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  1. Brandy
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    Brandy New Member

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    Getting the motivation to write...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Brandy, Jun 2, 2007.

    I want to write. I really do. The topic I want to write about, is a topic I love. However, every time I get started, I read what I've typed, think to myself, "Ya, like anyone wants to read this crap!" then close the document.

    How do you find the motivation to not only start writing, but continue to write, even when you don't feel what you are writing is anything anyone would ever want to read.

    The thing is - I know there are people who DO want to read what I am writing - I just feel an obligation to do it really right and that is overwhelming.

    Thanks in advance!
    Brandy
     
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  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I ignore the fact that whatever I write is crap, and bank on the fact that the human race is stupid and impressionable so they won't notice how crappy I am. (No offense, human race!)
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I can relate. I come up with many story ideas. Yet in the last few years I've only written three stories I've wanted to share. One of these I have completely revised with help from this forum, another I'm in th eprocess of rewriting, and the third I just wrote, and haven't yet had time to become dissatisfied with it.

    More often, I'll write a page, become disgusted, and delete it. Even more often, I never start writing before I flush it.

    I have more problem with writers who think every word they write glows in gold, though. It is discontent that makes you go back and improve your writing.

    I hope I never disparage the intellect of anyone who decides to read what I write, though. In sports, or chess, or many other competitive pursuits, the better your opponent, the better your game will be as well. Writing is not naturally competitive, but there is still a tension between the author's intent and the reader's comprehension and appreciation. If you write for a sophisticated audience, I believe you will write your best.

    But back to the topic at hand. I think there is no easy answer, but to try not to judge yourself on a work in its infancy. If the thought you began writing with held enough promise to inspire you at first, it probably is worth putting effort into developing. Even if you discard it later, the effort alone exercises your imagination.

    Maybe we should not delete the "crap", but keep it in a scrapbook. Every once in a while, dust off the scrapbook, Maybe you'll look at something you wrote, and say, "You know, this is flawed, but maybe this idea is worth taking in a different direction."

    And maybe I'll even try doing that.
     
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  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Brandy,

    I think most people write the type of stories or novels they'd like to find on a book shelf or magazine rack, or online.

    Don't feel intimidated or that your work isn't good enough. One thing to remember is that what your writing (the documents you indicate you start but then close because you view it as crap) is that it is a first draft. Very few writers have a first draft that is anywhere near ready for publication, so I suspect you're one of those writers in the majority.

    You have to write a first draft...finish it. Let it sit a while, then go back and revise and edit...probably more than once.

    Writing is a process, something you get better at as you do it. You'll learn, your individual voice will come through, and you'll see that your eventual product is not the "crap" you first percieved it to be.

    It might benefit you to do some prewriting preparation--plot, outline, research, before you begin the next project.

    Hope it all comes together for you!

    Terry
     
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  5. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Brandy - I know EXACTLY what you mean. It's really frustrating.

    I guess the only solution I've come across is to realize that I'm not writing for other people, but I'm writing for myself. I write to prove that I can write - not to impress people and not to get published. Furthermore, I try to polish what I do have until I'm satisfied with it before moving on to a new project.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    brandy...
    if you want to know whether it's really as bad as you think it is, you can send it to me for a critical read... and some suggestions for how to make it better, if your fears are well founded...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
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  7. Brandy
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    Brandy New Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    I am going to take it one step at a time. Right now, I am working closely with a friend who will gladly read for me - she is the person who keeps pushing me to write.

    I was feeling up to it this morning, so I wrote a few pages. It feels good to write - I just worry that I am coming off as the 'authority' on the topic - and that is NOT what I want.

    My one 'dream' in all of this is that people will read what I write and then use the lessons I learned to make their situation better...or not...whatever works for them.

    The bottom line - I am told often how 'lucky' I am to have such a wonderful experience - I just want others to be lucky too, so I want to share what I've learned!

    But I don't want to come off as a jackass...and...well...I feel like a jackass.

    Again, thanks! I'll keep coming back here and updating.

    Brandy
     
  8. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    I was the exact same way. And now when I do read everything I wrote, I do realise that I was so totally right in thinking that I write total crap.
    But I kept on writing. Slowly, it helped me remove the general crappiness from my writing, and now I think I can write more non-crap than crap, and am hoping that within a few months, I'll minimalise the crap totally...


    Just keep on writing. That's the only way to help it
     
  9. KimberlyDawnWells
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    KimberlyDawnWells New Member

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    I once read somewhere that you can do just about ANYTHING for fifteen minutes. If you know you need to write, start and commit to fifteen minutes. Don't cheat, actually write for those fifteen minutes, but give yourself permission to stop after your time is up. Often just getting started is enough to jump start your creativity and motivation.
     
  10. PaidWriting
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    PaidWriting New Member

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    Therein is the problem. Though you need to consider your audience, you should write for yourself. If you read what you have written and believe you have expressed yourself well then you have served your readers.
     
  11. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    I try to write for the simple pleasure of it.

    Of course, if I have an idea that won't leave me, I try to write it out of my system.

    The thing is, I have got scenes I know I won't use, yet I write them any, why? Because I feel it doesn't matter what you write, as long as you do your best. Having read a large portion of the fantasy out there, I know most of it is crap, and I dare say my work will fit into that catagory.

    This doesn't stop me because I try to produce the best possible story I can. I think some of it is down to inner confidence, conifdence that you an write a story that others will like, and if no-ones does, guess what? You wrote it, and that's something to be proud of.
     
  12. Dan Rhodenizer
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    Dan Rhodenizer Member

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    Once you have a page written (or even less) and you don't like it. Just don't scrap it! Find out what's wrong with it and see if you can improve it. Thats what I do.
     
  13. mypensmysoul
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    mypensmysoul Member

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    Here's my theory, and has been for some time:

    Writing is way overrated. You edit and revise until your tenth draft reads like an effortless first.

    It goes something like that. I got it from a book called The Writer's Little Helper, by Smith.

    Look into the book. It will really help you! I got it a couple of years ago, when I realized I was doing more telling than showing in my stories, which is exactly the opposite of what I want to do. Now I show automatically.

    Dont worry about what others think. Write for the sheer pleasure of writing. Revise and revise just for the thrill that you can make magic with the words you choose; you can affect someone's world! Once you're story reads wonderfully (and that can takeyears, believe me), you wont be so self concious.

    Hehe, and maybe you should try writing on paper, like I do, so you can't delete your work! :p

    Good luck! :)
     
  14. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    It's all you need, to enjoy it, I think Pratchett really enjos writing, don't you?

    I personally don't like those books that tell you how to write, reading them seems counter productive.
     

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