How do you get yourself to write?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Margo
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Margo » August 13th, 2010, 11:10 am

marccolbourne wrote:This thread couldn't have come at a better time for me! Thank you so much for your ideas and encouragement.

Marc

Encouraging? I wasn't trying to be encouraging! Dammit, why do I keep doing that?!? jk :P
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Quill
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Quill » August 13th, 2010, 4:31 pm

Margo wrote:
Quill wrote: It's not just about driving oneself to the computer.
Yeah, on the most basic level it is. It has to be. Bottom line. You do it or you don't. You can spend years taking out the trash to clear your life. More trash will blow in the front door while you're emptying other things out the back.

Nike had the right idea.
Always hated that Nike slogan. Just force yourself.

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tanvi02
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by tanvi02 » August 14th, 2010, 3:54 am

well writing comes from within but if you have a desire to write but need some motivation then you should start reading sone good books.reading work of great artists inspire people to write and while reading you will be flooded with your own views and ideas which you can jot down in a creative way.

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Mira
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Mira » August 14th, 2010, 6:05 pm

Thank you so much! Like Marc, this thread is really helpful to me. I got sick yesterday, or I'd have been thanking you sooner, I appreciate it.
There are many wonderful suggestions, I'll try them out.

As an aside, theepicwriter, thank you for your great suggestions, and I hope you get published! But even more than that, I hope I'm there to see the screaming, running around naked and kissing random strangers, I must see that. And Margo, I'm hiring you as my drill sargeant. You'll stand over me shouting: "write, write, write, damn it", and I'll get a ton of writing done. Sorry to see you encouraged someone - my condolences. Polymath and karen - unlike Margo - I LOVE tricks. They get past my censor. Tanvi - great suggestion to read good writing to be inspired. Ninafromnorway - I hope you find the writing time and space!

Quill and Summer - that was very inspiring. Thank you!

I'm going to do it. You've inspired me. I'm going to write.

Tomorrow.

Ha! Just kidding. I'll write today. :)

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Holly
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Holly » August 14th, 2010, 6:36 pm

Margo wrote:
Quill wrote: It's not just about driving oneself to the computer.
Yeah, on the most basic level it is. It has to be. Bottom line. You do it or you don't. You can spend years taking out the trash to clear your life. More trash will blow in the front door while you're emptying other things out the back.

Nike had the right idea.
Best post on here.

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arbraun
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by arbraun » August 15th, 2010, 12:16 am

I feel your pain. I am by nature lazy and have to fight it all the time. I remind myself that I could earn a good living by writing someday. I haven't finished a novel yet, so I'm cutting my teeth in short stories, which don't pay much. I also find myself with nothing to do when I write. It's a good way to fight boredom. When I first got serious at this, I found the prospect of four hours sitting in a chair unbearable, so I put on some music, which helped considerably. It can also put you in the mood to write. Also, taking time to network/chat with friends on the Internet in between proofreads cuts down on the boredom factor, making writing viable. I also take five minute breaks like at a job (or fifteen minute breaks to hang out with friends). This gets you away from the screen's harmful glare and makes it less cumbersome to return. I hope this helps you.

Steppe
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Steppe » August 15th, 2010, 3:00 am

How to begin writing
without actually writing
and end up writing too much.

Be sneaky.
Get some kind of catch-all box to keep tossing scenes into. Plastic is best.
A scribble here a scribble there, adding some conceptual stuff, some dialogues,
some character sketches, some set descriptions of various locations.
The main thing is to keep it in one good size box that can hold other boxes and notebooks.
Toss in articles about concepts that might leak into your plot.
Steal pages out of books where the scene works good; rip the pages out and outline them with;
this, then that, plus over to here, and then over to here, then a dialogue this, and a dialogue that,
suggesting action, action, action, action, slowing action, slowing action, dialogue; segues out with this, this and this.
Finally when you are caught up to date on your real world responsibilities sit down and write
and don't stop except for the important real world chores.
Some days 100 words some days 3500. Only stop when the story needs you to stop so you can figure out
the next twist turn or resolution of previous twisting turns.
Keep tossing stuff into the box. Stare at the box. Chant over the box.
Toss lucky charms into the box.
Finally when you get to 20,000 words swear an oath you shall throw everything in the box away at 120.000 words.
Look at the collection of cool ideas and realize it is a one of a kind collection of ideas that never existed before
in the whole history of this univeres or any other universe and you and you alone are sworn to annihilate it and must
protect the best ideas by getting them into your story before this one of a kind data object is destroyed by your
unbreakable oath to destroy this unique sub-universe.
Realize you are now the god of the box but sadly also the devil.
It is your universe and you can do nothing but destroy it so to ensure this small universe is remembered you must
reach 120,000 words before you get hauled away for not showering, eating too little or too much, and generally muttering
to yourself like some psycho that believes they alone and 120,000 words hold the key to a secret universe only you know about.
Presto change-o abracadabra your unruly box shaped universe has been shrunk to a 120,000 word universe recipe that can now allow other people to enter, and live in its thoughts for a while. Having made it that far and knowing their are revisions and proofreads to do, keep your oath and destroy your notes.
There's no magic in the breakdown of how you built the new 120,000 word universe others are about to enter, your notes are worthless compared to the new universe. Kill the old universe, hurry before it attacks the new universe and trys to destroy it.
Out! Out! Begone old universe, to the dumpster you go. Save only the empty plastic box and lid.
Return from the trash where the old universe is now dying and gaze upon the new universe that now exists and realize you are responsible for its fate because you killed its mother and father and all traces of its origin.
Love your new universe, care for it, educate it. take it out to play with other new universe all the while keeping a wary eye out for things that could injure your fledgling universe now taking its first steps.
Realize that like Frankenstein this universe now exists and is going to follow you for all eternity asking one question; "Why, why why..."
Look at the empty box and make an oath to print out your new universe and place it in the same box all the components once lived in until the thermal arrow of time and your own super sized ego decided to call forth into creation a new universe. Place the printed manuscript in the big plastic or wooden or cardboard box and stand their twitching muttering: "What have I done, what have I done,"
Pat your self on the back (left shoulder) with your right hand while crossing the fingers on your left hand and swear a new oath.
"I'll never ever ever do that again, it is much too dangerous." Close the lid on the big empty box now filled with a small baby universe and say.
"Good night Junior/Missy see you in the morning mommy/daddy loves you."
Then just walk away and go to bed or a movie or something non-writing.
If your universe starts talking to you, then your life has only two choices now; begin polishing or get psychiatric help as soon as possible.

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E McD
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by E McD » August 15th, 2010, 10:32 am

Don't die a dreamer. Die a do-er.
-Emily McDaniel

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polymath
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by polymath » August 15th, 2010, 12:24 pm

Motivational tricks for me serve as methods for engaging consciously with my subconscious and nonconscious minds. Although those subminds don't order priorities in a sensible way, they do know what's on my mind wanting to be expressed but hidden by life's demanding, distracting everyday activities.

More than any other one thing, my procrastination-driving impediment has been I'm good at structured thought, my hunch is my abilities with dramatic magnitude and relevance have been lacking. I'm more the irrelevant trivia oriented conscious thinker than a publicly meaningful one. That's one of many areas I've been working on, investigating, and testing. On the one hand, asking what matters to tomorrow's readers. And on the other hand, for originality's sake, asking what matters that they don't know about but will must have to have once it becomes available. A third hand asks what matters to me now and will later on.

Of course, no one writer can be all things to all people all the time, nor even all things to a niche for a moment, nor partially things to all people, but a writer can be all things to one's self in time. There's a paradox going on there, a cognitive dissonance that's difficult to reconcile too. Writing for one's self as target audience might seem too specific a target for writing's purposes. However, in every case of a published work, specificity has triumphed over generality.

Robert Frost wrote about what he knew most intimately, the cold winters of his hometown. Yet in his perception of cold weather he explored meaning related to emotional detachment's cold shoulder, as does a broad audience of his readers. He evokes passionate and compassionate emotions. In an end analysis, maybe more of a paraphrase than analysis, Frost establishes common cause with humanity by reordering part of humanity to his thinking. A lonely man, he created companionship through writing to his self.

In examining my writing motivations, my purposes, and my many disparate directions, I've come to realize I want to change the world to my liking at no one else's expense. I'm not happy with the way my life is. I don't pass blame nor want to exact vengance for my unhappiness on others. Finances stand large in perspective. But money wouldn't matter as much if I could enjoy a bit more of society's beautiful companionship and less of it's ugly unpleasantnesses, yet appreciate those unpleasantnesses as motivating antagonisms. I have an irrational fear of human beings. I'd like to be less afraid. They ain't gonna change for my sake, though. I must find ways to cope or remain a hermit. I will change the world of myself to my liking or perish making it so. To those ends, I write. Uncovering my true writing motivations gives me purpose and reasons that put me on task. In the meanwhile, I hope to share a story or two worth reading.
Last edited by polymath on August 15th, 2010, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rose
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by rose » August 15th, 2010, 1:45 pm

Sweet Polymath, I have seen you share a few of the reasons for your hermitage preferences before. I'm an introvert and a hermit as well, although not because of the irrational fear of interaction, but because I'm such good company for me. As you must be for you, with your ever intriguing analyses.

But I am so very glad to have these places to socialize and hangout. It is wonderful to be able to look up and see you there, just on the other side of the fire, and know that you are always willing to bring your intellect to bear on some of the more arcane writerly problems that only the true professional ever considers. Thank you.

And Mira...curmudgeonly though it sounds, when it comes to being a writer, your friends aren't your friends. They will actually (gasp) invite you out into the world to DO STUFF! Shun them! Shun them kindly, but relentlessly, until they know that you only emerge on alternate holidays. And, umm... that goes for us forum friends, too.

And then give yourself a jumpstart, however you have to do it. Many good suggestions have been put forth here. I like to make lists and outlines. Lists of projects I might want to do, outlines of projects that I might really want to do.. Sooner I get hooked into something and away I go.

Or you could scan the writer boards for upcoming contests and pick one you want to tackle.Since you are still in school, you know how motivating having a deadline can be! <g>

Or carry a notebook. What's one more book to a student? For years, I kept years journals in black and red hardbound record books, but later became enamored of the fancy-schmancy, artsy-fartsy ones. They looked cool, were easy to carry around, and were handy for scribbling notes, scraps of overheard dialogue, great lines, questions, notes for research. Now I use the "record feature" of my Sansa Clip MP3 player, but since the idea for you is to do something writer-related every day, a notebook would be better.

I do hope you are feeling better today.
rose
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Riders on the Rez http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35697
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polymath
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by polymath » August 15th, 2010, 3:11 pm

Thank you, rose, for your comforting fireside company.

The Internet is a saving grace for reading and writing hermits, providing safely anonymous interpersonal networking for we who would otherwise share so little good company.

I've wondered how large the reader and writer hermit niche is. The quantity and quality of hermit literature past and present suggests we are a commercially signficant group, but unfortunately, publishing party gatekeepers are by and large a gregarious lot disinclined to finding rapport with our insular ministrations. The Internet might be our workaround to accessing and sharing proxy reality fireside repasts with our fellow hermitage travelers. Technology has distanced interpersonal relationships. Gosh, it might just also bring us closer into rapport with fellow mindsets because we are physically separated, but not emotionally barricaded from one another. (Huh, and there it is, an answer to a sticking point of a project in progress, a moment in history when a cultural clash destroyed a closeknit society's interpersonal relationships, a subtext I've sought for the meaning behind the clash.)

Nonbelongers Unite! Participate in Online Outlier Unification! The Hermit Party Wants You To Socially Nonbelong!
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Quill
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Quill » August 15th, 2010, 7:07 pm

I see this thread is morphing into "How do you get yourself to belong." Well fine.

I wonder what percentage of here at Bransforums are introverts and extroverts. I think the stereotypical writer is a recluse (introvert) but more and more I sense a growing group of extrovert writers, an enlarging segment of social-networking-butterflies who welcome, nay, scream for personal publicity. For example I recently came across one young author online whose was positively demanding that all who ran into her at an upcoming conference stop and introduce themselves. She said, basically, you can recognize me by my videos (go watch them!), so you have no excuse.

Reminds me of our thread about Pantsers vs Planners, and also the one about Artists vs. Crafters.

Me, I'm more the hermit type.

Down the well
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by Down the well » August 15th, 2010, 7:32 pm

Quill wrote:I see this thread is morphing into "How do you get yourself to belong." Well fine.
Well fine.

359 days of the year I'm like a hermit hobbit, snug in my home. But twice a year I try to go to local conferences. For those six days I love interacting with fellow writers. It invigorates me to be around other people who do what I do. I talk to people and have a great time, and then I come home ready to tackle the next hurdle. But to write I have to be left alone. And I write every day so that means my normal social life is pretty low-key.

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dios4vida
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by dios4vida » August 16th, 2010, 12:18 pm

This is a long video (20 minutes) but well worth your time. It's a talk done by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) about the creative process. It applies to everything from writing to dancing to painting and every creative endeavor.

My favorite part comes near the end, where she talks about the origins of the Muse and Genius. Essentially, she says that you (the writer) need to show up for work every day, and if the Muse doesn't choose to show up, at least you did your part. It gives an interesting spin on it, and even though I don't really agree with everything she said, I still find it works.

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilb ... enius.html
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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marilyn peake
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Re: How do you get yourself to write?

Post by marilyn peake » August 16th, 2010, 11:08 pm

Mira,

I found it difficult to find enough time to write when I wrote my first couple of (unpublished) novels, so I took a Writer’s Digest Writing course and then a couple of Writer’s Digest Advanced Writing courses through which a published writer critiqued my work. I think I might have found it difficult to make time to write my first few books because there was so much to learn at the time: structure of the novel, etc. Now that I've written seven novels and many short stories, I find it much easier to ease into the structure and fall in love with the writing itself. I find writing much more enjoyable now, so I find it easier to make time to write. Hope that helps. :)
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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