Lucy-MerrimanFeatured By OwnerJan 19, 2013Student General Artist
The main things that motivate me are audience and deadlines.
Deadlines are obvious. If something is for a contest, an assignment (either from an editor or a professor), or a live show (like an Open Mic, or a play), I might still procrastinate, but I'll get it done. Even if they're less fun, deadlines give something priority. So, for instance, right now I'm working on a speech on Naturalism in the Romantic Period, an essay on Aristotle for my Rhetoric class, and an interview piece for The Burr. I know for a fact that I will finish each of those things, and I'll do a pretty damn good job, because if I don't, my grade or position on the magazine is in danger.
None of those assignments are as fun as writing stories and poems, but I'll finish them faster.
To motivate myself to write personal projects with no deadline, I'll get myself excited to share my piece with my audience. Typically, my audience is my dA watchers, my tumblr followers, people in my writers group, or my friends. Even if a piece sucks, I feel good knowing I can put it out there and I can hear people's feedback on the piece, whether it's positive or negative.
This is why, I think, I've never been able to write a novel, at least so far. A first novel has no set deadline, and I don't like sharing part of a story (like one chapter) with other people, I'd like to share at least the whole thing, the whole first draft. So the whole first, I dunno, year of working on a novel's rough draft is very boring and makes me feel insecure, because I'm not getting any feedback.
One of my greatest fears is dying before I have the chance to complete at least 3 novels of which I have painfully worked on for the past few years.
I was struggling with writer's block for the better part of last year and through a quick room rearrangement I have solved the problem.
Just to the right of my computer monitor I have a bookshelf containing classics by Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Victor Hugo, Richard Adams and George Orwell. I consider these to be masterpieces (as I'm sure a lot of you will agree). Now I don't just have these because I'm a classic whore (or one of those damn hipster folk), but simply that they are accomplished authors with many masterpieces.
So if I'm questioning myself or struggling to write anything I take a quick glance to the right and think "If they can do it, why the hell can't I?"
I am motivated to finish my novels...Usually the support I get from friends and teachers keeps me writing. They always tell me that my novel sounds interesting and intriguing and that they want to read it x) As for me, I try to write a little bit everyday. Even at school I would type on the computers. Also NaNoWriMo motivated me to do it. I like challenges so it keeps me going x) I've never hit writer's block before. I always have something to say only sometimes, I'm just too lazy...
I was not very motivated when my stories were boring, bad, and distracted.
I wrote a long story and cut out everything that was not useful, or interesting. 3/4ths was trashed.
I took some pointers from writers for what makes a story interesting. After I learned how to do that I am always motivated to write, but I don't take the time with college and other concerns. Now my only story writing is being graded in English.
There are some writing techniques. One is bubbles. Think of a main idea for a story, and use that as the center bubble. Then I create other bubbles for supporting Ideas.
Writing should be freedom to create anything you like. If you don't know what you like, just starting something leads to other ideas.
I like writing science fiction, and I don't like stories people do as a fan. They base their whole story on something they used and not created. I create my own everything. Special powers, worlds, ships, beliefs, creatures, governments, and out of this world ways of living where anything is possible.
There is always a creative side of things for people that have that (What If?) attitude.
I just completed my first novel...after a 6 year process.
There will be times when you seriously are aching to move on, to finish it, to just be done with it. Believe me, the closer and closer you are to completing it, the more and more frustrated you become, you end up shuffling things around like a deck of cards, then making sure those shuffles are consistent and make plot-sense, you tire of grammar and spelling, you ache over continuity and every little mistake will end up like nails being driven into your skull because you JUST WANNA BE DONE!
HOWEVER...you need to keep going.
Now, you will face certain points that are very different as to reasons why you feel you can't move on. I will go through a small checklist of some of the complications I dealt with personally.
1) Flow. Sometimes there will be moments where something just won't flow. You know what you want to write, you know where you want the story to go, but once you open up the notebook, or open up the file on your computer...nothing happens. This isn't the same as writer's block (which I will discuss next) but a lack of rhythm. Some people will tell you to take a break, go for a run, take a hot shower, eat some high-sugar foods, that sorta thing. For me, it was simply finding the one method of "flow" that worked best for me. In my case, it was an oldschool fountain pen and a moleskine notebook. I could NEVER go straight to typing on the computer. It would go nowhere. But once the pen came out...creativity just flowed.
2) Writer's Block. The BANE of all writers. There is no real straight answer to this one. In my case, it was simply "Move on to the next part." If you're stuck on chapter 2 and can't move forward...skip to chapter 4, 5, or even 17...and fill in the gaps later.
3) Creativity and characters. Become personal with your characters. Learn to love them and KNOW them as if they were real, living, breathing people. TALK to them! I'm not kidding! Have open-voice (obviously when no one is around so people don't think you're nuts) conversations with your characters...make them talk back to you. Get to know them on a personal level, and it will make it THAT much easier to write for them in your manuscript.
4) Motivation. (spelled with a T not a D ) Why are you writing? Is it for money? Is it for enjoyment of writing? Do you feel it's a story the world NEEDS to hear? Whatever motivated you to start writing it...write it with that goal in mind and let the goal be your driving force. For me...I wrote my novel...just for me. The world of my creation became my escape from the troubles of the world around me and I could allow myself to literally get lost in the world of my own creation. By the time it came through and was ready to send to amazon (which happened about 2 weeks ago here: [link] ) I first self-published 100 copies for family and friends and uploaded it to amazon under the whole pretence of "Why not?" I don't expect to be the next C.S. Lewis or Tolkien...but you just never know, right? In the end...I just wanted to be able to tell myself as I looked at MY book on MY bookshelf: "Yup...I wrote that!"
So ask yourself: When the book is done...what do you expect the book to do for YOU?
Once you can answer that question...use that as the carrot on a stick to drive and MOTIVATE you!