Motivating Factors

May 13th, 2008 • Kate

It’s nice out now, though getting onto evening, but I was thinking about motivation this morning as I heard the rain pattering down on the deck, considered putting on shoes and a jacket to go rescue the plants I’d potted this weekend, and decided instead to stay in bed. It wasn’t a very long stay, as Trixie Implausible needed to be dressed, groomed, fed, and sent off with Rexroth to day care, after which I got to work, but it got me thinking…
It’s one thing when your writing is going well, and you’re on a roll, tossing chapters off with the ease of Carrie Bradshaw-esque bon mots about shoes, but what do you do when it’s not going well, when the thought of sitting down to your favored writing device is as uncomfortable to imagine as getting out of a warm, cosy bed on a chilly morning? What do you do?
Me, I avoid the work, so let’s not talk about me. What do YOU do? How do you motivate yourself?

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3 Responses to “Motivating Factors”

  1. beth Says:

    Sometimes, writing IS work. Usually it's fun and I enjoy it, but sometimes, like now, when I can't figure out how to progress my plot, it's work. I'm pretty stubborn though, so here's what I do when I dun wanna:
    1. Think about it. Sometimes, constant thought will give me a great idea, and if I have a great idea, then I want to write. So I mull the story obsessively over in my brain.
    2. Go back over what I've written. I'll re-read and change/correct/edit/etc. what I've already written and, I'm not trying to be self-important, but sometimes I inspire myself to keep writing. I'll read a scene that I can remember struggling over to get just right, and that reminds me of how good a feeling that produced, and that makes me want to give it another shot. Or, I'll read a sentence where I foreshadowed something that I'd intended to bring up later, and that will remind me of this clever plot twist that I'd all but forgotten about, and that will make me want to write.
    …and if these don't work, I just go back to bed 🙂

  2. Trish Says:

    If I'm stuck, I'll either go back and edit, or I'll jump forward and write something out of sequence. Failing at those, I'll surf the Internet all day and then growl at myself for being unproductive.

  3. Caryn Says:

    First of all, I love the irony of using a poster to illustrate motivation. It has a great caption, too: If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.
    As for what I do? It depends. I'll often read a scene or two that I've already written, which will often get me back into the work again. Or I'll skip around and come back to the difficult scene later; in a 55,000-word novel, there are always other things to be written. Sometimes, though, I've been pushing myself too hard, or have otherwise used up that well of creativity, and I need a day to read, watch movies, and just think about my book before knowing where to go next. The trick is taking that time without feeling guilty about it. I still haven't gotten there!