Saturday, 14 January 2012


 So what motivates you to write? Is it a word, a scene, a dialogue you’ve overheard, or a brilliant idea that just sweeps into your head out of the blue? Of course writers need to be motivated in order to have the desire to write. So let’s make a song of it.
Instead of Do the Locomotion, let’s Do the Motivation.

Okay, one, two, three, let’s go.

Let’s get down and dirty with the levels of motivation. Why do we write? It is an internal instinct. We can’t turn it off.
  1.  It's a driving desire to fulfill our ambitions to please our characters and to create homes for them, and lives for them
  2. Secondly it's an external desire to be read, to have readers who we want to please, to satisfy.
  3.  Thirdly, it's our desire to be competitive, to achieve a high writing ability and standard, and to rise above the rest and be the best.
Let’s face it, as much as we want to seem modest and say that we write for our readers, we also write for other writers. We want to surpass what they did yesterday, to excel. And is that wrong? I don’t think so. Without the desire to do well, and to achieve, we wouldn’t be writers. We might write and throw it away or stick it away, but we would not desire to be published and flaunt our work on the world for all to see, to read, and to criticize as well.

We must plan, organize, set goals…it’s all part of the writing process. And in order to do that we must be motivated. For example: Right now I am in the planning stages of a new novel. I know basically where it is going and basically how it is going to end. But the middle is the part that must be figured out. This means organizing my characters, getting a good grip of them in my head, so as when I give them dialogue, I know how they are going to respond. I must know them. I must spend time with them. I should do character sketches of them.

For me, it starts with an idea, then an outline in my mind. This could be very sketchy. So first I want to write down a very loose outline. Then if that goes well, I want to develop chapter outlines. They can be very loose as well and subject to change throughout the process. Something in Chapter three for example might end up in Chapter two or Chapter four. But the main purpose of my motivation is to get down the facts, the bones of the story.

After my very loose chapter outlines, I might do an overall new story outline, just so I can see how it starts, comes together, and ends. If this is satisfactory to me then I begin to write the chapters. If I get stumped or bored, I will stop and start writing questions. Yes, asking myself questions about why so and so did that or what will so and so do next, and how can so and so get out of that predicament, and when will so and so redeem themselves. All these questions will then simmer. I might leave the whole hog podge for as long as needed until something pops.

This could happen in the middle of the night or while I am watching TV or maybe eating. Once the questions have been thrown out there, the mind begins to churn and you just have to have faith that it will produce the answers.  You can’t force them, may I repeat YOU CAN’T FORCE THEM.

Motivation cannot be manufactured by force. It must be nurtured soothingly. So TAKE A BREAK. Move on to another piece of work, totally different from what you have been working on. Now if am reading a book, this sometimes helps. I might be totally involved with the story I am reading, absorbed in the situation occurring between the pages. Then BANG some line, or some word, or some place will take me out of it, and I will have an answer to one of my earlier questions. I will probably leave the book I am reading and think this new part out. If I have a good handle on it, I will go right then and start writing. I might not write into the chapter that this belongs in, but rather just start typing on a blank screen. I will let it all flow out in whatever haphazard form it might be in. If it’s satisfactory, I will then add it to my new story. And when I have dried up for typing, I leave it again and maybe go back to my reading.

Of course getting paid for your writing is very good motivation; it shows that your work has value.

Best motivation to write is that you love it. That you can’t live without it, and that it is part of you. It is the passion that wakes you up in the morning and carries you throughout the day, whether you have a day job or not. It is the moment when you are with your characters and your characters are within you and everything is right. That’s motivation. Happy Writing and Reading everyone.

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