make the most of all the time we have with those living in the same household. Even during these uncertain times, time is very precious.

        2. Yes indeed Hugh. I’m enjoying spending more quality time with hubby and the girls. Normally we are all rushing about everywhere that we don’t spend enough time together. It’s been quite an eye opener just wish it could have happened without all the accompanying uncertainty and sadness. Take care, x

  8. Hi Hugh, I have also been hearing how a number of bloggers “have lost their writing mojo…”. I appreciate how people want to share how the pandemic is affecting them. I don’t enjoy reading and hearing about ‘doom and gloom’ 24/7. I risked a more light hearted post for April Fool’s Day and I did feel somewhat guilty. As always, bloggers are usually very supportive and I received encouraging comments how many people appreciated a diversion from our present day reality.

    I appreciate reading the many insightful comments on this post. Natalie (The Explorer) touched on how the comments are longer with more details. Bloggers are of course experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. These can also be positive emotions with some unique, positive events during this unprecedented, challenging time.

    I appreciate your analogy to the current situation as a chapter in a book. I also wake up in the morning and for a brief moment wonder whether this is also a dream. Yes, laughter is the best medicine. A great post!

    1. It’s challenging not to talk about the ‘elephant in the room’, isn’t it, Erica? However, some writers seem to want to write about nothing else but COVID-19. And when those posts have a theme of nothing but doom and gloom, it seems (from the comments) that it can affect the moods of people which seem to go on to affect their ability to write or edit. I’m glad I found out what it was that was affecting my mood. For some reason, I was drawn to many of those posts and coupled with watching too much bad news, it really began to affect my mental health. Although I’ve cut down on the number of COVID-19 related blog posts I read, I don’t mind reading a few. However, if they have a doom and gloom theme, I move on quickly.

      Fortunately, there are still a good number of light-hearted blog posts out there, and I’m glad to hear you published an ‘April fools’ post. We all need some laughter and smiles at this time. They’ve gone a long way in helping me during this crisis the whole world finds itself in.

      The comments on this blog post have been wonderful to read. I’m so glad it’s informed a lot of us that we’re all in the same boat when it comes to losing our desire to write. We’ll all get through this.

      Take care and stay safe.

  9. Excellent post Hugh. Oh ya, I’ve read plenty a post from writers not gettin’ their creative on. I’m sure in that pack. Yes, like you, I can focus on a blog or a book review, but concentration for book writing and editing has no allure for me at the moment. Stay safe my friend 🙂 xx

  10. Since the Pandemic I haven’t had much focus at all- worse since I became ill. I HAVE spent a couple of lovely afternoons in the backyard soaking up the sun, which felt heavenly. Soon, I have to get back to my writing (darn deadlines!) but until then I think I’ll take life one day at a time and be grateful I’m still here to do so. {{hugs}}

    1. The beautiful weather has certainly helped lift our spirits, Jacquie. I’ve been enjoying the warm spring weather, but it’s also bought out a lot of people who seem to break the lockdown intrusions we currently have in place. It’s mainly younger people breaking the rules, most believing they’re immune to COVID-19 but, as we all know, it doesn’t discriminate who it affects.

      I hope you’re feeling a lot better.

      Take care and stay safe.

  11. For me, Hugh, keeping a sense of humour is vital. I appreciate you reading my posts through this time and it’s good to be back here again. I felt a need to blog for connection and expression when all this kicked off when I struggled to write anything. Blogging helped with that. I hope by expressing my thoughts along with my photos (as my usual) I could voice my/our new reality while bringing a little light along the way. It helps me sort my head out and reach out to others at the same time. That for me is what writing’s all about…reaching others. Life is a challenge at the best of times, so something like this knocks us sideways. The last time I was hit with that kind of writing fog was when my dad died. Sometimes we need that time just to process until our muse reappears. Usually when we don’t expect it, I find. I’m glad yours returned, Hugh. Love your limerick 🙂 Be true to ourselves, be who we are and write what we can. Even just a shopping list now the stockpiling has eased… 😉 Keep safe and keep well, Hugh. xxx

    1. It’s been so tough to avoid reading any blog posts that have not been COVID-19 related, Sherri. Fortunately, some of them do include some humour and laughter, but I found myself being drawn to the ones that were very doom and gloom related. It could be something to do with my love for the unknown, but I got so drawn into those posts that it really affected my mood. Coupled with the amount of news I was also watching and listening too, I found myself in a completely new situation – one I didn’t like. This resulted in me losing my desire to write, which has never happened to me before. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block, so I now know what those you do suffer from it, often go through.

      You mentioned about how the death of your dad affected your writing. The same thing happened to me when my mother passed away in 2015. However, for me, her death got me digging really deep into my creative mind. With the help of some writing challenges, this resulted in me writing some of the short stories which went on to feature in my first short story collection. Isn’t it strange on how events affect writers in different ways? It’s a subject I’d like to write about some more.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on this subject, Sherri.

      Take care and keep staying safe.

      1. Writer’s block is really horrible isn’t it? I do so much processing in my head before I actually sit down and write, that usually it’s not a problem, but as you say, when your mood is troubled at such times as these, nothing works except spiralling down those rabbit holes of worry and doom and gloom. Mind you, I do the same with the news, constantly reading it on my phone from the BBC, local Somerset Live and the New York Times. I get engrossed! It is so interesting how life changes affect our writing. I can fully understand how digging deeper into your creativity helped you after your mother died. I found that for a while I couldn’t write at all after Dad died, but I realised I needed that time. It took writing a poem to bring me out of it…something I don’t do often and used to do a lot more when younger…but only seem to do now when I have a consuming need for expression that is so different to anything else. Writing that poem, which may or not see the light of day, opened up the well again. I think it’s a great subject to discuss, Hugh. I love that some of your short stories came out of that sad time for you…your mother would be so proud of you 🙂 You honoured her with those stories, Hugh. Thank you for another great discussion, I will be checking in again soon, but for now, I wish you and your lovely family a very Happy Easter in this glorious weather…and as always, take care, keep well and keep safe. Love & Hugs ❤ xxx

  12. Count me in as someone who finds it difficult to write, Hugh. I keep meaning to get back to my WIP (that I haven’t touched since NaNo), but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m still blogging and trying to keep things upbeat and post my usual features. I’ve noticed less views, but it’s something I expected. I hope you carry on with your usual features also. Love your analogy about this being a chapter in a book. Take care and stay healthy!

    1. It seems many of you find yourselves in the same boat as me, Teri. I’m glad that I’ve confirmed to many of you that it isn’t only happening to each of you individually. It’s happening to most of us.

      I hope the chapter I find myself in is a short one. I can’t wait for the next chapter to begin.

      Take care and stay safe.

  13. Well done for finding your riding horse.. sorry writing horse and getting back on it. Humour has a way, doesn’t it. Hope you John and the dogs are well..

    1. It does, Geoff, yet I hear that some bloggers think it may be inappropriate to publish blog posts that do not include something about the current ‘elephant in the room.’ It took me a while to find out what it was that drained away my passion for writing, and hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m sacring you all again with my dark short stories.

      We’re all well. Taking the proper advice and sticking to it. Hope you’re all well.

      Stay safe.

        1. It’s the ‘not knowing’ or being able to see what it is that is causing all the anxiety that is getting me, Geoff. For now, the best thing we can all do is to follow the advice of our leaders. I hope you’re making the most of your lovely garden? I’m sure you are.

  14. Hi Hugh, I hit a blip earlier on with blogging and most of social media, I just couldn’t think of what to write that didn’t sound trite or just inappropriate but now I’m back in the swing of things and enjoying my blogging again. Reading others and staying connected while being isolated if you know what I mean! I’ve never been too concerned with how many people read me but have been pleasantly surprised lately. I’ve mixed it up with a poem here, personal reflections there and a few guest posts. I try to limit my news intake and I still sometimes think I’ll wake up and it’s all been a bad dream or a badly constructed novel! I appreciate your post and I have been missing a few people so know that it’s impacting on people out there. I miss all my blogging buddies too much to give it away now! Thanks for a great post and I look forward to your challenge if you go ahead with it!

    1. Hi Debbie, it seems from the comments that many of you find yourselves in the same boat as me. It seems to be affecting us all differently, but cutting down on reading doom and gloom related COVID-19 blog posts has undoubtedly helped me regain some of the desire I lost for writing. Like you, I’ve also cut back on my news intake and am turning to read more blog posts that contain some positivity, hope, laugher and humour. They’re certainly helping me. As are watching lots of comedy reruns on TV.

      I think many bloggers don’t know what to blog about now because many believe there is only one subject people want to hear about. The ‘elephant in the room’ is so big, it’s hard not to include something about it in blog posts.

      I think some bloggers also feel it may be inappropriate to publish blog posts that include laughter and humour, but I want to shout out loud that those kind of blog posts are so, so welcome. More, please.

      Hope you’re keeping well while in lockdown. Stay safe.

      1. I hear you loud and clear Hugh, it’s the same with travel or sharing photos, people are scared they might upset others by talking about something we can’t do at the moment. I’m all for sharing whatever can take our minds off this thing. I must say I forgot to mention my LOVE of the Daleks in your post, now that made me smile 🙂 Thanks again for talking about the elephant in the room the way you have. We’re coping well here with lots of space around us and contacting our girls and the grand-babies, and our elderly mothers, by using a range of technology most days. Stay well over there.

        1. I’m glad the Dalek video made you smile, Debbie. My sister told me off for including it in the post because she was always terrified of the Daleks when she was a child. And, of course, it was me who forced her to watch Dr. Who. She often hid behind the sofa, even when the open credits and music started.

          Technology has come into its own, hasn’t it? Only a few months ago, I was reading articles on how it was destroying our lives and the art of conversation. Now, for many of us, it has become an absolute life-saver.

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