Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Breakthroughs

April 15, 2019

After wallowing in despair over not writing, I finally parked my fanny in the chair and said, “Self, you will complete the revised outline today.” Okay, so I didn’t actually complete it, but I did make a breakthrough that will allow me to get back to The Captain and Chenille. I also revised the first three chapters, and hope to get through a few more in the coming week (if I’m not called for jury duty).

That’s the good news. The better news is I did this work before the CWC Tri-Valley Branch Writers Conference. It was a full day of presentations on craft, publishing, and marketing. I would have felt guilty as all get-out if I hadn’t worked on my outline, because I knew at least half of the people I talked to would ask, “So, how’s the writing coming?” Instead of hanging my head and justifying my presence at the conference when the keyboard was calling, I could say, “Well, after a long dry spell I’m back at work on my novel.” My friends were happy for me, and I could be happy for them when they told me about their work, or at least sympathize if they were still in the middle of their own dry spell. I also had a grand time at the conference, because I could concentrate on the information being presented, not the work I wasn’t doing.

The best news is the biggest breakthrough. I realized I could use this episode to keep my fingers on the keyboard. My writing club meets monthly, and if I make a habit of asking at least one person at the meeting about their writing, then I will want to make sure I’ll have good news to report when they ask about my progress in return. Yes, I am in critique groups, but they know I have had a lot going on lately and have cut me some slack. Other people won’t. Accountability is a great motivator, and I plan to use every opportunity to keep me in the writing habit.

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Luck and wisdom!

Avoiding Hard Work

March 4, 2019

I have been avoiding hard work lately. I tell myself I have an excuse, since I’ve been under the weather (see tissues above). I mean that literally – what I have is non-histamine rhinitis, which is triggered by changes in temperature and barometric pressure. Some people can predict rain with aching knees, I predict it with stuffed sinuses. Given that it is winter, and rain sort of goes with the season, I’m in a pickle. Either I get my fanny in gear, or I give up any hope of writing until the spring. Since I don’t want to be a fair weather writer, that means I have to stop using any handy excuse to avoid the hard work of revising the outline for my latest novel.

The problem is, avoiding hard work is easy and fun. I can switch on the computer and get lost in must-respond-now emails, or check social media to see if my friends are still okay, or even decide that the kitchen floor absolutely, positively must be washed today. I haven’t resorted to that excuse yet, but I can see it coming. The truth is, revising my outline is terra incognita for me. I’m more of a pantser (as in writing by the seat of) than a plotter, but this novel requires a different approach. So, I’m finding myself digging out my mom voice and turning it on myself. Let’s see if works better on me than it did on the kids.

Luck and wisdom!

Queuing

January 16, 2019

My sewing machine is in the shop for some well-deserved cleaning. While I usually take this time to sort, now I am tidying with purpose. I am queuing up a series of projects, like a river of creativity. The first two in line will be the last ones on my list for the guild challenge. Then I get to do this one.

The start of this project came from a workshop by Sandy Corbin. I told myself going in that if the blocks turned out they would become a charity quilt. I also told myself if they were ugly they would be tossed in the bin (I used remnants from other projects, just so I wouldn’t get too angsty over $1.37 worth of fabric). Well, turns out I love the project. It will still go to our guild’s quilt give-away, but I’m going to put it first on my list of new challenge projects as an incentive to keep going.

Luck and wisdom!

The Time of Gratitude

October 8, 2018

It’s week 3 of The Great Ankle Recovery. I’m still hobbling, still not driving, and holiday season is approaching. While Thanksgiving starts the holiday season for most people, many writers I know consider November 1 to be the kick-off date. That is the beginning of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen friends though the Time of Gratitude – and if you’ve completed NaNoWriMo you know what I mean. No matter how grudgingly, your friends and family had to give you the gift of time to write or you never would have achieved your goal. The same will be true in December, the King Kong of holiday months. If you get a chance to write, be grateful.

Were I a good motivational consultant, I would set out my list of “Seven simple things you can do to make time to write” or “Five sure-fire ways to get your family off your back” or even “Three words to ditch all your responsibilities so you can sit at the computer.” Good luck with that. There are no simple ways to create writing time, no sure-fire ways to get people to leave you alone, and no magic words to ditch responsibilities without massive consequences. If you can manage to edit a chapter between gift-buying and eggnog-slurping, be grateful.

My extended holiday wish for you, no matter what you celebrate, is confidence in your craft. Yes, your schedule will be disrupted this month. Yes, you may forget a few details about your plot or characters. Yes, those deadlines will be staring you in the face sooner than you would like. You are a writer. You will persevere. You will get back to work as soon and as often as you can. And when you do, be grateful.

Luck and wisdom!