No connection with what you are writing about.
“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”
― Steven Wright
If I sat down and started writing about soldiers trudging through waist deep mud and the decaying bodies of their enemies towards the luminous halo of victory, it would be a hot mess. Even if I did mounds of research and Reconnaissance It would still turn out terribly. I don’t connect with military fiction, or nonfiction for that matter. I have no desire to write or read that style and genre of literature. So I stay away from it.
This is the obvious one. If you don’t like something, why would you try and write about it? However it’s not always a case of not liking something, you may want to be able write about a certain topic because you think it’s interesting or simply because it’s popular, but you find yourself struggling with it because you just can’t connect with what you are putting to paper. You’re just going through the motions and that’s not why we write.
Take for example, the unbelievable run that we had on vampire fiction a while ago. One day you think ‘I’m surrounded by books about blood drinking humanoids, I think I’ll give it a go!’ You may take to it in a second, or, you may crash and burn.
If you can’t connect with your own work then how can you expect your audience to?
The only thing to do:
Think whether it’s worth it to continue. Writing can be like pulling teeth as the best of times, add this too and it can be full blown torture. Don’t force yourself, don’t force the writing. If you’ve given it your best go and it doesn’t turn out like you thought it would, if you just can’t get though it or make that connection then think again. Revaluate. Try something else.
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
― W. Somerset Maugham