I have a secret. My motivation sucks. have hundreds of “good ideas” sitting in a Scrivener project waiting for the day my motivation drives me to do something with it. Mostly they just sit in a folder gathering digital dust.
Which is why NANOWRIMO is so difficult. I can literally count on one hand the number of stories I have finished. Many, when I just started writing, languished because I didn’t know what I was doing. Terrible and inconsistent characterization, little to no plot, and plot holes wide enough to challenge the Grand Canyon.
I like to think I’ve gotten better.
Now my problem appears that I spend so much time pre-writing that by the time I sit down to write I have lost my excitement for the story.
Take Begin Again for instance, have been working and writing this story for nearing 2 years. I am sick of it. I’m not even sure the story was worth it. More than once I wanted to quit. Hell, I did quit, several times. The difference between Begin Again and the many mostly abandoned Stories on my hard drive was I thought Begin Again could be worth something. I thought it would touch readers, make them second guess their expectations, bring them to the edge of their seat.
The biggest difference though was that it hurt me more to leave it unfinished than the frustration it left in me when I was writing
That’s my gauge for whether I continue writing, am I disappointed'” myself for not finishing it? If the answer is no, I let it gather dust. I might return to it someday. If the answer is yes, I go back to the drawing board: where’s the obstacle? What am I stuck on? What isn’t working?
Occasionally that means 2 years re-plotting, re-writing, re-working, and more editing. I think it’ll be worth it.
Tomorrow: motivation methods.