Hi SEers. John here with you again. I hope you all had a great weekend and are looking forward to the week. Okay, I know that sounded a little bit desperate but having a post responsibility on a Monday is a little like doing stand-up comedy at an 8:00 AM session of a funeral directors’ convention.
Today I want to talk a bit about our motivation and our writing. No, I’m not going to give tricks on how to motivate the writing experience. I have already done that number. On the contrary, I want to take a few minutes to discuss a few of the motivation killers to become recognizable.
I know we try to convince ourselves that we don’t need the motivation to write. We love doing it so much that all we have to do is sit down at the keyboard, and we are off and running. I think we can all agree that writing doesn’t always go that way. So why not? What are the things that are inhibitors of an idyllic writing life? I can name a few.
The first thing that could get in the way of motivation on any given day is feelings of self-doubt. It perches on the shoulder and squawks nonsense in the ear. You may not have had a visit from this unpleasant bird, but it says things like, “You sure about that storyline?” The bird can also be pretty blunt. “That one-star review you got maybe more true than just hateful.” In any case, self-doubt can do more to slow down writing progress than any single other cause. Self-doubt is hard to overcome because it comes from the one person who is most familiar with the writer. It comes from the self.
The second thing that could be a roadblock to motivation is the feeling that the craft skills are not up to the task at hand. Showing not telling, world-building, excellent character, and plot development, are all the things discussed time and time again as essential to good writing. Sometimes it can almost be overwhelming. Too much concentration on getting everything right may lead to not even wanting to begin. It is like asking a golfer if they breathe out or in on their golf swing. It is a sure bet on the swing after the question; the golfer will hit a miserable shot because of overthinking about the breath.
The third thing that could affect motivation is the general satisfaction the writer receives from the work. If the work involves struggling to achieve happiness, then it would take a strong person to continue to face that uphill battle every time sitting down to write. If there is no satisfaction achieved in writing, then motivation will be non-existent for the average person.
I think we all have been a victim of each of these motivation killers at one time or another. Knowing these motivation killers are out there is a recognition that they are not unusual. This recognition is the first step in the elimination of their effect. It is up to each of us to continue to keep them at bay.
How about you? Have you been in the grips of a motivation killer? Tell us in the comments how you broke free.