Monday, March 12, 2012

The Motivation

The biggest hurdle I've ever had to overcome in my writing was finishing the damn stories. Really, there are corpses of half-formed ideas all along the road behind me. There are quite a few finished tales, too. When I'm stuck on a story (as I am right now) it's often hard to figure out how to motivate myself to actually finish it. Let me explain.

Since I'm not writing to get paid on a lot of things (my work for Actionopolis aside), and I have a good-paying day job, I'm not feeling a lot of pressure to get things done.  Except the pressure I put on myself.  If the day job is pressing down on me, I'm inclined to not write and that's a good recipe to not finish anything.

The pressure I put on myself comes from the accumulation of ideas that happens once I start clearing out space in my head for new things. For instance, last week the germ of a new novel popped into my head complete with a title. It came to me in a flash of inspiration and I started making notes, ticking things off that I would need to research and reveling in the surge of adrenaline that came with it. The feeling of pure excitement.

The urge to write this new story.

The problem is that I've got one story almost done, another that needs serious editing and then there's the novel I've written that must be addressed. All this has to be done before I can start writing something new or else I'm just leaving a bunch more bodies behind.

I can't do that any more. I've had a couple of serious tries at budgeting my time and I've even got a nifty document that will help me keep track of what I'm working on. The problem is that life will get in the way if I let it. Though it's not really a matter of 'letting' life get in the way, it happens and those are things that I have to deal with.

So I'm using my desire to write the new story as motivation to finish the ones I have in progress. Let's see if this is going to work because the new story is going to be novel-length and it has the potential to be really, really good.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Charmaine Clancy said...

Love that enthusiasm. Maybe as small rewards when you spend an hour or so on your WIP you'll let yourself just make some short notes about your new novel.

Get it done, it's such a reward to be totally done :)


Jason Arnett said...

Thanks, Charmaine. Yeah, I'll probably do something like that. I really want to see this novel through to the end. I'm still in love with it.