Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Come on Baby, Light My Fire

Or at least light a fire under me.

I’m having motivation issues at the moment. I won’t bore you with the details (the poor Playfriends have heard it all ad nauseam). Let’s just say I’m lacking any feeling of urgency about anything.

It’s not that I don’t like my WIP or that I’m not excited about it. I am. Really. I just don’t have that sense of urgency to get it done. I think about it and toy with it, but I’m not making great progress.

Y’all saw how much I whined and procrastinated about reading the Aeneid and Inferno. And I didn’t even have to read the entire texts—just Book 1 and 2 of Aenied and Cantos 1-4 of Inferno. Even I know that’s nothing. Please-- you’d think I was one of my students with all that whining.

I’m less busy than I’ve ever been in my life, and yet I’m not writing much. I was more productive, page-wise, when I had thirty other things going on. What’s that saying about if you want to get something done, ask the busiest person around you? I think I’m more productive in general when I’m overscheduled and in a panic.

But I look at how stressed I was earlier this year, and I know I don’t want to go back to that—even if it means I’ll get pages written. Darling Geek likes me much better when I’m not a raving b*tch.

Angel has granted me a stay of the WIP whip. I have another week or so to get used to my new life, but then the Playfriends expect me to start producing on my own or else I'll be posting my pages each and every day. Ack!

So it’s time to get motivated. And I need advice on how one does that. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Heck, I’ll even do affirmations if y’all think that will help.

Help me. Please. How do you light the fire, and how do you keep it burning?


Don't forget, RITA winner Linnea Sinclair will be here tomorrow!!


Jennette said...

You're not alone! I thought I'd write a lot more when I was laid off from my day job, but quickly found that not to be true at all. When I got another job - I produce just as much (or little). Lately I've been motivating myself by planning what to do and setting goals - and I don't let myself watch TV, read for fun, etc. until I've done some writing. I don't play video games (my real treat) until I've hit my goal for the day. Good luck!

Smarty Pants said...

Hmm...its always a butt in seat issue with me, making myself do it everyday. Maybe doing a little brainstorming about it will get you motivated. Otherwise, honestly, the page a day homework I had to post really got me off my tail. I stop when I reach scenes I don't want to write. That forced me through them. When I got onto a better scene, the pages would flow better for me. I'm not sure if that would work or not, but the fear of embarassment by not posting your page a day can be quite the motivator.


Maven Linda Howard said...

Have you thought that maybe you just need a little recovery time from all the stress earlier this year? You aren't a machine. So be a slacker for a while, and play.

Lori Borrill said...

No, you are definitely not alone. I wrote continuously for 2 years, constantly striving to make that next goal, setting everything aside in the pursuit. Then I got ahead of the game, had two fulls out to Blaze, a third Blaze half written and everything came to a screeching halt. I even had trouble reading, feeling like each book was agony to get through.

And in honesty, even two sales haven't brought back that frantic energy that started me in this pursuit.

Sometimes I think it's the big crash and burn. We come out of the gate running then collapse, and what we need to do is learn that slow jog. I don't think I'll ever get back to that point where I was in the beginning, when I couldn't write fast enough, a story was always in my head and everything including food and sleep had to wait on me and my writing. But I am hoping to discover that slow jog, ease into it and realize that balance is actually the healthy way to go.

I personally have a hard time working on *anything* if I don't have a clear deadline ahead of me. Even at the office, give me too much time to finish something and I'll toss it aside until the deadline starts to loom.

Is it that you're waiting for word on editors? That always slows down my motivation, and I've yet to find an answer. But if you've met your goals, are waiting for news and simply feel like you should be doing something, maybe you simply need to give yourself permission to take a break. Trust me, news from a contest or an editor will definitely relight the fire.

Smarty Pants said...

PC - is it possible that the recent rejection of one MS and having your other MS in limbo with an editor has dampened your enthusiasm?

I know when my first book got its first R, I couldn't write for a while. And having a MS in limbo, waiting for either another R or a potential step ahead in the game, can be stressful too.

I think this weekend will help, either way.

Kathy said...

Or could it be that with AC in school now, you've fallen into a state of limbo? When my youngest started school all day, I was numb for 6 months afterwards. I couldn't do anything, wasn't interested in anything but wandering around half aware of the world. It's bazarre, but sometimes we are just besides ourselves when our schedules completely change, especially if they revolve around our kids.

I found I had to tell myself that life as I knew it was not over (we're talking 13 years of taking care of kids at home all day). I had to remind myself that now the kids were in school, I had the opportunity to do something new, focus on a project or start a new one. As I began to restructure my way of thinking, suddenly there was this positive spin, an energy I hadn't discovered before.

Is it possible that with recent disappointments you've allowed yourself, and rightfully so, to fall into this state of limbo? R's can be devastating. If you can, see this not as a setback but a stepping up to the batter's box once more. You got further than many of us may ever get. You got to 3rd base. Now pick up that bat and try for a home run!

You're # 1 fan,

Playground Monitor said...

I've pondered this all day and for the life of me I can't offer any advice on starting fires and keeping them burning. I sorta flounder along, writing hit and miss when inspiration strikes. It isn't striking right now so I'm reading. And as our weekend approaches, I get less inclined to start anything cause I know I'll just get interrupted and lose the flow. Excuses, excuses.

If you find the secret, get a patent and you'll be rich.


LouAnn said...

Sometimes, my Muse, too, takes a vacation. I don't, for the life of me, know where she takes off to, but she does!!! A little walk-about, maybe?
Anyway, rather than beating myself to pieces, I just work on something else, such as my weaving or raking leaves or potting plants. And, before I know it, ideas are popping into my head, and I'm ready to tackle a new project with zeal. (Notice that I didn't say I clean house! LOL!)
I truly think that we can get all caught up into the creative process, and it makes our Muses crazy and they need a vacation. That's OK....we all do.