When I began this blog I had one question in mind. How do we find the motivation to write?
We all know the sweet taste of the first batch of inspiration when it feels as if the book is simply pouring out of your body and you are simply the conduit through which the energy has been poured. We’ve all experienced the dragging and pulling ourselves through the middle and the race to the exultant finish. It’s the middle I’ve come to deal with.
The hardest thing about writing is staring at that blank page. The easiest thing to do is to get up and walk away. We say to ourselves, I’ll do it another day. Or we accuse our muses of leaving us. Some of us even run around telling everyone what a heinous witch she is for doing so. But what we lack in that moment is the motivation to move forward. We have the idea. We have the goal. The motivation just isn’t strong enough to get us going.
I have to admit I didn’t come up with in a vacuum. For years as I’ve pursued my writing just as every other writer does. I searched for ways to motivate myself, to push myself in order to achieve my goals. I struggle even now to do so. I’ve done what every other author does. Attended workshops, read books and spoke to other authors.
As I sat in one such workshop, a Deb Dixon workshop to be specific; I came to a realization. This information had been in front of me all along. The reason I hadn’t been putting my butt in chair and writing, the reason I was having a hard time editing, wasn’t because I had writers block. It was because I lacked the initial drive, or shall we call it motivation that I’d had in the beginning. Talk about a swift kick in the rear.
We talk about characters. We determine they should have goals, motivation and conflict. We specify that in order for a character to pursue a goal he or she must have the right motivation to do so. We talk about us, as authors having writing goals. We sit and nod our heads when a book or a leader in our profession tells us that our hero or heroine has to have a motivation strong enough to pursue a goal. We spend time plotting out or books making sure these things happen.
Yet, we have forgotten, that we too are Hero’s/Heroines in our own stories. We require the same as our characters. We’ve made the decision to pursue our passion. We’ve had our call to action. We are going to write that book. Or maybe we have written several books. We’ve had our starter goal. Yet the day to day struggle is to put those words on . Even to edit those words we’ve put there. This is where it gets tougher. What we don’t see or can’t recognize is this is where the stakes get higher for us as writers.
In other words this is where we put up or shut up. Some of us fail and walk away from our passion. Others move on to a shiny new project. Others put in the work to get it done. How they do it is no mystery. They have the motivation to pursue their goal.
Just as our characters need a believable, plausible motivation for their actions, so do we. I’m going to write a book, is an intention. There has to be purpose and action behind an intention to make it happen. We all start out at this point. We all get to this point. And it works, up to a point.
Once we meet resistance those of us who choose to continue tend to develop coping mechanisms. The muse is one of those. Others once they realize that they are no longer producing try to find a coping mechanism that involves reward for action. They set a goal of a number of words/pages a day. Nanowrimo is one of those coping mechanisms.
Action for reward. A 50,000 word novel completed in a month. The camaraderie of millions of authors working towards the same goal. A chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself, while making good on your intention of writing a book. A lot of people also like the accountability of it. This is a great source of motivation and of inspiration.
It’s why we join writers groups, attend conferences and meetups. Instinctively even though we claim to be introverts we still seek out the company of likeminded people, hoping for that extra push or at least an understanding group of people who might have ideas that may help us. Others choose the fake it till they make it approach. They psych themselves up every day before they sit down and challenge themselves to accomplish their goals eventually convincing themselves that they will and can write.
Regardless of which method we use, suddenly one day we have motivation. Motivation fueled by inspiration. That high we get when we’ve listened to a really good workshop or speech; that’s inspiration. It’s what fuels motivation.
These two go hand in hand. It’s like the chicken and the egg. We’re never going to be sure which one comes first. You can’t have one without the other. The question becomes what motivates you. By attending workshops, meetings, conferences, by talking to other writers. You are fueling your inspiration. By sitting down in your chair and writing even though you might not feel like it, you are doing the same.
But, we mustn’t forget, it’s not only the act of putting in the time and effort to write but also the time away from the keyboard or pen that helps fuel or motivation and inspiration. Time spent with friends and family, Reading books and articles, Physical activity, and yes even time spent at the day job, fuel your inspiration for your writing, which in turn fuels your motivation.
We are each the heroes and heroines of our own stories. In order to achieve our goals we must be properly motivated. The question then is; What motivates you?
Born in Brooklyn, New York, raised on the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Chudney Thomas has always had an affinity for books. To listen to her father, it started long before she could read at the age of three.
She ended up back in the US for College at the age of 17. In 1998 Chudney moved to Orlando to finish up her degree. Two years later after meeting Mr. Right she stayed put. In 2007 she joined the RWA and her local chapter, Central Florida Romance writers and never looked back.
Chudney is currently employed at the University of Central Florida, while she works on her goal of becoming a published author. She will be self-publishing her novella Full Circle later this year.
In a pack of werewolves, a half human isn’t exactly at the top of the food chain. No wonder Ria Marlett thinks she is weak and only a convenient lay for the pack’s alpha, Drake Neilson. She avoids him but Drake has waited years to claim Ria. Now, he will do whatever it takes to win her, even woo her while dealing with rabid lone wolf attacks. With the pack in danger Ria is forced to face what Drake has been telling her all along, she just might be the strongest of the pack.