Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How I Write: Motivation

Yay! This one is easy for me. One word: co-workers. It is a weird term when you talk of writing, right? Writers are solitary beasts aren’t we? Sitting and staring at our own screen, in our own houses, spending time with the imaginary people in our heads. And yet, as much as my introvert self loves that part, my head can easily lead me way astray. Writing in a vacuum where nobody cares what and when I get anything done, nobody knows why it is taking me so long and how come I haven’t published already. Nobody even knows how to ask questions about my work. I think they might want to ask me IF I work.

Well, to be fair, my family really wants me to finish and even cares that I am a writer and supports the time I spend with the imaginary folks in my head, but in moment to moment interaction, they often care more about getting their toast buttered than whether I get 500 (more realistically 5) more words in.

So having somebody actually counting on me doing my thing everyday and knowing how hard it is to plod ahead at my snail’s pace makes all the difference. 

So that’s what I did. I found a writing partner and we meet face to face every couple weeks. I met other folks through blog commenting and reading. We shared our manuscripts and cheered each other on. Heather and I met in the mornings online to get ourselves up and working. It was like having an office where someone was waiting for me to get my stuff done. We unplugged on our own before I eventually made The Practice Room. Now we unplug en masse.

Right now the blogosphere is full of ways to motivate:

Sign up for Writeoncon, or Heather’s Tour de Writing, Patricia Timms is having a Writing Triathalon at her blog or come here for The Practice Room. It will make you feel like you have someone in the cubical beside you and that is does in fact matter whether you cruise the byways of cyberspace instead of buckling into your second draft. They will care that you finish, that you work hard everyday, that you make those imaginary heroes in your head as flawed and beautiful as possible. And you will keep working. Because that is the only way.

I’ve written about coworkers before here.
Find other folks writing about motivation here.