1. IhaveaNickname
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    IhaveaNickname New Member

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    I need a push

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by IhaveaNickname, Mar 17, 2015.

    Hello everyone. I've started writing a book but I have the problem that I very quickly lose interest or motivation. The thing is that I also have so little time to write, too. What should I do? I need someone/something to keep my motivation in writing...
     
  2. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    THEN GET YOUR ASS IN THE CHAIR AND WRITE!
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have anyone you share your WIP with? When I was just starting, I found that really helpful. Getting the little bursts of feedback at the end of each chapter gave me the energy to write the next instalment.
     
  4. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Yup. Whining about motivation is just a form of procrastination.
     
  5. arthuriangirl
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    arthuriangirl New Member

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    I like creating a little reward system for myself. I'm also easily distracted, but I like to have Netflix up while I write and make sure I put in a few hundred, or even a thousand, words per episode. But having someone to share your work with is probably the best because it helps you stay excited. That's why we write, isn't it? To share our stories with others? If that still doesn't work, I like to bribe myself with ice cream sandwiches. :D
     
  6. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know about you but I found the biggest motivation killer when I was short of time was loss of momentum on a project if I left it for to long.
    If that's the case, you may find it helpful to aim to write at least something each day, even if some days it's not a lot.
    I took to carrying a notepad and pen with me so that I could get little bits of writing done when I got free moments when I wasn't near a computer.
     
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  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try using a "habit-forming" app.

    Something where you set yourself targets (like "Do the washing-up every day", or "Write 100 words per day") and then get penalized if you don't do them, and rewarded if you do.
     
  8. CristianOrtt
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    CristianOrtt Member

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    I'm gonna have to agree with this. I've always learned from the professionals that there's no magic formula, the inspiration isn't just going to come, and words aren't just going to flow until you sit down and force yourself to write. Eventually it will become such a habit and so normal that you will gain your momentum. The hardest part for me is that the whole story is already in my head so it seemingly takes FOREVER to get it down on paper. Alas, Rome was not built in a day.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Motivation is a door that is locked from the inside. No one other than you can motivate you. What's more, writing is an endeavor that will only yield satisfactory results if you are fully motivated to begin with.

    So, if you're struggling to feel motivated, my advice is to do something else. You'll probably do better at something you feel truly motivated to do.
     
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  10. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    You want it done, then sit down and do it. This is a brutal field and lack of interest isn't an excuse. If you want to maintain momentum steal time to write. Make it something to look forward to. I write during my breaks at work.

    An hour? Some people might scuff, what can you write in an hour that is any good? It is a method that works well for me because when time is up, I have to stop. It builds the anticipation as I get deeper and deeper into a project. Akin to the lost radio programs of yore, more often than not, I stop on a cliffhanger of a moment. You want to find out what happens you must write...
     
  11. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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  12. IhaveaNickname
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    IhaveaNickname New Member

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    Hey! Thank you all for answers! Some of them were really inspiring and some of them were a bit rude (?) I guess... :p Anyway. I had an idea of "Writing partners": two people who write share their progress, their difficulties etc. I mean, this one-to-one writing bonding may help. I would prefer not to share the stories, as I actually feel very intrigued by writing something in secret :p How do you find this idea? Anyone want to join?
     
  13. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    In case you want to take a more public route the forum has a "Progress Journal" section. In there members can create threads where they share their progress, difficulties, motivation, etc. These threads can be set up so only the creator of the journal can reply if they so wish and it's possible to hide the thread from guests and members (to make it more private).

    And if you don't want to keep a public journal yourself, you could always find a couple of interesting ones and follow them. Reading about other people's progress and problems really helps with motivation.
     
  14. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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  15. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    You know what gets your book done faster? Writing it instead of posting about it.
     
  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, there are some seriously hard-ass responses to this thread. What's going on?

    It's pretty common for writers to have trouble with motivation/discipline.... none of you guys has ever struggled with anything like that?
     
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  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I can only answer for myself - I've had trouble carving out time for myself to write amid the press of competing demands - family, job, etc - and often found that the only time I could find to write came when I was at less than my peak, late at night, when the house was quiet and the only distraction was the knowledge that I really did need to get some sleep. I've had, at times, trouble being able to write because I hadn't adequately thought matters through, or new ideas had occurred to me and I needed time to sort them out, and I've known the need to push away from the desk for a time, to allow some time for resolution. I've had times when I've stopped mid-sentence with a sickening dread in the pit of my stomach as I suddenly realized that the project I'd been pounding away on really wasn't going to work, that it had lost its forward momentum and that I needed to go back and start anew. And I've had times when I doubted, deep down in my bones, whether I had any business putting words on paper with the expectation that anyone else would find any value in them.

    But not once in the 50 years since I first realized I wanted to write have I ever felt the need to ask someone else to motivate me to do it.
     
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  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm with @EdFromNY on this one. It's fine to occasionally feel unmotivated, but the only cure for lack of motivation is to get yourself motivated. Either that, or quit altogether and do something else. Nobody else can motivate you. He's right. I've had days and periods when I just couldn't be bothered, etc ...but I never asked anybody else to snap me out of it.

    Getting stuck, when you are searching for a solution, is a different kettle of fish. Brainstorming an idea can be helpful, as long as you don't expect somebody to hold your hand throughout the process. But motivation? I really think you need to come up with that yourself. Find the time. Make the time. The same as you would make the time for anything else you need to do in your life. I'm not trying to be unkind, just honest.

    Oddly enough, I became less productive after I retired. I got more writing done when I was juggling several things at the same time. Retirement meant a lack of structure for me. Relaxing, yes. Enjoyable, yes. Productive? Not so much. While retirement hasn't been fatal to my writing, it certainly has meant I've written a lot less frequently than I used to. I'm in the process of editing rather than writing first time, so maybe when I get stuck into my next book I'll get 'motivated' to write again, every spare minute, like I did before. I will or I won't. But it's entirely up to me.
     
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  19. IhaveaNickname
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    IhaveaNickname New Member

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    Guys, thanks for answering to my question, BUT: is the best advice to get motivated is "GET MOTIVATED!!!", really? I was hoping that I could get inspiring answers and help, not people telling me that I am "not made for it" or that "I am whining like a baby". Why such hate? We are all here for the same reason, we love to write and we want our stories to be shared. So why not unite and HELP each other instead of calling names and discouraging other people?
    Plus, as I've already said, it is my first attempt to write a book. This means, that not only I have very very little time to devote to it (even though I like it when I do) but also that as a newbee I have the constant fear of rejection, that my manuscript is bullshit and that I am unable to write.

    Peace and love everyone! :friend:No hard feelings
     
  20. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think the question could have been better asked as 'What methods can I use to motivate myself.'

    But I don't think that it's that unusual for people to feel they need a bit of a push to start with. I thought one of the functions of NaNoWriMo was to help people get themselves over that initial hump. Not a useful method for those short on time mind you.

    A lot of people start trying to write a novel because they have ideas and stories they want to communicate with the world rather than because they have any particular love for creating good prose. It can come as a shock to some people that novel writing involves so much er... writing.

    Ultimately you're going to need to enjoy the process of actually writing to achieve anything of worth, because you'll be doing an awful lot of it to get anywhere. I don't think finding it tough at the start is a guarantee it won't come.
    Some people eventually learn to mostly enjoy the process and some people don't and give up.

    Don't get too hung up about if it's any good to start with though. You're just starting out, so no it won't be anywhere near good enough for publication.

    As you write your first draft various bits of writing advice will start to make sense to you, but don't rewrite everything you've already written just yet, because you'll keep learning more and more stuff as you go through. Once you've got to the end of your draft, then is the time to go back and write what you've written better.
     
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  21. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't know if this goes away when you're a 'pro'. I've read some writer's bios and letters and they always are in self doubt.

    Some of the tricks I do to motivate myself are - make a cover for my book. Thinking about it complete and with a cover is a nice visual. It's a little like getting a nursery ready for baby. I also set small goals for the day. I try to make a writing space that has all the books near me that I need so I don't waste time hunting for them. I also make lists before I write - listing out ideas for a scene, brainstorming before I start the actual writing.
     
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  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, this is the way it is, and there isn't any sugar-coating of it. This is not "hate". We ARE trying to help you and we're not trying to discourage you. You post as if you think there's a trick to motivating yourself to write; as if you think there's some big secret we're all keeping from you. But there isn't. The best advice to get motivated is really to GET MOTIVATED. That's what writers do - they motivate themselves. I think they mostly do it the way I've done it: I try to write good prose - to construct beautiful paragraphs. Sometimes, maybe when I'm a bit hungover or something, that task seems too difficult; the mountain is too high to climb. So I used to put writing off until I felt like I was ready. The problem with that approach is that you wind up six months later with no writing done. Nothing. Zero. Not a page. Not a paragraph. Not even a word. I was pretending to be a writer but I wasn't writing anything. I was waiting for the time to be right; for the phase of the moon to be right; for the right mood, the right state of health, the right election results, the right winner of the Super Bowl; I was waiting for everything to be absolutely perfect. Of course, everything is never absolutely perfect.

    So you make do. If things aren't perfect, you write anyway. If the toilet is blocked up, you write anyway. If the lawn needs mowing, you write anyway. If the kids are squalling, take care of them and then write anyway. If it looks like a great day for fishing, write anyway. If everything seems to be conspiring against you - the phone keeps ringing, you're fighting with your spouse, you have to take the dog to the vet, the computer decides to die a spectacular death - write anyway, even if it means using pen and paper. Write anyway. Keep writing when you're tired. Keep writing.

    Nobody in the entire history of the human race ever got anything done unless they were, at some point, working on it when they didn't really want to. They made themselves do it.

    I think it was Sammy Davis Jr. who said, "A professional is someone who does a good job even when he doesn't feel like it."

    So you DO have to motivate yourself. No tricks and no BS. This is not hate; it's simple truth. Writers write. People who don't write are not writers.

    @plothog is right! It's one thing to dream up ideas, but it's another thing entirely to write the damn novel. It takes a lot of writing, and that means hours at the keyboard, working and working and working. No getting around it, no short cuts. :write::write::write::write::write:
     
  23. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Tell that to the NaNoGenMo guys. ;)
     
  24. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unfortunately - there is a level of basically forcing yourself to do it. "Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard" doesn't mean "just do it". It means, the only real way to force-motivate yourself is to sit at the computer, with your word processor open, your internet shut down, and your hands on the keyboard, telling yourself that you're not allowed to get up until you've written something. It's hard - real hard - but rewarding and effective...and I still struggle with it. I have very little time to write, it's my first book, and the only way it moves forward is if I force the issue one night per week for two or three hours - no matter how tired I am (this week SUCKED and I only got half my paltry word count target - but finished a scene).

    As for the fear of rejection thing - all writers have that - I already linked you one podcast but the one immediately following that one (if memory serves) is entirely about fear of people telling you your writing is bad. We've all done this - especially because we're all the type of introverted people who think it's acceptable to sit in our rooms for hours on end hanging out with our imaginary friends (we're not normal - none of us - *evil cackling*). Now, if you want to stop thinking your stuff is total garbage (which I can guarantee you it isn't based just on your posts here...and the fact that I've READ some ACTUAL total garbage )...there's only one solution. JOIN A WRITING GROUP AND SHOW THEM YOUR STUFF! They'll tear it apart but they'll also tell you it's not half as bad as you think it is and help you make it better (and they feel your pain because, at some point, they had to force themselves to do the same thing).

    Unfortunately, to do that, you have to get over the initial fear of showing your work to people - because only by showing it to people can you get feedback and encouragement (not the harsh criticism you expect - except maybe from one member of the group who will then be promptly savaged by the rest of the table...we have one of those in mine...but he's great for line edits once you get used to it). It's a catch-22 situation, but you have to conquer that one bit of fear to get the encouragement you need - and no your friends and family do not count as a critique group - they don't have the craft experience you need - you need to find other WRITERS to build support for your writing, just like any other pursuit.
     
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  25. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And as it is, the things I put bold happens to be one of the things the forum has to offer. ;) The concept of showing your work for others to critique is a difficult thing in itself, and finding an actual critique group and handing them your MS face to face takes it to an entirely new level. I just want to point out that getting critiques here on the forum and participating in discussions can be just as valuable as critique groups while it also ensures a degree of anonymity. The world is full of choices and only you (referring to people in general) can know what works best you.
     

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