Friday, May 21, 2010

How do you stay motivated?

So you've started a new story. It's all fresh and new, and you can't stop thinking about it. Your characters are really coming to life, and you are really beginning to care for them. You're cruising right along and then BAM! You lose interest.

I really don't like it when this happens to me. I'm not exactly sure what sparks this sudden non-desire, but my hard drive is riddled with abandoned stories.

I've found that when it really counts and I have to finish the story, I'll find pictures of what I think the characters look like. I'll either cut them from magazines or find them online. Having a clear idea of who they are, and then having them staring at me is really motivating. Or, if I've based the characters loosely on someone I know, I'll either visit or find out someway (Facebook) how they are doing, thus piquing my interest again. These are odd little quirks - I know - but I'm pretty much a visual person, so having either the storyline, images, or even just the list of characters in my face, helps me focus.

Does this ever happen to you? What makes you move on? What keeps you from abandoning your wip - other than a concrete deadline?


Michelle Madow said...

I do the same thing with pictures of characters, except find them online and save them into a digital folder :)
Along with pictures of their houses, cars, possessions, outfits they'd wear, etc.

I also make a full outline of the story before even starting writing -- this way I know where I'm going and feel compelled to finish it because it's already planned out.

Buffy Andrews said...

Sometimes I get stuck and I know I need to let my subconscious work it out. Sometimes this happens when I’m exercising or taking a shower. Like today, I was eating a banana, thinking about the brown spots on the banana, and something popped into my head that so totally works for my WIP. It’s weird how that works, no? But it’s tough to keep motivated when you’re stuck.
When I’m not stuck, I can stay motivated because I want to see what happens to my characters. In my WIP, The Lion Awakens, I put the MCs in so many corners that it’s exciting to see how they get out of them. I think, too, that setting deadlines for myself keeps me motivated. Like now, I’m wrapping up Lion, which was my goal. I hope to be able to spend more time with my husband this summer golfing. So I was motivated to finish it. So maybe setting intermediary goals would be good. And maybe giving yourself something special (like a pack of Rolos) when you meet a goal would work. (I finished a sentence. That’s 1 Rolo... Smiles) But seriously, you seem to juggle an awful lot and I admire your tenacity and pursuit of excellence in everything you do. Hang in there girlfriend.

Unknown said...

Michelle and Buffy, Thanks for your comments. I'm not currently stuck on a WIP; it was just a topic that I thought would generate a conversation.

I wish I could be so motivated to write an entire outline before I start, but I don't. I have an idea what will happen - and if I'm only subbing a partial to my agent, well, then I do have to write a synopsis.

It seems like when I'm not working on my wip, I'm thinking about it. And if I'm not thinking about it consciously, I'm pretty sure it's percolating there in my subconscious!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

Buffy Andrews said...

I'm definitely not an outline-type-of-girl. I know how it's going to start and end and some plot points but other than that I'm along for the ride. That's what works best for me, I think. Have a super weekend Kris.

Toni Anderson said...

I have lost interest in some stories, but I tend to push through the moment and try and write through the 'blah' moments. I also try and up the pace of the plot.
I'm also very visual, and easily distracted by handsome heroes :)