1. ManicHedgehog
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    ManicHedgehog Member

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    Finding the energy/motivation?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ManicHedgehog, Mar 10, 2009.

    I like writing, and I have ideas for stories in my head. Normally things I'd like to flesh out for novels, but the occasional short story comes to me, as well.

    The problem I have these days is that I just can't bring myself to write for leisure. I'm a newspaper writer by trade, so I write anywhere between 500 and 2,000 words every day just to make a living, not to mention all the time I spend doing interviews and research, and my weird schedule that eliminates my mornings and nights and leaves me nothing but limbo time in the middle of the day - time I can only loosely consider "free."

    The problem is, when I get home from the morning half of my shift, I already have an assignment I have to work on, either then or later, so with that on my mind, I have a hard time bringing myself to write anything for fun. When I get home from my late shifts, I normally just want to crash in bed or do something mindless, like play video games or surf the Web. And when I do finally get motivated to do something with my story, I usually just delve into my books to get more inspiration and do more research on the topic. I just can't bring myself to type "Chapter One" and let it fly.

    In the middle of a busy lifestyle, especially one that requires writing by trade, how would you find the energy and motivation to write anything in your spare time? I love writing, but while fiction writing can be mentally stimulating, daily newspaper writing is mentally draining, and I spend so much time recharging my batteries that I'm afraid they've just run dry on me.
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    ManicHedgehog,

    There are some jobs/careers that draw on the same well as that required for writing fiction. If you absolutely can't write during the week, then write on the weekends and do other writing related 'stuff' during the week (such as research or editing/revising) which is a little bit different.

    I will say that most writers (who work full-time or more) struggle to fit writing into their schedule for various reasons. Family obligations, hobbies, other commitments all impede. Writing has to take priority and sometimes one just has to push through, even when it is difficult or one feels worn out.

    I don't know what your goals are, ManicHedgehog, but if you do write a novel and find a publisher for it, you'll be expected to find time to work with an editor to get it ready, all the while writing a new novel in a timely fashion, along with doing some self-promotion. So, working out the kinks and stretching the ability to fit writing related tasks into the routine now may be a good thing to attempt. Of course, writing can't be such a drain that it affects your career (where you earn your living) or possibly even your personal life and relationships. It's a balance that every writer has to face.

    I teach and also have a part-time job, and a family and all that goes with it. Some weeks, depending on how many essays I am reading, lessons I am preparing, and situations that come up in life, the amount of writing that gets 'done' is less. I also, for example, edit for a small ezine, which has taught me a lot, but also takes time from writing. But it is something I enjoy and something that is worth the time and effort.

    I guess in the end, there is not easy answer. No 'one size fits all' solution. It does, however, involve carving out a spot in life and making writing a priority on some level, for there to be progress and success. Hang in there and hope you're able to work it out.

    Terry
     
  3. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    This is a nice way of explaining it.... unfortunately I find something similar being a teacher - when I get home to my own kids in the evening, I find the "interpersonal" part of my brain is tired out. Something that can help (at least a little) is spending a little time for a break doing an activity that uses a completely different part of my brain.... make sure you do something that is very different to writing before you write (playing music, some kind of sport, drink with mates down the pub, ...), and you will probably feel fresher when you start the writing.

    It may be worth a try, anyway...
     
  4. samessex
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    samessex Member

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    i know how you feel. although my job does not consist of "creative writing" its a pretty tiring jobs and long and antisocial hours. so when i do get home and do have time to myself, i just feel exhausted and dont always have the time and energy for writing. however, recently i have been on night shifts at work and have found this period of time quite useful and i have produced some good writing. i try not to put too much stress on myself when it comes to writing, just make sure you have a note book and pen with you wherever you go and just write when you want to or when you get an idea. :rolleyes:
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    What modivated you to write those four paragraphs?

    How about try that. Try to write just four paragraphs of your novel?

    I study parts of good books I enjoyed for inspiration. Sometimes I come here for inspiration. Once you are in the mood to write, write something even if it is only a paragraph.
     
  6. traffic101
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    traffic101 Member

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    Hi, I agree with architectus, if you have time to post on this forum, you have to time to write your novel.

    If you are tired and burnt out at the end of your day, that is okay, but it can't be everyday.

    I work full time, and in the evenings and weekends I am working away on my website. I don't like writing non-fiction, but that is what I am doing.

    Than on the weekends I try to work on my fun fiction. If I can find the time, you can. Right now I don't have much of a life, because I am busy building a website. But once I am done, I'll be able to have more fun again.
     
  7. Bongo Mongo
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    I am kind of in your situation. Right now I am in high school where I am constantly doing essays. Almost half my day I am thinking about what I want to put into my story, but when I get home I completely run out of motivation to write it down.

    What I do is I open up my story that I am working on, and tell myself I am just going to read through it and not write anything. By the time I am done reading it I will have edited a lot of it, and started writing easily. Once I just get started the words start flowing easily.

    Right now I am doing a project on Farley Mowat, and I looked up an interview with him. After writing more than thirty books, he says he does not like to write. He says that the feeling of accomplishment is so incredible that it is by far worth all that time he put into writing it.

    Hoped I helped
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    As others have pointed out, if you are posting on this site, you must have time. Also, if you're doing research and reading for inspiration, you must have time. So the issue here is that you're writing a news aticle every day, and don't have the energy to write anything else, even if you have time. Do you take notes while you research? Have to started plotting out the story? I imagine you have note pads for work. One thing you can do is set one aside for notes on research and one for plot and characters.

    You've stated that you have lots of ideas, so pick one. Give yourself permission to put down whatever thoughts you have about it, good or bad, whenever you have a spare moment. Lots of writers start out this way with a new book. When you have the time, and you feel you have the energy, to really write a first chapter, give yourself permission to write badly. When you write for the paper, you only have a few days or a few hours to get the article right. The same pressure does not exist for a novel that no editor knows about. You can write whatever is in your head and edit later with no thoughts of a deadline.
     
  9. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Having loads of time to explore ideas is at a premuim these days. My suggestion is to start by taking 10 min. everyday. Get into the routine. Get into that life-pattern. If you want it bad enough, it will usually get done.
     

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