Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Mailbox ~ Motivation

It's Monday and it's time to visit Tilda the mailbox and answer your questions. What motivates a writer is the topic for this week.

So the question I keep getting is how I stay motivated to keep writing. AC, RJ, FT, and GR, this answer is for you.

Basically I don't stay motivated to write. I write when I'm motivated or have the time to devote to writing. This is different than anything you may have read on writing sites. I'm a firm believer in that old adage, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Fighting too many things at once and trying to be creative writing is doomed from the start.
  • You are rowing against the tide which doubles any underlying frustration. 
  • Fighting and snipping at yourself will only make you feel bad.
  • You, above all others, knows what to be done so why badger yourself.
  • Do you honestly write better when forced to?
Yes, realize that you are indeed rowing against the tide. I haven't written a new word in my manuscript for almost eight weeks! Between my ongoing therapy sessions, doctor appointments, family in town, my DH (darling hubby) stuff, I just haven't had thirty minutes to sit down at my computer and write. Not because of lack of creativity just juggling my time schedule. With interruptions from doctors and pharmacies, new and old medicines and their side effects during the waking hours my brain was going ninety to nothing on everything else.

No amount of condoling or making myself feel bad about not writing would free up more time. Time is a finite thing and so are my energy levels. Do I feel bad enough about not writing, you bethcha! Did I want to write, yep. Could I write, nope. The best I could manage was thinking about writing.

I above anybody else knows my limits and a humongous honey-do-list. If I beat myself up about the things I can't control, I'd have no self worth left. Badgering myself about it just wastes time that could be used to shorten my honey-do-list. On any given day there are eighteen permanently placed things on this list that do not change. Everything else is squeezed in.

Isn't it the same for everyone? Even an expert of time management, like I like to think of myself, have stumbling times. They may be just a day or days, weeks, or months (yes I have those times too). I allow myself to have that freedom and piece of mind. Nothing kills creativity than pressure.

Jacqui Oakley Illustrations
Now if, everything is hunky-dory and I have a half hour here and there, I'll write. Sometimes I'll even write for hours. Those are highly motivated times. I'll sit and knock out a thousand words an hour. Those are the good times although far between in my life. While it may be helpful for those just starting out writing to make a schedule to write everyday, I being a seasoned writer have difficulty writing every day. I keep saying when my life slows down a bit maybe I'll write everyday. The problem is my life may appear to be slower now that I'm not working, but it is way busier because it takes me twice as long to do things.

What motivates a writer to write...the same thing that motivates readers to read. The persistent what ifs bouncing around in your gray matter, characters so rich and alive that they just can't be stilled, and a story that can't be reasoned away. Sure book sales can be a great motivator if the reason you are writing is money, but is that all it takes to be a writer? What sequence of events makes any writer sit in front of a computer screen for the hours, weeks, and months it takes to complete a rough draft? The answer is in some of the things I mentioned above.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't force it. When I do have an idea and I'm ready to rock, I will place myself on a time schedule. I'm a bit of a lazy writer, so I need the kick of NaNo to keep me moving.

Kelley Lynn said...

Yeah, I just write when I feel like writing which is pretty much all the time. Motivation isn't an issue for me.

J.L. Murphey said...

Alex, I felt the Nano was a no brainer for me. I was writing 50K in about 2 weeks, what was I supposed to do with the last two weeks of the month. lol

I'm finding the more my life is butting in, I can't settle my mind down to write.

J.L. Murphey said...

Kelley,
Welcome! Motivation isn't a problem for me. It's a time constraints and dealing with my stroke that's hurting me now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JL - I have masses of ideas and sometimes struggle to put them into a coherent post or posts ..

I do have great ideas at the wrong times of day - and need to get the recorder out and part of my daily routine .. as the words I think then are much better than the 'forced' ones later on - the flow has been lost.

Cheers with all you do .. Hilary

J.L. Murphey said...

Hilary,
I used to keep a small note pad in my pocket and at my bedside to jot down all those brilliant pieces of mental flashes. Cheaper than a recorder.