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Well, I opened the file of my WIP today.

Yes, opened it. Actually looked at it.

Then I ate a piece of cake. I always think better with sugar on the brain.

Why is it sometimes so hard to get motivated? I'm not talking about writer's block. I'm not talking about time constraints. There are plenty of us who are home all day, yet we still put off writing, again and again. 

Is it because we have so many better things to do? Because we're lazy? Because we know how much work is ahead of us?

Of course we can always find other things to do. Not necessarily "better" things, but something that allows us to blow off our writing. Bad habit, I say. Bad, bad habit. Absence does not make the writer's heart grow fonder (exception: if you've finished a piece and need to let it brew).

Absence, ultimately, ticks you off. The details of your story you were previously so wrapped up in are now lost in in a jumble of black and white. You find it hard (or impossible) to remember your character's precise motivations. Plot points that you'd hoped to add "later" are blurry and vague.

We're not lazy, either. After all, we've been known to spend hours and hours, day after day, working on our WIPs. Ignoring the phone. Passing up outings with friends. Making it a point not to get on the internet.

We forget to eat. We give up sleep to write late into the night, or set our alarms to get up at 4 or 5 a.m. These are not the characteristics of lazy people.

The truth is, we do know how much work is ahead of us, and maybe it's human nature to procrastinate a bit (and too much of it can quickly become a habit). We love writing when our writing is, well, fun, i.e. when we're immersed in a new story, busy inventing new characters. However, once the initial groundwork is laid, the honeymoon ends and the real labor begins. Our stories no longer demand our constant attention. Instead, they wait for us. If they were babies, they'd be dead and we'd all be in jail.

I think this is what separates the serious writers from those who, in the end, will merely "hobby-write"; the serious writers, regardless of whether or not they're "inspired" or "motivated," will force themselves to write something, while the others whine about writer's block, or how their muse has abandoned them, or how they're probably wasting their time, or how "The Bachelor" in on and they never miss an episode.

They will wait for that brilliant bolt of inspirational lightning, even if it takes weeks, months, or years to get hit.

Serious writers, on the other handmake their own lightning.

Back to work... xox


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
Funny enough, I don't have writer's block, but more writer's fear. I don't know how to start the first chapter of the story I want to tell. What I have written is so juvenile and ridiculous, I just quit and give up!

why do I have this irrational fear?
Feb. 9th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Forget the first chapter, then. Seriously. Think of an interesting part near the beginning and start from there. You can always go back and write the first chapter. I find the first chapter the WORST one to write! You get so caught up in wondering if it'll ever hook anyone, there's no pleasure in writing it (for me) and I'm never happy with it, either. I think I started at around Chapter 3 in my second one, then went back and wrote a beginning.
Feb. 10th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
This is very well said and I need to come back and reread it when I'm not sick.

I forever forget this truths which makes me, of course, doubt my commitment to writing.
Feb. 10th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
Oh, Susan. Feel better!!! (((HUGS)))
Feb. 10th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
This is sooooo me. So many times, I will have the time to write, and will even know what I want to write about, only to go off and procrastinate, because I just don't feel inspired. (And then later I will berate myself for my laziness, haha.) Still, even though I do that sometimes, there are days where I also make the effort to push through that and write anyway. It's easy to forget that there are some writers who never try to push past procrastination and just...well, procrastinate!

Thanks for this post. It resonates with me so well, especially this week! :)
Feb. 10th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
As long as the Push days outnumber the Procrastinate days! :)
Feb. 10th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
You're singing my song! May I recommend that you NEVER start a 2,000 piece puzzle... now it's my excuse dejour.

Borders is calling us!
Feb. 10th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Yes! Perhaps next Friday?
Feb. 10th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Sounds good. I'll pencil you in. A Grapemo Friday!
Feb. 10th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
PENCIL me in? Excuuuuuse me? I want it tattooed on your forehead. :D
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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