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  1. nexusfactoronline

    nexusfactoronline New Member

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    What Motivates You To Write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by nexusfactoronline, Feb 17, 2017.

    I've been struggling to write for a few years now, and I can't seem to get past it. I can create an outline, build the world, and characters, but as soon as I begin to write the first sentence I can never do it. I can't find the motivation to do it because I feel that it's derivative. I LOVE spy thrillers, especially ones that feature computer hacking.

    At the time I started writing, it wasn't like it was today, computer hacking was rarely in the news, the average person didn't know what spyware/malware was, and Edward Snowden was still an NSA employee. When the Snowden leaks happened, I thought it was the recharge I needed to get my spy novel off the ground, but I was wrong. Everytime I think about it, I just lose motivation as I think it would just be lost in the shuffle of all the other spy thrillers that came out in the last 3 years. Even my characters are boring and unoriginal.
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Active Member

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    Outlines and world building are not writing. They're not even distant cousins. I can draw a picture of a house but I cannot build it.

    I'd say motivation is the wrong word. Most of us write because we are compelled to or because we enjoy it or. I seriously doubt external things like Snowden or the glut of spy or hacking novels are holding you back. Sounds to me like you don't derive any particular pleasure from actually writing things, so why are you fighting it? Maybe it's not something you want to do if you can't get past the first sentence. I tried golf once and I could barely make contact with the ball on the tee shot. I soon realized golf was not for me.
     
  3. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Fore! I'll go with @Homer Potvin on this; it might be deeper-seated than demotivation, could be that a spy thriller, if it's to have any credence, is quite an undertaking. Especially if you're not (or never have been) in the game.

    Reading and loving such things—you've set the bar.
    Researching for background and backdrop—a time-consuming slog that could demoralise and try your patience.
    Writing with conviction thereafter—well you've intimated that you don't have the confidence.

    How about flip things around; concentrate on your writing, build your skills—write lots of shorts and scenes till you feel you can control your pitch?Poss. aim to make your spy thriller your end game rather than put it before you as an obstacle.

    I love historical novels, and kudos to some of the folks on here that manage them, but I know they're way beyond my ken without some serious investment of time and effort (got failures to prove it).

    What motivates me presently is simply to improve as a writer and have small success/some recognition for doing so—play the long game.
     
    Homer Potvin likes this.
  4. Miscellaneous Worker

    Miscellaneous Worker Member

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    There is a line between passion and enjoyment between things. From what it sounds, I can tell you enjoy those genres, but writing them is entirely different (duh). It's something that most people do because they enjoy it, when it comes to writing literature at least. Don't force it to happen if there is no pleasure in doing it.

    If it's just the fact that you can't start the novel because of immediate writer's block, then, again, don't push it so much :p
     
  5. Wolf Daemon

    Wolf Daemon Active Member

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    What motivates me to write? Well it's simple. I write not only to entertain others with what I write but to also try opening their eyes to new ideas in order to hopefully better the world and change, for the better, the zeitgeist of this and later generations.
     
  6. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Active Member

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    This specific post motivates me write. It is not an excuse for procrastination, it is important.
     
  7. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    Hey Nexus.

    In my humble opinion, you already have the motivation. You, there in that chair, have dreamed something and want it to exist. You HAVE the motive. The motivation. What you're talking about, really, is something more related to discipline than motivation.

    Perhaps I'm off, but... I think what you need is not something extra. I don't think you need some added element. What you need is subtraction. Let go.

    Let go of your notions about things being overdone, or how your work will be perceived by people who haven't even read it. Let go of your own thought, and instead embrace the thoughts of your characters. And if they seem hollow to you, this shift in psychology will make them real.
     
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  8. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    Just put on some music and write. Ya just do it.
     
  9. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    I mean... think about how you cook a meal. You think: I'm in the mood for chicken. You know you want chicken. And you know you like garlic and bacon. And you know you like green beans. And you know you like diced onion with your green beans. And maybe you'll experiment a little. "I'll use olive oil instead of pan spray." "Oh, you know what sounds interesting? I like spice; I'll mix some hot sauce in there and add a few grapes to balance the heat."

    That's writing. That's anything.
     
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  10. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    As for what motivates me personally to write, I have no idea. Perhaps it's the only way I know how to fucking communicate where every other way I've tried to do so has failed miserably.

    Sorry, I don't know if there are rules against certain kinds of 'language' on this forum. Please let me know if I've gone too far.
     
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  11. Adamir

    Adamir New Member

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    I'm not sure how well this will work for other people, but for me personally, I write the first and last paragraphs of a chapter before doing anything else. This, more than anything else, motivates me to follow through; basically, I'm taunting myself with a hollow page that I need to fill. I feel motivated so long as I have a definitive finish line that is always visible.
     
  12. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    That's not bad, I might try that.
     
  13. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Contributor

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    I am an absolute sucker for the picture that emerges during the process of writing. I have a good imagination, but during writing itself all gets sharpened and draws breath. The blank screen fills with a person as the words shape him/her out of the void. That's not to say that the words are perfect, or say perfectly how that person wanted to express himself ;)

    Writing itself is it's own goal. But maybe that's just me.
     
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  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    style point +1
     
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  15. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Active Member

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    If you are anything like me, setting some time aside to focus only on writing is not enough. I have to have a clear goal for that time. However, instead of setting a page/word limit for that time, I focus on a certain goal for that time. What do I want to happen next in the story? "Okay... Shalazar needs to die... I can sleep when Shalazar dies." If you're an outliner, I think this is a good method to try. I am a heavy outliner, and if I don't use this mentality, I would only ever outline.
     
  16. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a fallacy to assume you can't put words onto the page because you are unmotivated. If that was the case, why sit down to write in the first place?

    Ask yourself how many novels/short stories of any draft number have you completed? If the answer is zero, it's possible the real reason you don't put down words onto a page is because you don't know how to write stories (or are not conditioned). Plain and simple.
     
  17. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    "You can do it, son. "
    "But Daddy..."
    "No, buts. If you believe you can make it all the way to that island. You can. You just put one arm in front of the other. There's nothing else to it."
    "But I don't know how to swim."
     
  18. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ladies & Gentlemen, a shark in the kiddy pool. Please evacuate one moment, I'll fetch a lifeguard. Keep writing everybody.
     
  19. Megs33

    Megs33 Member

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    i'm a daydreamer. i have a penchant for randomly staring off in to the distance because i suck at staying focused on one linear task for more than 10-15 minutes, and from a clinical perspective you might say i have ADD. so it kind of follows that i like to fall in to fantasies in my own head. it's a wonder that i'm not in to renaissance role playing or comicon cosplay, really.

    for me, writing is fun because i like to take all of these ethereal ideas that spin and float in my head and make them something tangible. it may be a random moment, or it may be the beginnings of a novel. i have no freaking clue. but the point is that i don't force it, i just let it happen. the minute i try to bend my will around it, the spark fizzles out.

    that said, the biggest lesson i've learned so far is to stop thinking about what i "should" write. when i sit down at my computer and think "i'm going to focus on X character today," that's the surest way to shut down all creative juices. the greatest challenge i've come upon is creating some kind of structure to work within (so my book becomes an actual book) while still giving my brain enough free license to zip from idea to idea like a caffeinated moth.
     
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  20. D.Q.

    D.Q. Member

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    [QUOTE=", I just lose motivation .[/QUOTE]

    Happens at times. But it comes naturally to me. Something just clicks while I go around normally in my day. Sitting and focusing on what to write doesn;t usually work for me.
     
  21. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    I would also argue that if you're looking to write a longer length piece, it's rather like exercise where you can only do a bit at a time at first, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. With that in mind, I think it's important just to always relax and write as much as you can each time you do it, even if it's a couple of sentences. When you're tired... rest. You'll get tired less and less.
     
  22. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    Another revelation of mine is that it's perfectly okay to RUMINATE. Stretch out the moments in your book. Talk about feelings, talk about motivations. Explain things to the reader. Re-explain them when appropriate. It's not a movie, it's a book.

    (Of course, it's best if you explain things from the point of view of the character). If you're writing fiction, it's a gigantic lie. Support the lie. Ruminate... then fill in all the blanks so the reader begins to believe you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  23. Thomas Babel

    Thomas Babel Member

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    Sorry to go on, but I just had another thought!

    The way I've spoken in certitudes in my posts on this thread have at least had the QUALITY of sage advice, when really I'm the one learning these principles by putting them into words. It's for the same reason that critiquing written pieces helps YOU just as much as it helps the author. As I go, I'm explaining things TO MYSELF as I write.

    So reverse the roles there. Humanity writes its epic saga daily. Critique it.

    You talk about motivation, but I think what you're really talking about is inspiration. There is no deeper well for that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017

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