Tag Archive | motivation

Too bogged down.

So a recent trip and school year made me learn much about my writing. And some of this probably goes back to the benefits of not writing often. However, this week’s question is probably something that all writers should at least have a clue about.

When do you find yourself unable to write, as in either the plots are just not coming to you, or the writing isn’t coming? What do you do then?

For me, I have found that I cannot write when I’m stressed.  Absolutely nothing comes to my mind to write, and even if something does, it comes out like garbage. I also can’t write when I’m really tired (like on a bus trip) because it’s like trying to shove sludge through a straw and nothing comes out.

Anyway, what about any of you?

Motivation is one thing; Actually doing it another.

I was hoping, over my break, to finish and do a computer edit of my most recent story. However… that did not happen. Why? Because everything else continued to distract me.

Take me writing this post. I got on the computer, check my stats, checked facebook, checked my school e-mail, got on to write this post and discovered a new theme. Checked out the new theme. Then got around to writing a post. Earlier today I modified a comic strip because it made so much sense with my modification.

I have found some really great things today and I like what I have found. However, finding cool things don’t result in me actually doing what I need to do, that is, editing my story.

So what am I to do? I actually found the answer in one of the wonderful little links I found this week. Turn off the internet.

What I did was I turned off my computer’s airport actually, so it thought I had no internet. That kept me from quickly switching from my word processor to facebook to check the updates or other various things.  Ideally, it should be written in a place that doesn’t have internet, so you can’t even be tempted to change the internet back on. (I actually did that. Everything went well, until I needed to check a fact and I turned back on the internet. Not a good thing.)

Unfortunately, with this new knowledge I have not had the chance to edit anything today. Maybe later.

more on creating good characters

After skimming a bunch of writing books, I shall share a few tips I found in them, one of them being that an editing book written in bullet form would be nice.

(Maybe the first half as bullets, like, when starting a sentence with an -ing verb, make sure that the two verbs can be done simultaneously. Incorrect: Tying his shoes, he ran down the stairs. Correct: Whistling Yankee Doodle, he pranced through the lobby. Then, See page 302 for details. Perfect editing book in my opinion.)

Some of these I’ve surprisingly already said, now that I’ve thought about it. You can look at my post last week about the five parts to any character. Obviously, this is a little different but I think this list is better. The other list, however, has some parts that shouldn’t be forgotten.

These came from the books Creating Characters : How to Build Story People and Manuscript Makeover. Both of those books looked rather decent actually.

Anyway, here we go with the character details.

1. Characters need strengths. All characters need something that they can do pretty well, because everyone has some kind of strength, even if that strength might be being a jack of all trades.

2. Characters need weaknesses. When was the last time you ran into someone who didn’t have a problem or flaw, and not the physical kind of flaw either? I’d like to get a list of weaknesses that people notice going, so maybe I’ll do that soon. Please recommend one if you know.

3. Characters need motivation. Why do they do what they do? What pushes them to succeed?

4. Characters need backstory. What haunts them from their past? This is a really fun one for me, although I have to make sure not to kill too many people. [insert evil grin here.].

5. Don’t overload the characters. In other words, one strength does not make up for seven weaknesses. It’ll look too fake.

6. Spice them up. This meaning you add uniqueness to your character. Not that I’m trying to say anything about myself, but I am probably a perfect example of this. I wear long, full skirts, have my long hair somewhat covered, and then roam the science fiction aisles looking for books to read and can type a hundred words a minute on my laptop. Not two things you would think go together.

I think those things would be enough to make any character pretty decent in most any book.

Also, for anyone who cares, this is my one hundredth post on this blog.

five ways to find motivation to write

We all have times when we just don’t want to. One of the really big science fiction writer places had a list of fifty different ways he motivates himself to write. Obviously, this isn’t fifty and in all honest, I probably should have just stolen them from him, but I’m going to go for this. These are mostly just observations about my writing style.

1. Figure out what you want to do instead, then do it AFTER you write. This works well if say, you want to play stupid games on facebook. Tell yourself you can play said stupid game after you write two pages or some other goal.

2. Imagine the scene. Sometimes merely imagine  what I am going to write encourages me to write it, both before I forget it and because I’m suddenly excited to write it.

3. Keep your eyes on the goal. Since I write in very much of a beginning to end fashion,  I have found that writing when I’m not looking forward to writing a particularly scene makes writing a real challenge.

4. Just do it. Sometimes when I get totally demotivated to write, I find out that it is a particular scene or section that I don’t want to do. Once I get over that section, everything is all right.

5. Get plenty of sleep. Okay, maybe I’m grasping at straws here, but if I don’t get enough sleep (and I don’t often enough thanks to a 7AM clinical time), I lack the energy to do much of anything, including write. Writing takes a lot of mental power and strength, so fatigue means you’ll do something else brainless and bother with it later.

6. B0nus! Figure out why you don’t want to write. This is perhaps just in case I forgot something but in all honesty, this is just as important. We all have different reasons why we lack motivation to write and my reasons might not be your reasons. So figuring out why you don’t want to write whatever might be your first step towards actually writing again.

busy, busy

Doing almost seventeen hours of work is difficult sometimes, LIke right now. I have things due  today, plus a test, a test on Friday and again, something due, and a huge project and test due on Tuesday. It is chaotic. For some crazy reason I decided to volunteer for a fundraiser  my college did last night, which meant more time spent not doing school and, even more important, not on writing.

So, besides the fact that I have absolutely  no time to do much of anything, I have no time to write. Part of this is my own fault because I have to do a paper edit of something but part of it is just that I’m too tired.

So, how do you squeeze in a few minutes to write? Because once you start writing, you don’t want to stop, but the process of starting to write is difficult. Any ideas?

(This is also a post to say don’t expect inconsistent posting until after my nursing test on Tuesday.)