Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scatterbrain and the problem of Motivation

I'm writing this from a newly-installed Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat operating system, which won't mean much to many of you, but it's a distraction all its own this morning. I've finally stopped myself from tweaking and playing with it (and stressing the compsitor out to the point I felt it prudent to reboot) so I can settle down to the business of writing.

I read Gary Henderson's most recent post on WriteWright. He talks about getting back to a story he's been plugging away at for some time now. I'm envious. I have projects (too many, perhaps) but I've always been plagued with the problem of starting something and not finishing. Even NaNoWriMo hasn't cured me of that: though I get the requisite 50,000 words written by the deadline, then I have a manuscript which needs revision, editing, polishing, etc. and it doesn't get done.

I look at Gary's writing blog and I'm envious of it. It's clean, it's neat, it has this awesomely shiny sharing widget that I covet. But he put a lot of work into that site. More than I'm willing or able to put into mine. I don't know if I want to get into the nuts and bolts of building my own blog from scratch, or even from a Wordpress template. I've had my issues with templates here on Blogger, and they handle all the behind-the-scenes stuff for me. There was a time I was more than happy to dive in and get my hands dirty with HTML and CSS and formatting and tweaking and settings, oh my. Occasionally I still get the urge. But usually, I want it quick and simple, with a finished product that looks pleasant and performs well.

During NaNoWriMo, I'm all business with respect to the task at hand. I set weekly goals. I wave rewards in front of my nose to get me to keep writing. I have thousands upon thousands of other people across the world who are doing this mad thing with me, and it gives me strength and motivation to keep going, even if I feel like what I'm writing is scary bad.

What I need is the ability to generate that kind of thing for myself. I've long been very bad at kicking my own butt into gear. If I owe work to someone else, I get it done. If I owe it to myself, well, that's different. I'm me, after all, and if I let myself down, it's just me getting let down and what's that matter? I'm not important enough to myself much of the time, it would seem.

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group is gearing up for critique meetings. I'm hoping that by participating in some of them I can get some feedback and motivation for my writing. I need at least a little external push (or pull) to keep me going.

Do you have difficulties with motivation in your creative efforts (or elsewhere in your life?) How do you handle them? Do you have any special tools, be they people, places, or things, that help you deal with them?

No comments:

Post a Comment