I’ve never heard of a writer – of any kind – say that they don’t suffer from a lack of motivation from time to time.
The last two weeks have been a nightmare for me when it comes to writing. I want to write; but when I get down to it, when I sit down and my pen and paper, or this laptop, it’s like all the motivation and the idea is sucked out of me. It’s a real pain.
Personally, I have always had issues with motivation. For some reason, just wanting to do something isn’t usually enough to get me to do the thing. Admittedly, I can be very lazy. However, what motivates me the most is a deadline. I know I spoke about these briefly in last week’s post, but deadlines put pressure on me to sit down and just write what I can. Yes, it’s not always the best, but it’s finished and that’s more than I can say for the ideas in the forty-odd half-filled notebooks I have scattered around my room.
So, when I started this blog, I decided, then and there, I was going to post at least once a week. On the same day and at the same time of day. I now have a schedule and because it is online where anyone can read it I feel I have a responsibility to stick to it. I want to be reliable.
I also want to be original. If I can. I flit between devouring other people’s blog posts, one after another, soaking up all of the inspiration; and wanting to avoid them all completely for the fear of accidentally copying them, or feeling down because they’re much better at this than me. Seeing other people’s work can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Then again, something one of my tutors said to me at university has stuck with me ever since.
Even if you and the person next to you wrote the same idea, with the same characters and the same plot, the stories at the end would still be very different.
And it’s true, at least to an extent. Everyone’s style and voice is their own and different, even if there are some similarities in some places.
As I am with reading, I like some variation in my writing. I’m easily bored and if I have to write the same things over and over again I’m won’t be doing it because I want to anymore. The problem with this is I’m terrible at coming up with ideas. It takes a lot of effort, and if I’m just sat there thinking my mind can just drift off onto something else – like food.
I don’t think I’ve ever been completely happy with something I’ve written. I always think of things I could change, ways to make it better and that irritates me. I try not to keep going back, it stops me dithering and avoiding committing to a decision. It makes planning a nightmare, especially for longer pieces. It’s also one of the reasons I try and write my first draft with pen and paper. It has to be a pen, then I can’t get rid of it. It also stops me from editing as I go along, which is good because I’d have even more unfinished pieces.
Sometimes, it’s best to take a break and step back for a while so you can go back refreshed later. Other times it’s better to just keep plodding along, chipping away bit by bit. It varies. I’ve learnt now that there is nothing worse than thinking in circles, it makes a day with no motivation turn into a bad day. Then, for me, that bad day taints the project I tried to work on. Whenever I think about going back and working on that piece, I’m reluctant. I don’t want another bad day. It takes extra effort to get past that.
Creative motivation is a precious thing and despite what of my other university tutors said, I don’t believe it is something you can force. Something written with passion and genuine care will always be so much better to consume.
I hope I am more motivated next week.