Monday, March 21, 2011

HELP: Motivation Wanted

 I polished off my few contest entries, tweaking them as best as I could...anxious to send them off and put a neat little check mark by GOAL. And when I pressed “return” to send the documents into cyberspace, I was washed with success, even though I hadn't won anything yet, hadn't gleaned from a marked up scoresheet.

To accomplish a goal I had set for myself months ago, is enough of a pat-on-the-back for me...right now...maybe I should start setting myself up for the criticism upon my entries return?

Nah, I'll just wallow in my own personal success of at least getting those entries in!

After a few days of blissfully light shoulders, standing a few millimeters taller, brushing my hands together when the thought of those chapters float through my mind, I knock myself into reality and here the little voice of my wip, crying out:

“What about me??” And the potential bursting to fill more blank pages with words from my heart, begins to nudge me towards the “drawing board” once more.

So what do I do?

I sit. I open OpenOffice (Word for those Microsoft peeps out there), go to 'My Documents' , 'Novels' and then click on my manuscript.

And then....

                    I go to facebook

                                               I go to email

                                                                  I go to A CONTEST ENTRY I ALREADY SENT OFF, and hesitantly read through it to make sure it was really as polished as I thought...YIKES! I close it quickly!

I have a major problem here...

....finding the motivation to step towards a new goal once my original goal is accomplished...wait, scratch that...step towards an EXISTING, BIGGER goal (finishing my wip) once I've accomplished a smaller one (preparing just snippits of my work for a contest).

So, what to do?

Where do you find the motivation to keep on keeping on?


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

It's hard to jump back into the the daily grind of adding words to a WIP, especially after the high of accomplishing a goal. It is all about the seat-in-the-chair-glue that makes us stick to our work. :) Just plow through, girl.

I'm preaching to the choir, here.

Keli Gwyn said...

Kudos on getting those contest entries on their way, Angie. I wish you well and hope good news is forthcoming.

In the meantime, I find the best way to deal with having something "out there" is to dive into a new project. Once I'm immersed in one, I tend to forget about the other--or at least not think about it quite as often.

Erynn said...

I had to scroll back to the top of this post just to make sure I didn't write it.
This is EXACTLY where I am right now. Just sent off my contest entries. Feeling satisfied. And unmotivated.
I got a little help in the form of my best friend and crit partner forcing me to get all my goals for the next few months (until ACFW) onto my calendar this weekend.
I thought I had PLENTY of time to finish my WIP before then. I mean, September seems a long way off. But when I looked at all I had to do, it didn't seem so far.
So, now the deadlines are looming, and all I want to do is check my blog roll, my loops, maybe read a good book, and HIDE!
So, if you find that long lost motivation, and there's any extra around, PLEASE send some my way.

Christine Long said...

I take some time off and walk away from it for a set period of time. Then I evaluate what my next goal is and post that goal where others can help keep me accountable. Once I'm back in the swing of things again, I don't need as much accountability as I do to begin the task.

I'm finding out that taking a few steps back for a little while isn't a bad thing. It helps me get some perspective and allows my creative juices to get a jump start.

Ralene said...

I agree with Christine about taking a step back for a set period of time. You prepare your mind mentally to dive back in. You let the "boys under the stairs" work while you sleep, do the laundry, cook dinner. By the time you set back down, you push past the initial "ugh" and your golden!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Stepping back is good, but for me that also leads to more procrastination. I can always find things to do.
At lunch today, I had a talk with my characters about the story and where it needed to go. They have an envelope. The envelope sets the stage for the end, but the contents plagued me. I couldn't figure out what had to be in the envelope. While driving home for lunch I turned the radio off and immersed myself into the senerio. After parking the car I had this painful feeling. I realized what was in the envelope! My poor characters!
My biggest need is to walk away from my computer and the blank page, but stay inside the story.

Tracy Krauss said...

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. While goals are very valuable, we can't let them rule us. Sometimes other opportunities come along that supercede a particular goal for a time.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Agreeing with Christine and Ralene. I give myself a little bit of down time. Step away from the computer. Maybe read a magazine or someone else's book--or a book on the craft of writing.
And then, because I'm in a weekly crit group, I know I have to get back at it. Maybe I take a week off--or two. But eventually I have to be a contributing member of the group--submitting and critiquing.

Angie Dicken said...

Stepping back and taking a break is more of what I have been leaning towards...but life is only getting busier, so I don't want to step back too much! :) Really trusting in God's timing that the future holds some inspirational writing time for me! Thanks for all the comments!

Sandra Stiles said...

I agree with those who have said you have to step back. I also agree you don't want to take too big a step back. I actually plant people to help motivate me. I let a couple of people (in my case a couple of my students) as well as my mother and husband know I have met a goal and that I will be jumping back into my WIP. I give them a time period and ask them to check on how I am doing. I tell them when I am taking a break and for hopefully how long. From there it seems like having them ask me if I had done any writing or how my writing was coming along is enough for me to keep going. But that is just me. I often need someone to keep me on the pat to accountability.

Angie Dicken said...

Sandra, that is a great point. Having the accountability is so crucial...I am glad to have that in my crit partner, as well as friends who ask about my writing from time to time.