90% Motivation

Posted on July 6, 2012. Filed under: Books, writing | Tags: , , , , |

What’s that old saying about inspiration and perspiration? Well, being a lady, I don’t perspire, I sweat. Oh, wait, never mind.

My challenge with writing isn’t about inspiration.  Thankfully still got loads of ideas.  And it isn’t so much about perspiration. I work hard for no money! But it is completely about motivation.

For the past six months I have been working on a novel that I am just in love with. It is some of my best writing. I think I have a great idea – and one that could sell! My writing circle has given mostly positive feedback on all my submitted chapters, and I want to get this baby done.

So why haven’t I? Well, like many famous actors certainly say every day, “what’s my motivation?”

With storytelling, we have a show that must go on. I have a deadline – the show.  Plus, I have an audience and instant gratification (that’s the hope, anyway) when they applaud my story.

With writing a novel I have none of that. I set my own deadline, but it’s arbitrary. There’s nothing definite at the end date other than to try to get a publisher to buy it.  There might be an audience, if it gets published, but there is a lot of uncertainty around if that will ever happen.

I find it hard to choose to work on my novel when I could, say, write a story for my next show, or blog about my last show, or do work, the stuff I get paid to do. What’s a super talented, as yet undiscovered, amazing author with no motivation to do?

I am getting by with a little help from my friends. (Man, I am a walking pop culture billboard today!) I was telling a friend of mine about my issue – just like in a Yaz commercial – and she gave me the answer!

She has a small circle of friends who “meet” once a week to check in about goals. It’s essentially an accountability support group. Each week we are supposed to state our goals for the coming week and report in on how we did with last week’s goals. This is perfect for me. I won’t do it for myself, but I will do it if someone else is watching. Okay, that sounded wrong.

My point is, I now feel like I have to do what I have set out to do because if I don’t, well, other people will know what a loser I am.  It’s a great way to keep on track. Kind of like a Weight Watchers meeting for people with writing problems – or goals.  This is week one of this new experiment and I did make it all the way to Friday before I tried to work on my goals – but then I realized I only have a couple days left to make the magic happen so I sat down this morning and started typing, and then got up and made coffee, and then started typing again, and then fooled around on Facebook, and then started typing again. You get the idea.

Every time I wandered off, I kept thinking in the back of my head, “Think of the complete and utter humiliation you will suffer if you don’t finish that chapter!”  And even though they seem like a very nice group of people, it is more helpful for me to just assume that they will cast aspersions on me if I fail in week one! Cause that’s mo


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2 Responses to “90% Motivation”

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Last November, my husband and I (with a four month old infant who still did not sleep through the night) did a mini-observance of “NaNoWriMo”. We both aimed for just 1000 words a day (a lower goal than real NaNoWriMo people– but we’re new parents, dude!).

Some nights I was falling asleep at the breast pump, but I’d wake up and scrounge through to finish “my words”. The structure of the month was nice… and it was nice that my husband was doing it too.

Maybe next November, we can increase our daily word goal. : )

Thanks Vicky. Sounds like you are plenty busy but still finding the time to write! Maybe in November you can increase to 1001. 🙂

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