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 The Motivation Thread

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emilycross
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PostSubject: The Motivation Thread   Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:18 pm

I'm unmotivated.

Seriously i'm finding the thought of sitting down to type my story a chore. Where has my mojo gone?

I can't even pick up a pen and write a poem at the moment. I was so ready to go when i was doing my masters that i was chomping at the bit. i thought that maybe it was left over tiredness - a month later and i'm wondering . . .

WTF!!!!!!


I need Someone to kick me!

any volunteers Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:28 am

Poor you, Emily! I'm sure everyone gets this way at some time or another. I think personally that the thing to do when you're blocked is to just write. Don't worry about if it's crap or you'll ever use it - just get on and shove something down, until the flow comes back.

But some people say the opposite - take a break!

Whatever works for you, I guess.

Hope your mojo is back soon...

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dianapaz
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:55 pm

Aww Emily!! I know exactly how you feel; I think we all do. Sometimes it helps me if I pick up a book and read something, but if you really want to get back into writing you could try jumping ahead to an exciting scene or one with lots of emotional punch. Or else write something to help your wip, even though you know it will never ever go into the book. It could be a scene in the villain's pov or some backstory... and the best part is you can make it as purple and verbose as you like because it's not really meant for the book Smile

It'll pass, but I hope it doesn't take too long. Hugs!

Diana
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:08 am

Thanks guys!! I really appreciate the advice! Aw heres hoping it passes soon!

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gobblegobble
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:11 am

Best motivation right now I've found for myself is that I just unpacked my story binders and they are all laying right next to my bed and on my night stand just "lurking" for me to work on them.

It seems to be working because I've got the "itch" to write which I will probably do tonight for a bit.
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dianapaz
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:20 pm

Oh looking through my old notes gets me going, or listening to music that reminds me of my hero/heroine Smile
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:43 pm

looking at past notes is a double edged sword for me cause its like 'damn i was meant to get such and such draft done by xxth of the month Laughing

music is definitely though a great source of inspiration!

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dianapaz
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:21 am

That's true about double-edged swords. Mine is re-reading the beginning of a ms. Once I do that I get no writing done because I start the revision machine...but on the up side, revisions make the wip better.

Another source of inspiration for me is reading the interviews of the newly agented on Query Tracker. Knowing others were able to cross that threshold makes me want to keep writing Smile
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The Sesquipedalian
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:57 pm

Sometimes when I find myself in that state of mind, I find it helps to go into edit mode for awhile. I go back through my WIP--sometimes I just pick a spot at random--and start editing. Often it's enough to get my creative juices flowing again so that I can start writing new material, but if not, at least I'm making progress towards a finished work.
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emilycross
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:13 pm

Oh thats good advice sesquipedalian - and welcome to the board Smile

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daeonica
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:28 am

dianapaz wrote:
Mine is re-reading the beginning of a ms. Once I do that I get no writing done because I start the revision machine...

I used to have this problem. Now I just don't let myself reread anything until I've finished it. Otherwise I get caught up in changing things, and I'll never get it written.

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Shix
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:10 am

Hi. I've tried just about every way of beating writer's block except asking for motivation on a forum, so shall give that a go! I'm in terrible shape, having not written anything worthwhile for years. Sometimes I think it's coming back, I think of something whilst at work or doing something mundane, something that ignites a little spark for the stories I already have but my problem is in the sitting down and writing. I've tried just about every conceivable strategy to just get something written but for whatever reason, this is proving so difficult. Just started a blog to keep track hoping that might help, but hasn't as yet. Long term maybe it will. It's gotten to a point where I hate sitting down at a computer or picking up a pen and paper, because I know inevitably I'll walk away an hour or so later having accomplished nothing. Like Emily said in her original post, I need a slap in the face or kick in the backside, just something to snap me out of this terrible state I'm in. Any help would be appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:24 am

First stick up a link to your blog, we'd love to read it !!

Second, i know what you mean. I've little notebooks full of ideas but its the actually writing thats a killer.

Obviously you;ve tried all the usual stuff so i wana ask a few questions and see if it helps? then i'll give you a kick in the backside Wink Laughing

1. what is the usual medium you use to write your stories - laptop? pen? Paper? typewriter?

2. How do you usuall plot your stories - do you get an idea then plan and then write? or go with the flow?

3. Do you have a certain writing place? or routine?

3a. you mention that you walk away an hour later - how long would you usual write for/ or do you go by wordcount to gauge goals?

4. How do you feel when your writing? Do you think it goes well, then reread and hate it? or just can't get words on page?

5. How do you feel afterwards?


Sorry - it probably sounds really stupid asking all these questions but you never know!

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Shix
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:29 am

Hi Emily,

No they're not stupid questions, I've asked them myself a number of times.

1. Usually on my Mac, though I've tried pencil and paper, I have an ancient typewriter that makes me "feel" like a writer, and used that for awhile for a change but ultimately nothing has worked.

2. This I find interesting. When I began as a kid, I had an initial seed of an idea then jumped straight on in to see where it would take me. Not having written anything for 8 years though has allowed me plenty of time to think about and plot my stories. I usually plan a bit, then write a bit, then change my plan then write some more etc. Though because the writing's been failing me, I've done a lot of planning instead.

3. Lol, moved my writing desk all over the house, written outside with pen and paper ... have tried regularly to establish a routine but without luck. I've now decided to try for a little while before bed each night as I'm not a morning person (usually grumpy at having to wake at 4:30 am for work each day!)

3a. At the moment, it's just whatever I can. I'm trying to do an hour at night, and a half hour thinking, planning, noting in my break at work. I don't go by word count, just as long as I'm able to move forward in that hour.

4. Can't get the words on paper.

5. When I can't get the words on paper? Miserable, frustrated, upset at myself for having somehow gone and screwed up a skill that required no conscious thought when I was younger.

My blog is here. Forgive its simplicity, it's my first attempt at a blog and I didn't want to get caught in the trap of spending time making it all fancy when I should be writing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:34 am

It sounds to me like your big problem is getting the words written down - is that right?
I think maybe being motivated is not quite what you want to change - it sounds like you are motivated, and it's just doing it that's hard. Like homework. We start with good intentions of getting it done as soon as possible, so that then you don't need to worry about it, and then gradually the deadline gets closer and closer. But you don't want to do the homework, because it's boring, so no matter how many times you open the book, it isn't going to get done.

My advice for you at the moment would be to start small. Get a target that's so easy, there's no way you can not meet it. I would say start with one sentence a day. That way, you are thinking about the story at least a little bit every day, so your subconscious will keep ticking over it. Some days you'll get more than that - maybe loads more, like a couple of thousand words. But on the days that it seems hard, just get that one sentence out.
Once you've got that going nicely, you could up the daily goal. But keep it to something that's still achievable.

I think you should try and get back into it gradually. Don't try and force it too much.


Of course, if you've tried this, or don't think it would work for you, feel free to ignore me! Very Happy

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Shix
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:04 pm

Hi Daeonica,

It is the writing part that's getting to me. The only time I ever set goals in my life for my writing was when I was writing the story that eventually got published, but those goals were 6000 words a day! 6 a day would be progress at the moment.

Thanks for the advice, I'm concentrating on time at the moment, just trying to sit down for an hour at night and hopefully make some progress. Had a good night last night and if I'm able to stick with it this week, I'll hopefully have around 5000 words and a routine and that's more than I've accomplished in years. If nothing else, I'm just trying to train my mind, to get into the habit of getting a crappy 60,000 word first draft done. That's all I want, all I need to do. Don't want to get ahead of myself as I've made some progress before and then things have gone pear-shaped after missing a couple days for whatever reason, so just want to keep to my hour a night for this week.
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:50 am

Adding to what daeonica has said, i think (and this is what i'm doing) is that you have expectations of what 'should' happen.

When i was younger i wrote shorts and it was electric, you couldn't stop me - now though like you its a struggle to get the words done properly. I freaked myself out, and paralysed my work so what i decided to do was to put my MS/WIP to one side and start doing short stories, flash fiction and even shorter than flash fiction (less than 100 words - micro fiction). It sounds stupid but i was putting aside my own prejudgements that this will be *it* by putting my WIP aside for a while. Like riding a bike with stabilisers, and when i'm more comfy with my flow, i'll go back to the WIP.

Its probably a tad stupid, but my plan is to take this year and essentially complete a short story a month and a poem a week. Get in the routine of writing, but not writing something i've planned and invested in so much that i've paralysed myself.

Paralysis through Analysis as my mother says Laughing

I don't know if that will help? I also find writing to music very helpful too.

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Shix
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:25 am

Tried doing that, tried giving up all works in progress and having fun. But then my motivation also abandoned me as the drive to write throw-away fiction wasn't very strong. One of the issues is that I've already had my writing published, so I know that if I do get my act together and persevere, publication will follow. So in my mind, I need to write something worthwhile.

I don't think that plan of yours is stupid, it'll probably serve you well in the long run, plus you're likely to come up with a lot of ideas for longer pieces of work from all the short stories you write.

Music does play a key part in my writing, for me it's R.E.M.
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Shix
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:09 am

Think I may have made a huge break-thru! Have been writing for roughly an hour a day for one week now and it's more than I've accomplished in a long time. Thanks for the advice, airing my frustrations has helped me realise that if I wanted things to change I had to be proactive. Here's hoping it continues. You can follow my progress (if you've nothing better to do Smile on my blog. It's HERE.
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PostSubject: Re: The Motivation Thread   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:25 pm

Yay Shix, that's awesome!

I'm with Emily, I haven't written anything for over 6 months. At first it was pregnancy and work tiring me, now I'm so busy that whenever I have a break during my sons nap I don't want to do anything or end up cleaning the house. Or, I'm tired and end up napping.

Emily, when I had writers block a long time ago that was not attributed to motherhood, I found just taking a break helped. After about a week I'd start picking through it and eventually got back into it by the second week. Your goals were rather intense, maybe you're just written out at the moment. Try having no goals (other than to write, that's it, no schedule or outline) for a bit and see where that goes!

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