Friday, January 17, 2014

This I know for sure...

I'm suffering from a lack of motivation. Last week I wrote all of 3 pages. This week I've written 9. A far cry from my weekly goal of 25 new pages a week. I thought I just needed a Me weekend to fill the well so I spent most of last weekend reading, catching up on television programs I'd recorded but hadn't had time to watch, and even took a nap. While I enjoyed the weekend, I have no more motivation this week than I had last week.

As I sat staring at the mostly blank page yesterday after work, I started to wonder if maybe the problem isn't me, but with what I'm trying to write. I use a road map of 1 to 2 sentence paragraphs for each chapter but for the most part, I let the characters lead the direction in which the story goes. I've written out my paragraphs, my character studies including the hero and heroine's goals, motivations, and conflicts but still the words are incredibly slow in coming.

So, I'm appealing to you for help. What do you do to motivate yourself to do something? How do you get started? How do you keep the momentum?


  1. Hi Katherine,

    Don't know if this trick will work for you or not. It usually works for me when I'm stumped. And it is a trick, a gimmick, a writing sleight of writing hand, if you will. So if you don't like doing things like that, feel free to ignore this suggestion :)

    This is one of my go to techniques to get over the "blank page," the "lack of motivation" and "crap, I can't think of anything" moments. It works partly because I LOVE games. No one ever wants to play with me because I'm insatiable once I begin.

    Anyway, the trick is simple.

    First, write down what you hope to accomplish in the next scene or the type of story you want to tell (it can be really general).

    Second, I get out my dictionary and pick 3 random words. Don't worry if the words you pick have nothing to do with your story or the scene you want to write.

    Last I give myself a personal challenge.
    - I have to do this with pen and paper (not on the computer scene)
    - I time myself to have 10 minutes to complete this task
    - in that time period, I have to come up with a plan of how I will incorporate ALL 3 of those words into the next scene, or in that story.

    This is my way getting my "talk to the hand" creative muse to pay attention and be intrigued with the idea of solving a puzzle. For me, it works every time. But then, I love games. :)

    Good luck!

    1. Hi Shereen,
      I love this idea. Even if I don't end up using the scene as it's originally written, I can see how it would help get the creative part of my mind working again. I'm going to try it this tomorrow during my normal writing session. Thanks for the suggestion. :o)

    2. You pose some questions that sound so familiar to me, Katherine--right now I'm needing a good strong push myself. Shereen, sounds like you have a plan. Good luck to us in our re-motivation efforts!1

    3. Hi Barbara,
      I'm glad I'm not alone in needing some motivation. I thought I just needed the hustle and bustle of the holidays to pass, but here we are in the 2nd full week of January and I'm still floundering.

  2. Katherine, The Writer's Idea Book by Jack Heffron has lotus of ideas to get you going, many of which are similar to Shereen's suggestion. Have a look, it might help.

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for the tip. I'm off to Amazon to see if I can purchase a copy of Jack Heffron's book.

  3. Good luck--I hope you're able to get your mojo back. I have the motivation--I've just had to accept that my muse and I have both slowed down. It's been this way for a few years now. I celebrate a 10-page week the way I used to celebrate a 50-page one. What are the words to that old song? "I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way."

    1. Hi Liz,
      At this point, I think I should be happy getting any type of page count accomplished because as you point out something written is better than nothing written. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Katherine, my main problem is getting started--the place I am right now. I had an idea for a three book series, but got stalled on the character sketches for the first book.

    But once I get a basic outline written, I then write a detailed outline--scene by scene--so when I'm working on the first draft, I never get stuck, because I have everything that happens in the book laid out before me.

    It's starting a project and writing the ending, where I run into the most trouble and seem to stall out.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I'm thinking instead of my usual 2 sentence or so paragraphs for each chapter, I might need to take a page out of your book and write a more detailed summary. Right now, I think my problem is how to get from point A to point B.