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  1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Ok, here’s a bit more on the passion thing.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Backward OX, Sep 16, 2009.

    Presently I’m facing the prospect of writing a particular chapter of a WIP.

    In the simplest terms, this chapter's about four guys in the 19th Century staging a hold-up of a coach carrying a large quantity of gold and then escaping with the loot.

    In more complex terms, it’s about why the gang leader wants the gold in the first place, it’s about his recruiting of three others from various locations in his vicinity, including having to sell one of the potential members on the idea of participation in the robbery, it’s about the plans made regarding the spot where the hold-up will take place, it’s about the complexities of harness and how to unharness four horses from the coach and drive them off so the guards will have no immediate means of giving chase, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    And you’re trying to tell me I need to have a deep burning desire inside me to write this?

    Well, from where I stand, the prospect of writing it is daunting. It’s going to be plain hard work, with my head in the research bucket every few minutes. I’ll need to research gold, and psychology, and salesmanship, and geography, and harness-making, and climate, and horses, and guns, and horseshoes, and 19th Century clothing, and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Then I’m going to have to make sure about my POV as the scene progresses, and that the story hangs together and has no plot holes, and that it makes sense, and myriad other writing matters.

    I hate work.

    I’d much rather slope off to a forum any day.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    So why write it? I mean I'm kinda with you on the "you-don't-need-to-be-passionate" thing--writing is atleast as much an intellectual and formal exercise for me as it ever is about emotion or passion--but I enjoy I writing, and I enjoy what I produce (more or less).
    If writing is that much of a drag for you, if there's nothing compelling you to write, then what are you doing? There are plenty of other things you can do for fun. I think this is the problem you had in the other forum. What you are calling passion, I (and probably other people) would be happy to leave as "a reason to write", whether its a deep burning desire to put words on a page or whether you're just good with words and enjoy telling stories.
    So no, you don't need to be "passionate" to write that, but there must be some reason you're putting yourself through it.
     
  3. Acton
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    Acton Member

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    Then don't do it.

    Simple as that. If you honestly think its too much work. Don't do it. Society as a whole is under the misconception that work has to suck. It doesn't. Find something you enjoy and do that.

    And yes, in any profession, no matter how much you enjoy the work etc. etc. there will be less exciting things that you HAVE to do. But it is your passion/like/enthusiasm/enjoyment of the overall that keeps you there.

    If you don't like work, go find someone to sponge off and stop complaining that writing is difficult. Of course it is. Anything worthwhile is hard work. Get over it.
     
  4. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    The summarise what arron said, (and reiterate my point from the other thread) you need to be motivated. That's it. The passion thing is, IMO, either a poor choice of words (because it's open to misinterpretation) or a limited point of view. . .

    If you aren't motivated to do something, you won't do it. Whatever motivates you to write is what you need in order to write.

    I relate best to this statement-
    Yep, exactly.

    Writing, to me, is about self improvement as much as anything else. . My motivation is to be better today than I was yesterday. I don't need much of a reason beyond that.

    What motivates you to write your posts?
    Most people don't like exercising either. They would rather eat doughnuts. So I think that is rather oversimplified and generally bad advice. .
     
  5. Acton
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    Acton Member

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    I also said anything worthwhile is hard work. If he feels really "passionate" about writing a book, he will accept that. Just as someone who feels strongly about getting into shape will accept that they must exercise. If you're not motivated to be healthy, you're not going to exercise and you're not going to eat right.

    As far as I can see, his motivation is either very weak or nonexistent. Therefore, why bother? If all you want to do is complain that it's hard work, why are you even trying?
     
  6. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I don't feel strongly about exercise one way or another. I think it's common sense, like brushing my teeth and keeping my pits clean, so I do a daily routine. I think that exercising the mind is even more important. I don't necessarily have strong feelings about that, either. It's more a question of logic. If I don't use it, I lose it, and I don't covet the life of a dim-witted couch potato.

    If TBO needs help finding motivation, I would rather see him receive that help than give up on writing.

    To the OP:

    Have you been doing any writing lately? I'm wondering if you're actually having trouble with this, or if your posts are merely the product of a train of thought, which is disconnected from what you are actually doing. It's fine either way.
     
  7. Acton
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    Acton Member

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    And if you happened to look at the obesity levels the world is struggling with, you'd realize lots of people DO feel strongly about exercise and health. Strongly in the negative, "Its too much damn work so why bother!"

    If you were indifferent to writing, would you do it? Probably not. It doesn't make logical sense to write a book if you didn't care either way.

    Now mister OP here, he's not indifferent. He's outright telling us that he feels very negatively towards the task. Does it make logical sense for him to torture himself if he has no good reason to write the book? No. Should you decide to write a book and THEN try to find motivation? No. That motivation will be fake.

    As this is the second thread he has created on the topic and as many people have tried to give him ideas and opinions, that he has brushed aside as "wrong because he's right" I honestly can't hold any sympathy with him. He comes across as nothing more than a whinging moron looking for an argument.
     
  8. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I honestly don't see the point in following a creative pursuit if the artist sees no point.

    I mean, it's something that you do for personal satisfaction. If there isn't any... what is the point?

    Unless you're working in a pulp fiction sweatshop where you're forced to pump out 2,000 words per hour or burly men with dark shades will burn down your cardboard box, don't work to make something you don't believe in.
     
  9. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    It’s a bit of both.

    I had an idea for a novel, and it grew, as probably they all do. It was never a “must write” idea. It had its genesis as something to fill in time. I just dredged up some real life activities in both the present and the past, changed a few names, added some made-up stuff, and away I went.

    Because it’s set in two different eras 150 years apart and involves three different groups of people, I’d been told by a friend that the concept is too ambitious for a first novel. There’s also, in this other person’s mind, the notion that three MCs will weaken readers’ interest. But so far it’s still on my “possible” list.

    I’ve written about 27K words of random chapters – the ones that were easy to write – and then struck a sticky point with another. After wrestling with it for a few weeks I put it aside, and two days ago decided to flesh out the chapter mentioned in this thread. For some reason – perhaps the bad experience with the ‘sticky point’ chapter – I’ve been a bit demotivated, hence the thread. Hopefully I’ll get over it. Thanks.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Problem #1, stop telling people your plot ideas. And not for any new age, bull**** "you have to let the muse work" crap like I've read on other threads (no offense to those people :) ), simply because when someone isn'y as excited as you are about your piece as you are, it is demotivating. I've been through it too, and its ****. But really, what do you expect? The whole thing is alive (yet incomplete) in your head and you're trying to explain it to other people, and they look at you funny and you die a little on the inside. So stop writing for other people. I'm assuming you're an amateur writer (literally, not a comment about your talent), so don't waste time worrying about what your not-yet-extant readers want - wrte the novel you wanna write, then worry about finding people to read it.

    And dude. 27k words is awesome. I'd kill to have the discipline to get to 27k. If you can get that far into a novel, there's no point giving up. You're already further than a lot of people will ever get.

    So basically,stop over-thinking everything and find some way to enjoy writing again. You obviously do, or you would never have reached 27k words. So find something to write about that will make you smile.
     
  11. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Strong convictions have never been my strong point.
     
  12. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Like arron said, 27k is awesome.

    Obviously, you like writing well enough, or you never would have made it that far. So your problem is that the work looming ahead has become too daunting.

    I'm sure most of us have felt the same at some point--we novelists, anyway. I know I have.

    The best solution might be to space out the boring stuff, like technical research, and write something fun in between the grueling work sessions. If you get too bogged down by tedium, you'll have a hard time maintaining interest. (your present issue)

    If you take on the bland and challenging bits one bite at a time, it's not so bad. . But the problem may be that you've eaten all the cheese off your pizza, doing all the easy stuff first. Might be tough to finish an extra large if all you've got left is crust and tomato sauce.

    Hopefully, that isn't the case. . If you've still got some cheese, spread it around. . You can even add more toppings and throw the thing in the oven for a few. It probably wouldn't hurt to spice up your story in some way to make things more interesting for yourself. . You are the writer, after all.

    What arron said about telling other people your story ideas is also true. . Other people may piss on your thoughts, but you can probably them work if you see the potential.

    Some may think it's not worth continuing. . You may even feel that way yourself. . But I would say the opposite is true. At 27k, it's not worth quitting. That's a lot of wasted effort if you scrap it.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm calling a halt to this diuscussion right now. If this topic cannot be discussed in a civel manner, it won't be discussed here at all.
     
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