By Leslie D. Soule
So lately I’ve been wanting to write, and yet I’ve been thwarted by the evil twin of Writer’s Block – lack of motivation, and it’s left me feeling like Austin Powers, saying, “Dr. Evil has stolen my mojo!” I’ve found ways around Writer’s Block, but a total lack of motivation is uncharted territory for yours truly. I typed in “lack of motivation in writing” into a Google search, and many of the sites that came up suggested that a lack of motivation is due to a “lack of faith in one’s abilities”, and maybe that’s a piece of the puzzle – we can’t all be Stephen King, and negative reviews are enough to damage anyone’s faith in themselves – but I don’t feel like that’s the whole truth of it.
So how do I gain my mojo back, when I’ve lost the desire to go searching for it at all? There’s the rub that leaves me feeling like the mythical “fisher king” (think King Theoden from Lord of the Rings), a king who cannot and will not save his (or in this case, “her”) kingdom, which has been reduced to a barren Wasteland. The king is injured, and can only fish. According to the myth, only an outside source can come and heal the fisher king and bring prosperity back to the land. The fisher king originates in the King Arthur legends and he is the one charged with keeping the holy grail.
So the answer may lie in the hero Perceval’s quest to heal the fisher king – a selfless act in itself in which he asks the fisher king, “Sir, why do you suffer so?” Perhaps in order to heal the Wasteland, I must become Perceval and ask of others, “Sir, why do you suffer so?”
I believe that writing can be a noble thing and an aid in helping us to understand truths.
Feel free to use and distribute the above image, by the way. I created it myself. Anyway, it being Memorial Day at the time of writing this, my local newspaper had an article about Memorial Day’s origins in the Civil War. The article’s writer suggested reading up on the struggle of a Civil War soldier in order to bring their story to life. Will this help my writing, or help me recover my lost mojo? Who knows? But it might be worth a shot…