1. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How do you motivate yourself to continue?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mckk, Jul 8, 2012.

    So, how do you motivate yourself when you're stuck in a rut, feeling tired and/or bored and would do anything to just ditch the whole damn thing - how do you carry on? What do you do to motivate yourself to finish?

    This is a thread for your own personal tips :)

    My own technique is currently - write a little at a time. If 500 words is all I can manage because I'm so p**** off with my MS then I'll write those 500 words, even if I know they're crap, I write them anyway. Sorta one word at a time, so I always know I'm moving forward. It's sorta failing me right about now, hence the thread... :rolleyes:
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I'm in the exact same situation as you. My writing motivation is kinda gone...and my writing doesn't feel like it sounds like my character any more!

    What I try to do:
    - Read a good book or watch a nice movie. This inspires and urges me to write on.
    - Listen to some motivational music (This is pretty much any song I like for me)
    - Write a little bit each day [200-500 words for me] even if you think it's not your best. (I keep forgetting this is the first draft! There's still time to go back and edit)
    - Leave it for a little while and then come back later.
    - Talk to fellow writer (Basically what we're doing now lol)

    That's what I do to get myself motivated but it's failing at the moment ._.
     
  3. Program
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    Program Member

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    If I feel unmotivated to continue, I just leave it alone for a while, because for me, I almost always come back to something I don't finish. In my opinion, it seems wrong to force myself to continue. Writing should be fun - not torture.
     
  4. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    I'm the same way as Program, I can't force it. For me it's okay to walk away from what I'm writing for a day, a week, even months at a time if need be. There are a lot of factors involved as to why I would lose motivation. For example right now for me it's summer and I'm enjoying the outdoorsy things I can't during our (very long) winters. Gardening, swimming, sitting outside on my patio reading to name a few.

    If it's just a lag and semi-writer's block, I move onto something else and write that. Fan-fic for me is fun, brainless, I know it's writing just for fun so I don't worry about anything and just enjoy it. That usually helps me get out of a rut.
     
  5. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Keeping myself busy in other works makes me feel guilty that i am not writing and that somehow triggers ideas in my brain. Half an hour of break at work gives me more writing inspirations and ideas than sitting in my desk and waiting for ideas to come. I take notes of all the exciting ideas during the day and when I sit down at home I just open the notes and they never fail to motivate me.
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm at the point where I really want to get published, so only writing when it's fun isn't on the table for me. Usually a good kick in the pants - like visualizing where I want to be in X amount of time compared to where I will be if I don't get the darn thing written. That usually does it.
     
  7. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I never stop writing but I do switch projects a lot. But read other things, analyze what I've written so far, and write a bit even if I am going to delete it in the other day usually works when I'm stuck in a project and I don't want to be.
     
  8. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I try to read a couple of books, knit, play a video game or take a walk. Anything to take my mind off my work. Always learnt that taking a break from the book may draw me back to it. Writing is not meant to be easy. If I can only write 100 words, I can only write that. I just never give up on a book that I have dedicated so much time to.
     
  9. Melvin Morrow
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    Melvin Morrow New Member

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    I go on a movie-watching streak or devour literature gluttonously. That usually urges me on, but if it doesn't work I try to force myself through some horrendous literature, movies or TV-series. That usually works wonders since I can keep telling myself I do actually like my own work a lot more than the laughable products on this planet. The "I can do it better"-mentality, I'm afraid.
     
  10. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I have a term for days like this, I call them 'write off days'.

    Sometimes the direction I want my MS to go in isn't clear, and I write 3 versions of a chapter and realize all 3 of them suck. Instead of piddling 300-500 garbage words that will eventually be cut from the final version, I'll write the day off. What that means is I completely forget about writing, I don't let it enter my mind, and I do something else. Usually I play Modern Warfare 3, exercise, hang out with my dog. After this I usually get an itch to write something, and I can get back to work.

    Another thing I do is called 'Flip outs', there's another internet forum that I've built a reputation on. I will ask the people on the forum to give me 4 random words, and because the forum is such high traffic it takes about 30 seconds to get 5 replies.Than I take the words and I write a 400 word short story with them in under 30 minutes (my record is a 400 word short story in 7 minutes), and I do this until I get a writing headache. One of my flip outs lasted 8 hours and I wrote 10 or 11 short stories that day for a total of 4,000+ words. All of a sudden writing 500 words for a manuscript in 4 hours seemed like child's play.
     
  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just sit down and write, and move the novel's plot forward.
    Making progress, for me, builds momentum.
     
  12. Darin Peaker
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    Darin Peaker Member

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    Like TWErvin, I just start and let momentum build.

    I reward myself with something small every 100 pages.

    Every 10 pages I post the page count on fb for my friends to see. I'm at 479 right now and I'm excited to throw that big 480 up today sometime.

    I've been slaving away for so long, that often it's not so much motivation, as it is habit.

    I think about the story constantly. I've fallen in love with my two main characters and when I think of them triumphing, or falling in love with each other, I get excited and want to write it. Same with epic battles, or a good joke.

    Coffee.

    What I find demoralizing/demotivating is the lack of time to write. It makes the task seem impossible.

    Cheers!
     
  13. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I take an old paperback - sit down and make a fake book cover for it - with the title of my book on the front and my name on the spine. Then I place it on my desk. Whenever I get discouraged , I look at the book and say don't give up, this will be real some day! It gives me a little boost.
    Plus , it gives me a much needed break from plain old writing.
     
  14. Eliot Bauers
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    Eliot Bauers Member

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    _____If your project sucks, then everybody else will think it sucks too. You made the baby. Now, what you've got to do is make sure that thing comes out right. Who's to say that kids always turn out right? They're getting to be real brats these days too. (I expect a moderator to come in and call me retarded for saying that at any minute.) So, what do you do with wayward brats? You correct 'em.
    _____First, let me ask if you've got an outline. You DO have an outline, don't ya? Don't even think about coming around here with difficulties pertaining to writer's block, Charley horses, or anything else unless you've got an OUTLINE. I tell you, anybody who tries to write without an outline might as well be trying to navigate the New Jersey turnpike at night in foggy weather with a few drunk relatives in the back seat trying to sing '80s songs. Miss your turn on that highway; see what happens. I just hope you live to tell the tale. But about tale-telling, without that outline to serve as your roadmap, don't expect to finish it any time this decade.
    _____Now, assuming you've got the outline, it's time to do some correction. Find out why your story is growing up to be a piece of crap. Destroy everything past your current point of progress. Kill off some characters while you're at it. Hee-hee...! Get the chainsaw! Killin' stuff is ALWAYS fun! Uh, did I say that out loud? Anyway, on with the slaughter! You need to re-craft the latter portion of your outline in a better image. I've trashed whole chapter-plans before myself, and I'll probably do it again. Okay-okay, you don't have to kill characters. You can also add characters to make things more awesome. Give it a go.
    _____I'll give an example of what I've done with my own work before you think I'm just preaching without practicing. My current novel-in-progress is about a pair of robot-girls made to do battle with the forces of darkness. They're tough as tanks, and all the enemies they've faced were little green bastards in red coveralls who pretty much do little else but try to set up evil devices and set themselves up for slaughter. (Think about the gremlins of World War II military folklore.) I figured the plot was getting repetitively repetitive, so I threw in a black-clad cybernetic Goth-girl to sort of anchor down the psychotic personalities of the other two frontline-combat protagonists. That, and I've used the character to introduce the means of bringing the story to a head. That is, the cybernetic Goth girl has the technology and the know-how to put a stop to the little green bastards for good. I'm just finishing up this piece-of-crap novel just for the sake of completion. But hey, at least it gets done. Now go forth, and complete your great work.
     
  15. lasm
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    lasm Member

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    Sometimes I edit.

    Usually I work on things for my dayjob that I would be neglecting if I were writing. I write because I want to. If the feeling isn't there, I'm not gonna force it.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Uh, wrong. Not every writer needs an outline. A great many published (and successful) authors don't use them. And telling someone not to come here asking questions if they don't have one is ludicrous.
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    It's less of a problem for me because I write for myself. The days I get less motivated are when I spend them editing, proofing, or tying up bits and pieces to make my story into something publisher ready. I truly don't enjoy that at all.

    When it gets rough my thoughts are time out of one form or another, coffee, - so much coffee, and doing something completely different - dvds, books, friends etc.

    One thing I have found a huge motivator though, is doing book covers. It helps me enormously because even though I have the artistic capacity of a spastic ant, I just love it. And as the book cover is for whatever book I'm writing, it helps to return me to that.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. Darin Peaker
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    Darin Peaker Member

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    That's kinda beautiful.
     
  19. Luna13
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    Luna13 Active Member

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    Shadowwalker, I absolutely agree with you. To say that every writer absolutely must have an outline or they have no right to ask writers block questions is preposterous. I understand that if you just sit down and start writing with no sense of the plot whatsoever, you might not get very far (but who knows, maybe you will!). But for a lot of writers, a general idea of the plot - even if it's just "Bob went to town to buy some milk but was stopped by the police for questioning about a murder" - is sufficient.

    Anyway, what I do when my writing sounds old and uninspiring and just so dang bad it's ridiculous is stop writing that particular piece. If you find it boring, do you think anyone's going to want to read it? Don't stop writing altogether, just write something different. Give the little plot that's been forming in the back of your mind a try, or have somebody give you a prompt, and word count requirement, and a time limit. When you're ready, go back to the original piece.
     
  20. J♥Star
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    J♥Star Member

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    I want to get published. I'm a student, and I'm finishing school soon. I see two roads i can go down. One of them is spending up to $200,000 on a certain graduate school, or getting published and being able to continue to write. So most of the day I write. This is the last summer before i graduate, so i see it as something i really need to try and do. If i end up going to graduate school i don't think i would hate life, but its not something that i feel i really want to do, its only a substitute for the real thing. So in other words, i'm motivated by the thought of not doing what i really want to do.
     
  21. NeedMoreRage
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    NeedMoreRage Member

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    I write for fun so when something stops being fun, I move on to a different project with the intention of returning to it after a few months. When writing itself stops being fun, I take a break from it for a few weeks. It's not the greatest method for efficiency, but I'm not in any rush.
     
  22. kyelena2
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    kyelena2 Member

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    I take a notebook with me wherever I go, and since I'm usually on the run, I write down thoughts here and there about the characters themselves, or a situation they may be in. I write when I can, and some times I take a day just to write. Of course, that whole day is not taken up with writing the book, but also with blogging, answering threads on here, reading other's work, and possibly dancing around the house for a while. The one thing that helps the most is repeating to myself that my characters have a story to tell, and without me, it will never be told. Makes it seem more pertinent.
     
  23. GillySoose
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    GillySoose Member

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    I try to do what you do and write as much as I can muster a day, even if it's a paltry amount. Usually I end up completely throwing out everything I write on days I'm not really inspired, so technically the end result is the same as if I hadn't bothered, but meh, I do it anyway.
     
  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I honestly just can't help myself. There are some days when the actual act of writing is hard. I can write 100 lines and then start looking at the clock. On days like this I tend to find it is a real drag for the first 1,000 words and then somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 I start to get in to it, even if the muses are not being exactly kind. But getting myself to sit down and write I find very very easy, and when I'm in the zone I barely notice anything going on around me. A few days ago I wrote something like 4,000 words and the time just seemed to disappear.
     
  25. rogue writer
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    rogue writer Member

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    I head to the gym. Seriously. I get many new and improved ideas after I exercise.
     

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