My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘motivation’

The End is Approaching!

You know, someday I’ll actually keep up with this blogging thing again.

Yes, I’m still getting that first draft done, BUT I have figured out what was stopping me, been working on that and it’s coming along. I have about 9 chapters left to go, give or take, and when that’s done I am rewarding myself with a subscription to An odd reward? Maybe, but I’ve inherited my parents’ desire to keep up on the genealogy, especially now that I have a son of my own. Perhaps my recent addiction to Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots also has something to do with it 🙂

Anyway, the end is approaching and I am getting excited!

I avoid thinking about all the editing and worldbuilding I have to do after this first draft is complete. Must focus on one huge step at a time, right?

Better Than I Thought

So far, the Winter Writing Festival has helped me a great deal in getting my butt into gear (or into the chair, so to speak) and write again. I struggle with keeping focused–a LOT–and it’s something I’m trying to work on. There’s something about knowing there’s other writers participating in the same challenge that really keeps me motivated. I know, I know, if I want to make a career of this, I can’t be solely dependent on other writers to keep me going. Sure, they’ll be there to challenge me and keep me accountable and it’s always great to have a support group, but ultimately the actual writing is up to me.

Anyway, it’s nice to write again after one of those “slumps” (of which I have way too many…and need to push past that). It’s nice to lose myself in the story and let the words flow–even if the words aren’t all that good in the beginning–to see the story slowly come to life is a great feeling.

For this writing challenge, I started the novel I attempted to do during NaNo (and failed so miserably at, partially due to some morning/all day sickness and general exhaustion). I took it in a different direction and already it’s flowing better. I think part of the reason I failed at NaNo this past year was because I really didn’t have an outline to follow. I’m a plotter for the most part, although I don’t always follow my outlines specifically. But it helps to have an actual map to follow as compared to a few illegible and hard to understand directions equivalent to scribbling a few messy road directions on a the back of an old receipt 😛

Am I a Writer?

Well, sometimes I think that I’m not. Especially now, when it’s like pulling teeth to ever want to sit down and write.

If I was a true writer, I’d push past it. I’d keep writing even when I didn’t want to, because that’s the way to go about it. That’s how you become a successful writer–by not giving up. But there’s something mentally that’s blocking me…and I am having a hard time breaking past it.

I wish I could get rid of the laziness/lack of desire that seems to be consuming me now. I am trying…but it seems like the other side is winning. For now 😦

Excuses are DONE

It’s sad to admit, but I really haven’t written much since the end of NaNo. All because of laziness.

One of my fellow crit group members has been actively writing 1200 words a day since then–and I’ve been a bum.

No more. After reading this post by agent Rachelle Gardner, I’ve gotten a kick in the pants. There’s only so much time we’ve been given on this earth and I’m squandering it by being lazy. There are really no excuses for me–I don’t have a little kids who need me; I don’t have that many social obligations–even with the holiday season–so why do I keep putting it off?

It’s humbling to read that post of Rachelle’s and then see how I really am just going about the motions of everyday life…

My goal now–write at least 1000 words a day until the first draft is done. Excuses are DONE.

It’s Official: I’m a Slacker

Yeah, this is what I've felt like lately.

I don’t know if it’s the burnout from NaNo in November, the cold weather and the fact that sunlight disappears around 5 in the afternoon, the stress of the Christmas season or a combination of all of the above. But I’ve got little desire to do anything.

All I want to do is be lazy and sit around. I don’t want to go Christmas shopping–in fact, I’m dreading it with every fiber of my being–I don’t want to cook or do any chores (which explains the unfolded laundry…for a week), and as much as I want to write, every time I open up Word, I get no farther than a paragraph before I’m tired of it.

I know I need to work past my slacker nature, which I’ve determined is a major personality flaw of mine. But it’s so hard…

How do you break yourself of any sort of slacker tendencies? Do you struggle with it as much as I do?

(Don’t forget to enter my contest. So far, I’ve only gotten three comments as of this post. If I don’t receive any more on the previous entry, I’ll just assume people aren’t interested…and I surely hope that’s not the case! )

Weekend Write-In

This weekend, my critique group is having a write-in at one of our member’s houses. It’s an all-day thing too; it goes from 10 a.m. (at least when the doors open; I don’t plan on arriving until just after lunch) until sometime in the evening.

You know what that means? I have no excuses 😛 I have to complete the summary for Lady of the Snow.

I’m really looking forward to this write-in because I seem to do better actually accomplishing something when I’m around fellow writers. Not sure why–perhaps it’s the creativity in the air or just the bond of sharing something so similar, yet different, with everyone. It’s also a great way to bounce ideas off each other. We’re going to be “whiteboarding” (basically using a white board to develop ideas) and it should be a great experience. 🙂

I think this is also why I’m able to write so much and keep myself motivated during NaNo. Something about all writing at the same time, aiming for a common goal–it’s easier to stay focused.

 Have you been to write-ins? Do you find them helpful or hindering in completing your WiPs?

Writing Goals, Yet Again

I have new writing goals for myself, in regards to Lady of the Snow. I’ve set up little “deadlines” and I’m hoping to stick with them.

I believe I have stated this on the blog before but I have issues though with self-motivation. 😛 During NaNo, I’m fine–I meet the goal and often it’s ahead of time. When I was in college and had research papers, I would always do much of the research and writing weeks ahead. I was never one of those that had to pull an all-nighter to get a paper done because I’d make sure it was completed and saved (in multiple places) a week ahead of time.

I’m a procrastinator but if there’s a deadline, I don’t like waiting until the last minute. It bothers me. Of course I’m not like my little sister, who often will have complete research papers MORE than a week ahead of time (she’s much more disciplined in the scholarly area than me). Still, if I have an outside force or reason to get something done, I’ll do it. But with no outer force pushing me along, I have a hard time keeping on track. I know it’s something I need to work on, especially as a writer, and it’s a big flaw of mine that I have to overcome, or at least fight on a constant basis. Yes, I readily admit that I tend to be a little on the lazy side…

Anyway, here are my new goals for my book, although they may change a little. Hoping to stick with them as best as I can though:

Deadlines for Lady of the Snow

  1. Character names and bios–August 31
  2. Loose chapter outline–October 31
  3. 1st draft (50K of it)–December 1
  4. Completed 1st draft (85-90K)–January 1

I’m hoping that NaNo will help me get a good chunk of it written; it’s helped me to write large sections in the past. I’d really like to try and get all 85K done, but I’ll aim for the lower goal of 50K. It would be nice to get it all done by the first of the year so I can start working on the arduous editing (and ultimately more in-depth research) process. It would really be nice to be able to start the query process next summer…but that will only happen if I’m able to keep on schedule and stop making excuses and procrastinating.

I need to find the motivation. That’s the only way I’ll ever have my book published.

Writer’s Block: From Blogs to Novels

I’ve been desperately wanting to keep this blog updated at least three or four times a week and so far I’m probably only posting twice a week. That’s not a way to get readers! You’d think with all the blogs I read on writing and publishing, I’d be able to think of something. Especially for a hopeful author-to-be like myself.

It’s important to get that audience, and I do have a few faithful readers (thanks, guys–you know who you are :)). But I don’t want to lose readers because my blog is not updated frequently enough for them. In today’s fast paced world, attention spans are short, and if a blog doesn’t look like it’s being updated with new posts, people will stop visiting.  But how do you keep coming up with ideas? Perhaps I’m still quite a newbie at this writing thing as my brain seems to hardly be able to come up with anything of interest, whether that’s related to the blog or writing in general.

I know I shouldn’t be making excuses–I should just sit down and write–but I have to constantly battle the lazy slob within me. That’s really my biggest flaw I think–I don’t have the motivation or control to overcome the lazy side; I often let it take over. However, I also know that if I have a deadline imposed on me, I’m able to get my butt into gear and write (for example, with NaNo, I was able to reach the 50K goal before the deadline). But if it’s left up to me, the motivation isn’t there.

Sad, isn’t it?

I think it’s changed in a few years too. I used to be able to write all the time. Most of it had to do with passing the time in boring classes in high school and college; I also used to write short stories all the time for a weekly writing challenge at another website. But even that’s stopped.

Part of that may have to do with the novel mindset I’m in; I wasn’t actively working on a novel until late college and that’s when the short story ideas started to dry up. I guess when I’m in “novel mindset” it’s hard for me to come up with anything that’s not related to it. It’s certainly not a family trait; my younger sister is also a writer and she’s able to crank out the short stories like crazy while she’s working on a novel. Perhaps that’s just how my brain is wired.

Anyway, how do you keep the ideas coming? Are you like me, where you have a difficult time with the motivation factor? Or are you able to come up with new ideas all the time? It could be related to updating your blog or writing new stories or poems. I’m just curious  how others are able to do it! 🙂

Maintaining Motivation

Now that NaNo is over and the rush to hit 50K has past, I find myself wondering: will I be able to maitain my motivation?

It’s sad really. The first draft of this book should have been completed a year ago…but December came and for some odd reason, I turned away from the book and didn’t work on it.

I have throughout the year submitted some of my written chapters for my weekly critique group, but I only ever worked on those chapters, rather than finishing the book.

Now I’m wondering if the same will happen this year.

I don’t want it to happen again. I need to get this finished…and I’m so much closer to that finish line that was elusive last year. It’s on the horizon–I can see it in the distance. Yet I can feel myself growing tired, desiring to stop and sit on the sidelines once again.

So, I need to keep myself motivated…somehow. I need to focus on that finish line, getting the first draft completed. I need to make every day like NaNo, even if I only get a thousand words written.

I am hoping to get my first draft completed by the end of the month. By midnight come the 31st of December, I want to have those words “the end” written.

It’s going to be difficult for me–more so than it was during NaNo. Perhaps I’m not what some would call a “true writer”; one who would have the discipline enough to keep writing every day. It’s that discipline that I know I am lacking–but something I have to find if I ever have the hopes of being a novelist.

So, I must still keep that inner editor locked away and search for that motivation to keep going–and finally type “the end” on this draft.

So, my question to writers out there: how do you keep yourself focused on the goal?

A Bit of a Writer’s Slump

Not surprising that I’m going through yet another one of these spells of what I like to call “writer’s slump.” Not exactly like writer’s block, just the fact that the motivation is getting hard to find. Hence the name.

Perhaps it’s because the past week has been a bit on the crazy side. First, there was the sudden death of a beloved family pet.

Then came traveling a total of 6 hours to Cleveland and back to Dayton between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon (not something I complain about–it’s nice to see my family).

Of course there was the great celebrating of a first anniversary yesterday.

And I can’t forget the myriad of new and often confusing responsibilities I’ve been given at work.

I must admit through all of this, the creative juices have stagnated 😛

It’s hard to keep it flowing when I’m just so busy all the time! I know–it’s not a valid excuse. A true writer would keep going regardless. Perhaps I’m not a true writer in that sense. I find it very hard to keep writing when so much is going on…I try but often with less than stellar results.

Still, what’s the use of complaining about it? It really gets me no where 😛 I just need to try harder.

I need to make every month like NaNo…it’s just hard for me to get into that mindset.

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