Losing Interest in Something You are “Gifted” at
Photo courtesy of Abulic Monkey.

Losing Interest in Something You are “Gifted” at

Written by Emilie

Topics: Multipotentialite Patterns

Music used to be my refuge.

I went through a particularly rough period when I was 19. An important friendship had just ended, I was at a new school that was big and anonymous and my band of four years had disintegrated– My band, which was profoundly intertwined with my identity.

I survived this time by secluding myself in my basement and writing and recording my songs. The day my dad bought me an MBox 1 was one of the best days of my life. I taught myself how the microphones worked and I learned through trial-and-error that you can get a bigger sound by duplicating a track, panning one left and one right and moving them slightly out of sync. I taught myself audio production through experimentation.

For holidays, I would ask for new gear: a purple flanger peddle please, to go with my orange distortion. The detailed nature of mixing was both infuriating and deeply rewarding. Hours would melt away while I was in my little den, and I would emerge with a final product that I was so proud of.

But then one day, something happened. I stopped being able to write music.

That may sound dramatic, but all of my new songs began to feel stale and derivative. Lyrics were uninspired and the whole process, which used to bring me such joy, felt forced.

I decided to take a break from writing and focus instead on performing and learning jazz guitar. Eventually things got better for me in my personal life, and I emerged from my solitude, even made a few friends. I spent a summer in Boston studying music. I got to the finals in a songwriting competition (for songs I had already written) and was even awarded partial scholarship if I wanted to move there for school. It was a good summer.

But while I was enjoying playing in my ensembles and exploring where I could take my songs, I was still blocked when it came to creating anything new.

I kept trying to write, but nothing sounded good. Moreover, it wasn’t even fun anymore. I tried and tried. For another few years, I tried.

Finally, I had to admit something to myself. I had to admit that I had become bored.

But how could this be? Music was my life, my identity, my future. I had spent (my parent’s) money on so much gear. I had acquired a beautiful limited edition Taylor guitar. And worst of all, I was good at this. My songs were GOOD!

How could I have become bored at this thing I was so “gifted” at?

When you are a multipotentialite, people often tell you that you need to stick with something, that if you are giving it up, it’s because you’re afraid. I’ve found the opposite to be true. Usually I stick with something longer than I should out of fear.

It wasn’t fear or resistance or self-sabotage that was holding me back. In fact, the only fear that was present was the fear that was pushing me to keep trying, to stick with it. It was fear that was preventing me from letting go of this medium that I was comfortable in, and moving on to something new that I might not be so good at.

Meanwhile, I had decided not to study music in college, but to major in Communications/Film Production. I began writing scripts for my classes that were inspired by all of the teen dramas I that I loved growing up. I learned how to light a room, how to direct, I learned about the fourth wall and the rule of thirds. It was refreshing to work in a new medium. It was like exploring a new land, or using an entirely new sense.

As I became more involved in filmmaking, my shame around losing interest in music began to be eclipsed by my enthusiasm for film. The energy that I used to pour into my songs, I now poured into my short films.

That is, until… You guessed it, three years later, my interest in film began to wane.

It was around the same time when I happened to take one isolated law class. If film was a new world, then law was like an entirely different solar system. It was so different from anything I had ever explored. Torts? What the fuck is a tort? I was hooked… For two years.

And then I discovered entrepreneurship.

Reflecting Back

I wish I could have appreciated my shifts in identity/medium more. I wish I could have moved through them with grace and confidence instead of shame and anxiety. Had I known that they were completely in line with who I am (a multipotentialite), I would have been less afraid.

Looking back, all I want to do is give thanks. Thank you universe, for making me lose interest in music to make room for film. Thank you for making me lose interest in film to make room for law. Thanks for making me lose interest in law to make room for entrepreneurship. I acquired knowledge and tools through each journey. The experiences all add up and make my work in any medium — as well as my life — much more interesting.

And now, nearly ten years later, writing and recording music is not boring to me. It’s new and exciting again.

Your Turn

How has waning interest been a blessing in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Laurie says:

    There was an ache in my chest as I read this. Actually, it’s still there. In part because it was like reading my own story and in part because I wonder what my life would have been like if I had realized it’s perfectly okay to be just the way I am when I was much younger.

    I won’t even get into all the phases I’ve been through, the things I was good at but lost interest in as soon as I developed some skill. Its a ridiculously long list. When things are no longer new for me I get painfully bored. Thankfully I’ve (finally) discovered a way to dive deeply into an area of passion for a short period of time until a shiny new interest comes along and distracts me.

    Writing has been a life-changing career move for me. It’s an incredible feeling to discover a way to express my million and one interests without becoming a crazy person. If I haven’t become one already.

    Thanks for doing what you do Emilie.

  2. Willi Morris says:

    That is how I became with reading and writing and admin work. I recognized my strengths but got bored. I actually wrote a blog post on Read.Learn.Write on why I stopped reading. It was very disheartening, but I am make a comeback! Great post!

  3. Josh says:

    For me it was that songs came no problem, but not much was being done with them afterwords. But now that I’m interested in learning business and marketing, I tend to get more cynical about music and the arts. It’s mainly that when I focus on something I get REALLY focused on that one thing, then I move on to something else.

    I like what you said about it coming back though. And it will in the right time as it did with you. When you have a gift or life purpose whether it be music, writing a book, or inventing a product that changes the world, it won’t let you go so you end up coming back however many times.

    • Emilie says:

      Yeah, I like the cyclical nature of my interests too. Somehow you’re always better prepared the second time around. It’s like, you may have put the particular medium aside, but there was still some learning going on in your brain. It’s cool.

      • Joshua Lundquist says:

        I didn’t know it at the time, but my cycle and transition away from music and into comedy was smooth because I was able to write more abundantly because of comedy, dip into genres I had never touched and not take music so seriously… That was only because I decided I wanted to write a comedy podcast, and I’m so glad I went with that. Now after knowing about multipotentiality, it totally fits with the variety world I created in that show.

        And yeah, the idle / background learning and growth that happens when you’re away from an interest is so fascinating

  4. E. K. Carmel says:

    When I first found this site, I thought it would help me understand my daughter. She recently talked with me about dropping playing her french horn, which she enthusiastically began about 4 years ago.

    I’d been wondering why she no longer wanted to practice and she burst into tears when explaining she had lost her interest. I was kind of shocked because she is so gifted and we all thought that music was “it” for her.

    This site is helping me understand and while going through back posts, I realized I’m a multipotentialite myself. Thank you, Emilie, for this website. It’s made a difference to me and my family.

  5. Teri says:

    Your story is my story. I like the word you use — multipotentialite. I always thought of myself as a dilettante. My journey was circuitous like yours. As a teenager, I enjoyed baking. I tried my hand as a pastry chef. Making cakes for money took the joy out of it for me. Later, I went to law school and practiced law for 15 years until it became too boring and too stressful. Now I consider myself an independent film maker and internet entrepreneur. Guess what the topic of my website is? Cakes! Funny, huh? Well…now I produce how to cake films and articles at my own website…CakePlayGround.com. Come check it out and see what another multipotentialite is doing. You will see that you are definitely not alone.

    • Emilie says:

      Terri, I love your story. So inspiring. And also, Cake Playground is super fun. What a great “group hug” project!

    • Tejas Phatak says:

      Teri – I like the line where you said “Making cakes for money took the joy out of it”. I am a vocalist myself. As I look back, doing the same thing again and again for money sapped my interest in my art too. I have realized though recently, that doing my music just for myself gives me a bigger high than doing it on stage.

  6. So you were a Communications major too, eh? I did not know that. I focused on the Rhetorical Studies sides of Communications as opposed to the Radio/TV/Film (the other sub-speciality at UW-Madison). I was much more interested in analyzing what people had already said compared to creating something new to express the current state of the world.

    Since I wasn’t going to be a speech writer, I basically picked a path to what people saw an unemployment. I mean, how valuable could deeply understanding how and why people communicate be?

    Well, my interests in speeches and public speaking waned significantly as I entered the corporate workforce. But now that I’ve chosen to pursue entrepreneurship as well, my rhetorical studies are back with a vengeance! Toastmasters and getting my own public speaking gigs are some of my primary business goals and I go after them with abandon! I didn’t realize what I missed until living intentionally gave me the chance to revive something dormant inside me.

    • Emilie says:

      Ha yeah! I actually hated coms theory when I was forced to take it in first year, but I think I would be much more interested now.

      Entrepreneurship is such a great vehicle for multipotentialites, huh? It really allows us to bring any or all of our interests into our work. I love that.

  7. Elsa James says:

    I’ve always had some iteration of an art project on the go, usually only lasting a few months at a time. I guess the thing that I’m starting to realise (for me at least), is that sometimes there is merit in staying. I’ve never lasted long enough to really perfect one skill or to discover what happens when you push through the boredom. I always reach that point, usually feel of mix of exhaustion and frustration and give it the flick. For me personally, I’m challenging myself to push on, because I sense that there is a whole other level of creative genius on the other side.

    What I like about your situation Emilie is that whilst you gave music a rest, you focused on script writing and film making, which I’m sure in turn helped your music. I think if there’s some sort of inter-connectedness between the projects in helping you to grow & evolve, that’s probably even more satisfying and beneficial than just sticking to one thing.

  8. Hong-Anh says:

    Hey thanks for your writings here Emilie. I just love reading them. The other day I was googling “I am a quitter” to see what people have to say about that because I am definitely a serial quitter. I did really have some good quits but I was also afraid of being a quitter who simply quits when hitting a wall on the way. But when I found your article “Why you should be a quitter…..” I felt much better about myself.

    Oh yeah I am a pharmacist turned development worker turned sociologist turned policy researcher — and of course people think it’s not good to jump all over the place. But I agree that it is not good to stay with something you don’t like (and unhappy about that for sure) or you simply lost interest in it. That’s actually the two main reasons for my shifts: (1) I tried something and didn’t like it, so I moved to something else; (2) I tried something, I loved it, then one day the interest is simply gone, and I also moved to something else. For the 2nd scenario I can’t explain why it happened but it did happen to me that way. Perhaps it’s just the way it is.

  9. Mary says:

    It’s so interesting to see these stories!! At my age (in my early 50s) I’ve spent a life time trying to “do something to the end”. I ended up choosing teaching as a career path – at least each day wasn’t the same. I moved schools every few years (because I got bored) and even rose through the ranks to being a Principal – all beacuse I was off and racing towards the next challenge. My passion finally burnt out (aka – I got bored) and since then I’ve been on a mission to find out what I “really want to do” (believing, after a life of being told there should be one thing, that I was just having a late midlife crisis.) I’ve done counselling, management, child protection, realestate…….
    In all honestly – I’ve always been the same. In my none work pusuits I’ve done various forms of dance, Martial Arts, fine art (mainly collage and art journalling – not so boring to me), gardening, interior design, crochet, latch hook rug making, photography, kayaking, outrigger paddling ……. I could go on for days. If anyone asks me if I have a hobby – I can never think of one.
    After years in education, I finally decided that maybe I was ADD before ADD was invented!!
    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Maybe I can stop looking for myself now and realise I’ve never been lost. I just am what I am. A Mutipotentialite :)

    • Jon Shmulovich says:

      I kind of feel the same way too. While many people here said they changed their interests, you were the only person to say you kept trying to reach the higher level. And now that I look at it, I guess I always found my work as a chance to prove myself to the world, and that is why my work has to be a kind of goal where I can always look for a next level, whether it be making your business national instead of regional, being a principal instead of a teacher, working with a better level of musicians a more skilled level of musicians (the passion I lost is music). I sometimes wonder if depression is what kills my musical passion, or if my musical passion’s waning has made me depressed. But I especially liked your response though Mary: thanks for your comment.

  10. Hannah says:

    Hey Emilie,

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    It really resonated with me, as I’m also a lapsed gifted musician. I used to be good – to the point where I completed all grades on three instruments, loved composing, wanted to go to music school and become a musician. A lot of personal/family stuff killed that desire for me (for example, the fact that there was a lot of pressure to be the best, but I wasn’t allowed to say “I’m good at music” because that was ‘boasting’, so in my mind I became “not good enough”). Consequently, I just wanted to get away from it when I left home. Since then, I’ve gone through periods of really regretting the fact that my skills have slipped (it was also a hugely entwined with my identity and self-worth), but reading your post has reminded me that composition more than playing was the thing that really brought me joy. Looking at my experience through the multi-potentialite framework takes away all the emotional stuff that was wrapped up in music for me and helps me see it as something I now enjoy spending time on – which feels much better :)

    • Joshua Lundquist says:

      Hey Hannah

      As someone who put down music making / composition for a good two years after coming to Japan, then finally getting back into it, I would say that you never quite lose the skill of composition.

      After producing electronic music, when I came back to it I started up with guitar, drums, bass and a 4-track.

      So if you get back into it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s through a new instrument / media / musical conduit, which can be exciting. Yet whenever you come back to an old passion there is awkwardness but it’s an exciting awkwardness.

    • Jon Shmulovich says:

      I don’t think you ever lose composition either. Performance is the one you lose, and even then, I do believe you can get it back. I think composition certainly changes. Like a lot of heavier rock bands don’t want to embrace the fact that they don’t feel the angst they did when they were 20 and try to write in that perspective still rather than a perspective of a middle aged man or even a senior citizen. The gift to write I think is always there, we just gotta follow it. But like you, I am always thinking about who is better than me. And it’s no matter in what I do, even if not music. I gotta figure out how to enjoy things without always comparing myself to others. I thank you for this post and am glad you have found clarity!

  11. I started off with art / (illustration) as a kid to my early adult life eventually got bored, went to music, eventually got bored at that, went back to art (but design related this time) went to school got a degree in visual communication (mainly print design). Only to leave school and then morph into building websites, which after about 5 years I hated. Went back to print design, and moved back to making music during this time and fell in love with Film, and video, SFX – post production. Producing and post producing allows me to use, writing, design, illustration, music, and audio production all together. Which I really like that at this point all of my talents get to converge. In my current business no 2 days ever look similar. It keeps me on my toes and stops me from being bored too easily.

    Funny you mention the mbox 1, I was going thru old boxes and found mine and don’t want to sell it on ebay. lol. It has focusrite pre -amps the later models do not have it was a good piece of equipment sad that digidesign stop supporting it in their software. I just found a driver that will allow it to connect to ML on PTLE10. Crazy. Awesome post.

  12. Michael says:

    After reading the post I had to sit back and really think about it for a moment. I don’t think there is anything I lost interest in persay. I guess I just didn’t make the time to do the things that I really, really liked to do. I mean my first love was always the game of football. I had dreams of playing pro when I was young. I think I took it as far as I could. I haven’t been around the game since I quit playing so I guess if anything, I’d like to be able to give something back in some capacity may it be writing, coaching, promotions or scouting. Recently I’ve taken some baby steps to start a blog about the game but I’m constantly arguing with myself about how far to take it and what content to supply it with. (Maybe I’m just thinking too much about it which is causing my paralysis.)

    I’ll figure it out hopefully sooner than later.

  13. Dee Kaph says:

    I’ve had similar experience.. actually, the whole first half reads like my life: discover music, be very talented and record hundreds of songs (some of which I’m still selling a decade later), then get stuck in funk, self-loathing over not being able to produce new material… and, I did the same thing as you – I found other mediums. Keep it fresh. Try scrapbooking and collage, welding, gardening… intensely creative people need a regular influx of new and amazing.

  14. niko says:

    amazing read. i’m getting in to my 30s’, and been wondering lately why i’m losing the fight with being a ‘multipotentialite’, rather than looking at it as a blessing.

    thanks very much, i’ll pass this on. great read.

  15. Cindy says:

    I’m not sure I can explain it to other people how much posts like these are important to me.

    To read, after all these years, that it’s okay to change, that it’s okay to get bored and pursue new things. Two days ago I was crying because I quit engineering school after six years and sometimes I felt like a failure. My boyfriend said I’m not a failure, my parents would never say I’m a failure, and still, it means so much to read that other people go trough this too. That I’m not alone in this.

    That it’s okay. That I’m okay.

    …thanks, so much thanks

  16. Constance says:

    “Usually I stick with something longer than I should out of fear.” This. This defines me and my “career moves” up until this point – which is to say, I have none, or rather, one. I have worked as a police dispatcher for 6 years, my first and only real job out of college (I started when I was 20). I used to find it exciting and engaging and meaningful, but lately I just find it to be irritating and frustrating and boring, and I can not wait to leave everyday and come home. I stay because I am afraid. I live alone and have no family to fall back on, and so I stay because I know I won’t get paid as well doing anything else with an associate’s degree and starting out at the bottom of a totem pole.

    I don’t know if I am a multipotentialite. Sometimes I think of all the super rad things I’d like to do (roller derby! diving! traveling the world!), but other times when people ask me what I am passionate about, I draw blanks and just shrug. I look at the columns and columns of degree programs offered to further my education, and I am just paralyzed with indecision and fear. I just don’t know what to do. It’s nice having a name to “what’s wrong with me,” now I just need to figure out what to do about it.

  17. Megan says:

    I just found your website sitting in my art class, the subject being my so-called “gift.” I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was five, and coming from a conservative family they’ve been supportive enough of me this whole time. But I was fighting this feeling since I started college that my gift felt more like a chore than a calling. I realized this when I took a film literature class and had to do my own film, it was so much more fun than I had imagined, and the feeling stayed with me longer than I anticipated. I actually have many interests; in playing the guitar, singing, dancing, and even video games. I still have my doubts and uncertainties up to now, but reading this post has given me the smallest hope that let’s me know that it’s ok for me to feel this way. You definitely had me at “sticking with something longer out of fear,” as that’s exactly how I feel. I hope to have the courage to be able to pursue any of these things without uncertainty and to find my inspiration again. Thank you for sharing.

    • Emilie says:

      That’s awesome, Megan. I’m glad I could help. Know that there are thousands (millions?) of people out there who have many passions and do many things. You are definitely not alone in this.

  18. Mandie says:

    I have been through the same motions as you. I have been a singer my whole life and through bad experiences and difficult people, I lost the desire to sing. I had something new to come into vision that made me come alive! The fervency I had for singing is now in my new desire. I went through what people said was me running from what “I”, was supposed to do to feeling forced. I can’t decode it this season was over for singing or if discouragement through circumstances caused this or both. Thanks for the article!

  19. Jon Shmulovich says:

    I am so glad I came across this and finding people who feel what I feel. Music used to be my religion, and my identity. I guess music gave me a place to belong (something I have had trouble finding during the six years I have had my waning musical interest). I miss the amazing feeling that I get when listening to music. For a while I was very ashamed of my waning passion, but now I’m not, though I still would love for it to come back more than anything. As my sister pointed out, all I have been caring about for the last few years is just food and sex. The most upsetting part about my musical phase maybe passing me is how much creativity I had with it and potential as a player. I was having a lot of success this year on the local circuit, but still just was not enjoying it, like forcing my heart to stay in music. Ever since I lost interest, I have had trouble finding a stable group of friends or having a girlfriend (it’s hard to relate to others when I don’t even know myself anymore) and finding something I really love doing besides just watching tv with friends. Anyways, thank you for posting this and I am definitely going to read more of your stuff. I certainly am a multi-potentialite as I am also very good with numbers, and in the past have had great ideas for articles. I am about to finish my final year of college and I am trying to let the music part of me take another rest while I explore other options be it non-profit work, film, Asian culture. I am not going to let my final year of college be another less than amazing year.

    P.S- Perhaps you write about depression with multipotentialites? I think part of my musical passion waning is maybe that I am depressed? Or maybe my waning passion came first and then made me depressed.

    Anyways, thanks a lot and peace out!

  20. Ky'Re Clay says:

    I enjoyed reading this because of the relevance but I believe i’ve just lost inspiration. I freakin love drawing. In art class I wouldn’t lounge around, the whole time i’m drawing unless “there’s a disturbance in the force”. It has to be inspiration because when i’m at home I don’t feel like drawing. I loaf around the house and play video games but i’m bored doing that. I would also like to make videos but uploading is a pain because of my cruddy pc. Very cruddy. So I need inspiration to draw and I need better technology to share videos. I also want better technology to put my imagination in brilliant color, lighting, and motion! My dream is to become an animator, possibly a game designer, possibly an engineer on the side.

  21. Robert Scott says:

    I just read this after Googling “why do I loose interest in things I enjoy.” I came across your blog and now have a new term for my vocabulary–mulitpotentialist–and now, something to look in to. I didn’t know there was a name for this condition. I started out in commercial art, then photography, to writing, to fine art, to photography, to wood working, to music. And at 42, I’m really frustrated at not having a more firm grip on one thing. I really got into the music and it seems soem parts of it are dying that I don’t want to let go. I’m still enamored by some aspects of it and a part of me wants to move beyond a hobbyist to a serious amateur. Photography is practically dead to me, and I have little interest in fine art. I don;t want it to happen again.

  22. JustAnotherCommenter says:

    This sounds eerily familiar. I had a special talent and passion for art for most of my life. I recently realized that I have no interest in it anymore. I do feel shameful and guilty, especially when I tell others and they seem so shocked… and I can’t decide what my next interest should be. I don’t want to be trapped into my original interest for the rest of my life if the passion isn’t there, but I feel trapped and depressed.

    Interestingly enough, I’m taking a film-related class, too, and I enjoy it a lot. Perhaps I should take my life into that direction? I don’t know right now.

    I’ve also been told I’m good at all sorts of things. I’ve never heard the term “multpotentialite” before. It seems to be a synonym to “polymath”, a word often applied to intelligent, creative, successful people like Stephen Fry, who have careers with variety. It seems to fit me, and variety is the spice of life, no?

    Sometimes it is hard being talented at many things, because sooner or later you have to choose what to do.

  23. Esther says:

    Oh! How nice. I am not crazy mad or bad. Neither am I alone. Phew!

  24. Joe says:

    I am glad you wrote this. I was freaking out! I used to spend hours writing music and now I get bored after 5 minutes. It never occurred to me that I might want to explore other interests. This article pretty much sums up everything I am experiencing. Thank you for sharing!

  25. nersonangelo says:

    Thank you Emilie.. :)

    For me as a composer, I always experience this, and actually is experiencing at present. To fight this, I try to look at my true goal. For me music is not a goal but a track, a playing field. Real goal always will include giving something to people, or humanity if you like. In my very own experience, every time I let myself get distracted, time leaves me behind, then once I realize I wasted my most precious commodity (time) I get depressed, then I would start telling myself I lost interest, this is getting very boring, but there are days when I was able to really stick to the plan, I become very interested and full of life and passion to music, I sleep really fulfilled and excited for another turn tomorrow.. But then thats just me..

    Thanks much.. :)

  26. Dom C. says:

    Thank you very much for this post. I really needed to read something like this. I was in bands from the age of 12 to 25 and from 25 to 27 I was a sound artist (experimental music and stock sounds for commercials and films) as well as a poet. I’ve been published, I’ve been signed to record labels, I’ve released albums, I’ve played over 250 live shows in a variety of venues, I’ve produced other people’s demos, I’ve created album art; basically, I’ve lived the dream to some extent and I am very grateful for every second of it. Now, though, deep into my 28th year, I’ve pretty much run out of steam. It’s not that I can’t write or play music anymore, it’s just that I don’t find any joy in it. I find that my passions get in the way of other pursuits at this time. Though I’ve done a lot of cool stuff with my art, there is a price I have payed. I don’t have much money, I’ve never had a significant relationship, and I just feel much more immature than my peers. I think that the very art that has defined my life has also held me back in some regards. I’ve been completely unproductive for months now. I was in a deep depression for a while but now I’ve begun working, working out, and seeking new social situations. I’m even considering going back to school to become an English teacher. For now, though, I just feel very wayward. Cheers and thanks!

  27. steven says:

    No no no! shit.. that wasnt. The. Ending I was hoping for… I I regognise myself in your story but I dont want to make way for the new… ive. Lost my drive but I want music in my new life too god damn it!!! People always tell me im gifted but I just cant write anymore… please re-write xD I need some inspiration

  28. Jaqi says:

    I thought I was alone. So inspiring.
    I was passionate to be an actress at fourth grade, I went to workshops and practiced in my room every night. Then later I wanted singing.. On fifth grade I realized I needed art. And promised myself to be a graphic artist in the future.
    Then in sixth grade I was obsessed with piano, I always played the piano whenever I get home and at school I would pretend I’m pressing the keys. Then showing off to people that I would be a pianist.
    As I grew up it started to become boring, I also felt pressured to play, I thought I needed to. I always ask myself why do singers still get to sing and artists still get to draw. My parents looked up to me doing these things and people knew me as the ‘piano girl.’
    I pushed piano aside and started fashion. My family also got used to my style and thought I would be a fashion designer this time.
    But then next I wanted Photography. I was passionate, and promised ‘this time, this is it.’ I got a Canon 600D and filled up the memory cards.
    But then it all went down. I was good at those, but I lost interest. What I never lost interest was from childhood til now is writing. And I hope I don’t lose it. But I feel bad at the same time because I might treat my future relationships like this, like I would leave my boyfriends alone, get divorced early or lose friends. There were a lot of things I wanted to be. But I can’t juggle them for a long period of time. People say it’s bad to be fickle. But I was born fickle, I’m more of an adventurer. I’m supposed to find it funny, but scared because my parents cannot afford again and I always need to be sure before making a choice. So I cannot go on another adventure because I’m stuck at home and nothing much to do. I got bored of the things around me here. Even the internet. Writing relieved me. But I want to live for once.

  29. Lyn challands says:

    …but what if the desire never comes back? I am a gifted pianist and singer. I have made my living doing this for 30 years. Now? I hate it. The people have changed. I’m not interested in a room on faces texting!
    I could design clothes. But I have no money.
    I could write great jingles for overseas companies (I heard of a girl in Melbourne doing that for a company in Singapore or China). But I have no idea how to get into it.mulitpotentialist
    My husband is a veteran who cannot work. It’s my second marriage and I never got to be a step mother. His ex was too possessive and now they barely know us. They don’t know me at all. This I find sad. But this isn’t the reason.
    My husband treats me like a queen and encourages everything I do!
    But I am still lost. I feel I am shrinking. If that life? After 50 you just start to shrink until you’re just….gone…?
    Sometimes I feel I will feel like this forever,
    It’s not depression. I’m not depressed…just bored..”and frustrated.
    I’m scared my passion for music has gone forever. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Lyn,

      That sounds hard. I think you need to change your environment. Get around new people, people who are doing big things, pursuing personal goals, starting businesses, etc. Check meetup.com to see what groups there are in your area. I really think changing the people in your sphere will have a huge impact on your mindset, and that is the first step. You can’t make any changes in your life if you don’t believe that change is possible. Hugs.

  30. Serj says:

    Im also a musician and I’m struggling with the first phase of your article at the moment. These last six months have been hell on earth for my mind. I feel like I’m in a permanent rut. Anything to pick up the guitar just feels like a routine now. Trying to record or write new music feels like a chore and it feels forced.

    With that in mind, it brings me great envy and depression to think that there are people who just don’t stop writing music. There are people who without even thinking the music comes to them, I struggle to make just One song per year.

    It is truly frightening feeling, feeling of having lost interest in a art form that I used to love. Now days I just lay down or sit at my desk and ponder what is next. Most of the day I spend sleeping, the rest is used up working.

    Anyway, thanks for writing an article like this. Your story is so similar to how I feel right now.

  31. Nancy says:

    Great read. Am like this too, at 33 and having been a dentist for the past 8years am really bored. I know it’s time to move and start something else but am afraid. What will people say? I’ve invested so much money mine and my parents, is it ok to just let that go? What if there’s no financial security in my next project? Being a mother the financial security is what is tying me down for the moment…. It feels like a waste to leave a good career, with the potential for very good money…..but, thanks to this article, I know am gonna find the strength and courage to move and start something else…. Wish me luck.

  32. Kata Monzéger says:

    I remember reading this article on the train last year. I felt relief immediately, because exactly the same happened to me.

    I had always wanted be a writer. I practiced a lot during my schoolyears, read plenty of books, and this “hobby” meant really everything to me. I imagined my future self writing all day, books after books, reader letters in my inbox, and so on.

    Until one day I got a message that one of my short stories would be published in an antology. I felt happiness, and from the next day… boredom.

    I tried everything. I came up with possible explanations why I didn’t enthuse over writing anymore: I was feared of success, I was unthankful… I heard about writer’s block, but I felt that it was something else.

    And three years later on the train I realized it had been truly something else. That I had to move on from writing and explore new seas.

    Since then I’ve tried screenwriting, poster and magazine design, game making, and researching about local towns. And – surprise! – it seems writing is not the only and most interesting thing on earth. I love my new hobbies as much as I loved writing, and I am ready to move on if I start losing interest in them.

    So thank you for this article and site, Emilie, and keep inspiring us. ;)

  33. Carmen says:

    Wow, I find this absolutely mind blowing to read. I’m only 19, and have already had a few phases, and I’m finding it really hard to deal with giving up on them. I used to live music, I grew up with it, I taught myself how to sing, started playing the guitar, but lost interest. When I picked up a pencil one day I started doodling clothing designs, and lone behold there was my “gift” waiting to be found. That’s the frustrating part for me, my designs are amazing. My mom even bought me a sewing machine, and suddenly, I find my interests in it disintegrating and I can’t stop it from happening. I already feel my new interest forming, which is horsemanship (riding, care, ranch work, etc.) I’m not exactly sure I’ll be able to just allow myself to give up on Fashion, it feels almost like I’d be letting a part of me die. But thank you for this inspirational story, I’m so glad to find out that I’m not the only person who’s interests change almost as frequently as the weather!

  34. Fardad says:

    I’m so glad I’m finding out about this aspect of my identity in my early 20’s. The hardest part about it is the difficulty of finding true friends. I feel like it’s hard for people to understand your complex nature and personality as you’re constantly evolving and going through dramatic shifts in hobbies. From the age of 3 – present (20), my hobbies have consisted of drawing, singing, piano (classical), guitar, soccer, karate, violin, piano (jazz), music production, guitar (jazz), programming, and now blogging. I guess the concept of a “friend” had always carried more weight and sensitivity for me. I’ve always wanted someone who could sympathize with this person who I don’t think will ever stop to evolve and adapt. And to be fair, the only way I’m going to find that friend or lover is by being patient and letting time do its own thing while I continue to live my life like a lunatic :)

  35. McGuck says:

    I stumbled on this post by way of a Google search. I could’t figure out why I would go hard on something and then within a couple years I no longer wanted to do it. I struggled and fought every single time a hobby I loved would fade. I too stayed longer than I should have and took way to long to reconcile with it. I am just glad to know I am not alone in being like this, thanks for the article.

  36. Alter says:

    This is what i have now . I have releases from small labels and two releases from major label, which had supports in secene. But at last 6 months i lost my inspration to produce and write music. Meanwhile i had no inspration for composing, i have focused more on mixing techniques. I improved myself on mixing techniques so well but i have no still inspration. I compose but i don’t like it and i delete.. Something i feel that i catch the composing but then still no inspration. I don’t know what to do, i know that life style effect on it so bad .

  37. Sue says:

    This totally made me cry. I could identify with the loss of interest in something you know you loved to do, and the thing that everyone associated you with. For me, it’s drawing. I’ve been known for my art my whole life. Depression came around hard a few years back, I burnt out on depression and art commissions, and now I don’t have any other passions to fall back on. I’ve tried writing, but after a couple of months, that seemed to fall along the wayside. Letter writing and being an active listener (on 7cupsoftea.com) are right now my only go-to hobbies. Nothing creative… I feel like I’m mourning my lost muse, but at the same time, I have this stubborn hope that one day I’ll re-kindle that passion for drawing. It’s how everyone else defines me… it’s what I used to be. It feels so foreign and vulnerable to admit that it’s gone. At least for now it is.

  38. BB says:

    I can relate, because this is my story too, but, so far, losing my dearest dream hasn’t become a blessing.

    All of my life, I dreamed of becoming a novelist, and I wrote many novels and short stories. In 98, I started writing for a greeting card company and earned a high salary. The job took me further from my dream, but something worse was to happen. In 2003, I lost my job, my home, my money, and my livelihood as there were no other jobs in the industry.

    I found myself living in an dilapidated house and struggling to survive. I started some online businesses, but everything I did failed.

    In 2012, I published my dearest fictional story, a romance novel. I’d rewritten the story numerous times since the 90s. I thought the novel would rescue me from poverty and despair–become a bestseller and launch my writing career. But, to my shock, it bombed. People seemed totally disinterested in the story. Even family and friends were unsupportive. I think this killed something vital inside me.

    Ever since, I’ve had a difficult time working on or getting into my stories. Though I have three more written in the series, which are now in the rough draft stage, I can’t convince myself to seriously work on them. When I try, I’m unable to focus or concentrate. I find myself surfing the net or on Facebook (and something about FB is a passion killer).

    Maybe I too have become bored. I’m not sure what’s causing my inability to create or how to fix it. I have no idea if it can be fixed. I also have the added pressure of time going against me. I’m 50. I feel like it’s now or never.

  39. Mike says:

    I feel the same way about a lost interest in music. It’s weird. It’s been a gradual thing.

    I still really like playing guitar, but creating my own music isn’t as fun as it used to be. It’s seemingly more difficult now than it used to be. I’m 28 years old and have been trying to write my own stuff front-to-back since I was about 19. I was in bands contributing since around 14-15.

    I have nothing to write about either, so it’s a bit weird. I’m segueing into jazz/blues guitar for fun also. If you’ve written a handful of decent songs, you always have those to go back to and play, as long as they age ok.

    Too often we set the bar too high for ourselves and we can’t seem to jump over it. I’ve definitely lost the “spark” of music creation, though it’s still fun to listen to stuff like Jeff Beck or Hendrix or any great musician. I tried to learn painting so I may return to that. Once you hit a certain age in music it becomes more difficult to write and not feel uncomfortable with it in a sense, as you’ve grown with your own voice, etc. It’s all so complicated. Best of luck.

  40. Will says:

    Where to begin…hell been playing 6 string long as I can remember…( pushing 60 years old now)…grandpa played old hill Billy guitar tunes…dad was into the Chet Atkins thing…The Beatles is when I officially caught the “bug “… rock & roll was it…played covers in bands through school…did my stint as a roadie ….sound man…light man ..spot light operator @ a local theater…music…ah sweet music…Played semi professionally in the P.a…West V.a…Ohio tried state area for a while. .then don’t know…life happens..marriage(wife’s hate ya getting outa bed @ 2:09 AM because a riff just popped into your head & ya want to get it on tape before it’s list forever )….Kids..divorces…jail…worrying about finding employment that pays Real Money on a steady basis….this is where I just got really just burned out from life’s pressures…said ..WTF…Why the hell was I wasting all this time playing this hunk o wood with strings…so I walked away from playing for several years. But recently..I have found myself gravitating back toward playing……maybe it was the loss of 2 friends that I was involved with musically in the early days ….or just miss playing…don’t know….all I do know is…now..playing is different….slow down…let each nite & phrase ring out…feel everything my soul cannot put into words through an old strat & hear it through the amp….some of the passages…I truly do not know where they are coming from …because when it gets to that point….something else is driving & I am just along for the ride….guess playing IS & HAS BEEN…the ONLY thing that has kept me sane for better than 40+ years….hell…who needs a therapist….get yourself a guitar & amp…TURN IT UP….. You’ll be glad ya did.

  41. J. Dolphy says:

    For me, it went from martial arts, to baseball, to soccer, to airsoft, to archery, to shooting rifles, to learning anything and everything (which is the only lasting thing but it’s more of a secondary thing and not as important anymore) and then to guitar… enter highschool. I became interested in drawing, then art as a whole, then making manga, then cooking, then learning french, then learning japanese, then making origami, then programming, then board games that required thought, such as mahjong, shogi, go, othello, chess, checkers etc, then I graduated. since I had/have a lot of time, I got into the more time consuming things like smithing, wood carving, bushcraft, and sewing. I made so many things that everyone who sees them are impressed with. After that, I got into Knife throwing. I learned every style of throwing. Russian style quarter (no spin), Japanese style no spin, Instinctive throwing, direct throwing etc, Then I got into Kenjutsu and Iaido (which are different btw) I’ve learned all 36 stances and all cuts. I got into restoration of old things like WWII Weapons and old knives and now I’m working on cars. I had to teach myself every bit of what I listed and, objectively, I was pretty dang good at all of it. thing is, I’m only 19. You’d think I’d feel proud and accomplished about it all but, and the worst part is, I don’t. There wasn’t anybody to show my work to, no one to tell me how amazing of a job I did, no one to tell me how good I’m doing, or even any one I could talk to about any of it. *sigh* ah well. All you can do is live and see what the future holds.

  42. Merel says:

    This just about made me cry. For me, it was dancing and I lost all interest in it when I was 23 – and just graduated as a dance teacher. I am just now (29 and 6 years and counting sans dancing…) coming to terms with that loss. Blogs and talks like yours help me do that! Realizing that it is not just me and I have not gone mad has helped me immensely. Thank you thank you thank you for that! X Merel

  43. Kaisa says:

    Yes!! Exactly!! Right down to writing music in my late teens abd then … moving on. I have noticed that 3 years is really the max for me. After 2 years the novelty wears off and the 3rd year is painfull reorganizatuon before new passion appears (currently in this phaze….) Oh well, life is never boring :)

  44. Terri says:

    I’m going through a crisis – the thing which started as my passion is now a hell. Twenty years’ on I’m flogging a dead horse because I invested so much time, money, emotion on it.I’m still good, love my results but HATE the marketing aspect. I just can’t/won’t sell myself which is indispensible if I want to get my work to an audience/buyers. I love creating but part of the chain of creating a work is that it’s received and acknowledged, critiqued. Without that I feel I’m just casting my talents into the desert. I have to stop and turn to something else because I feel so hurt that I’m producing but there is no “audience”. I’ve jumped from self help blog to self help blog and they all say the same … until this. THANK YOU for this. It helps so much and will help me to move on.

  45. Sean_H says:

    My problem is almost the opposite of yours.

    I retain an extremely strong attachment to the things I was originally interested in. My loves have always been agriculture and history. I guess that shows I’m a bit eclectic, and I am a polymath.

    As I wasn’t born into agriculture, I rationally deduced that I could not make a living at it and therefore went into law. I’m really good at the law, I’m told, and I hate it. I’ve hated it since day one and it never improved, but because I couldn’t figure out what else to do, I’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years.

    It depresses me to see how I’ve never been able to find a home in what I loved from the onset, and I hate it when people who know me tell me “but you’re a good lawyer”. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of my life.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Sean,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I sometimes think it’s a crime the way we (by we, I mean society) tell people that you should do what you’re good at. I think it’s a lot more helpful to follow your curiosity than to follow your talent.

      If it helps, I know PLENTY of former lawyers who are much happier now…

  46. Ebby says:

    I’m a student in my 3rd year in college. I’ve recently been feeling inadequate, I lost my interest in dancing and everything that gave me purpose and its been a terrible feeling. Your piece has been so helpful, its inspired me. The best part of it,it assured me that everything will be alright. Thank you

  47. Jash Jain says:

    I am kinda in the first phase of the story. A couple months ago I was super pumped about producing and mixing. But nowadays I don’t really enjoy it a lot. I kinda do, and get lost in the process if I stick to it, but i am not able to produce something good, even tho I can sing well. I realise it’s due to the entrepreneurship that I’ve been getting into lately. I still enjoy music tho so I think ima stick with it.

    • Shakti says:

      Thank you for writing this .. I could relate to it so well . I have been learning Carnatic classical musIf from the age of 3 , I am 20 now and I don’t enjoy anymore actually for the couple of past years but I still did it because of fear of hurting my parent and also that I knew I would not be allowed to let it go… I can do it no more . Rather than enjoying and feeling relieved I feel tensed , irritated and sad when I have to sing … may be I will find back my interest some day.

  48. Thanks for sharing this. I’m currently working on the f# minor nocturne! they’re beautiful pieces. Afte completion of this, I would go for guitar lessons.
    Don’t get me wrong, you have to be strong and confident to be successful in just about anything you do – but with music, there’s a deeper emotional component to your failures and successes. If you fail a chemistry test, it’s because you either didn’t study enough, or just aren’t that good at chemistry (the latter of which is totally understandable). But if you fail at music, it can say something about your character. It could be because you didn’t practice enough – but, more terrifyingly, it could be because you aren’t resilient enough. Mastering chemistry requires diligence and smarts, but mastering a piano piece requires diligence and smarts, plus creativity, plus the immense capacity to both overcome emotional hurdles, and, simultaneously, to use that emotional component to bring the music alive.
    Before I started taking piano, I had always imagined the Conservatory students to have it so good – I mean, for their homework, they get to play guitar, or jam on their saxophone, or sing songs! What fun! Compared to sitting in lab for four hours studying the optical properties of minerals, or discussing Lucretian theories of democracy and politics, I would play piano any day.

    But after almost three years of piano at Orpheus Academy, I understand just how naïve this is. Playing music for credit is not “easy” or “fun” or “magical” or “lucky.” Mostly, it’s really freakin’ hard. It requires you to pick apart your piece, play every little segment over and over, dissect it, tinker with it, cry over it, feel completely lame about it, then get over yourself and start practicing again. You have to be precise and diligent, creative and robotic. And then – after all of this – you have to re-discover the emotional beauty in the piece, and use it in your performance.

  49. Nicolle Martineau says:

    This is amazing.
    I will think about this when I feel lost. Wondering in a society that gives out more questions than answers.
    This is a really great answer. Bookmarked.

  50. sadhli says:

    it feels like reading my own feelings. I qas so badly passionate about photography for last 9 years and spend hours n hours to learn the art and now when i have all the time to dedicate to it, to master it, to do anything significant more than just hobby… i simply feel bored of it. I find there is nothing much to learn as it has reached its limit in my heart where i dont want to do anymore in it. and feeling so bad and kind of a failure.

    But guesa reading thia post helped me a lot in understanding why it is the way it is. And hoping ill find something new and new shiny fascinating hobby to dive into. thanks for sharing.

  51. Andrew says:

    I was once a really good musician. Long story short, there are people – many of them – who still say to this day I was the best guitarist and composer they ever played with or in some cases, that they ever saw. The reasons that I didn’t become a success don’t make a lot of earthly sense. It would appear that the plan for me is something different. But I can’t imagine what that might be.

    I live a very average life, albeit a pretty good one when compared to many people and their hardships. I’m not especially successful in anything else (I’m a tradesman, a college instructor and have a couple of not very successful businesses and inventions under my belt) but I have a good family and a stable home life which are great blessings. But it just feels like I was supposed to be something more. And now I have absolutely no idea what to do with any of the talent I likely still have. Not a clue.

    Maybe worse than having never known your purpose is to have once been sure of it but been frustrated for no good reason at all. Most of the time these days, I’m just throwing my hands in the air and saying “I don’t really have control over anything, so what’s the use in having drive and passion or optimism that something I’m good at will bring me success?”

    Ideas used to give me an excited hopeful feeling. Now I just try to either ignore them or prevent myself from thinking the are worth working on and developing. It’s a pretty terrible feeling.

  52. Arthur says:

    Wow, it’s like looking into a mirror. I thought I was alone. Had a successful career as a music producer and DJ for 9ish years, and burnt out and discovered freediving. I’m now starting work as a freediving instructor and am loving freediving but have a profound sense of guilt that I am not making music anymore, and that I might be “quitting” instead of knuckling down and pushing through.

    Thank you for your perspective, I will try to manoeuvre this transformation with more grace now.

    All the best,

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