Tag Archives: motivation

But WHY?

“Why?” That’s probably my favorite question. Whereas some kids go through a brief phase of “But, why?” I never really outgrew that, which is probably one of the driving forces behind my choice to become a scientist.

My editor at Pro Se Productions, who is also a writer, discussed the “why” behind his choice to write pulp and also addressed the fact that most writers will give a rather vague answer when asked why we write and even why we write what we write.

So, why do I write and more specifically, why do I write my personal blend of science fiction, fantasy and romance?

The reason, as with many things, goes way back to childhood. Even before I read, I played make believe. Mr. Rogers showed me that in Make Believe, anything could happen. My family had some rocky times. To be honest it was probably rocky and troubled more often than not. In Make Believe, I didn’t have to be me, people were nice, the bad guys got what was coming to them– or more likely, realized how horrid they had been and became good, and all was right with the world.

I recall sitting down, even as young as five, to watch the evening news. I remember Ronald Regan’s re-election, Challenger’s explosion, watching the fall of the Berlin wall, Tienanmen square massacre, Iran Contra, and innumerable other incidents that are now little blurbs in the history books. While I rarely comprehended all the nuances of the events I witnessed on television, I felt the emotional impact.

I realized that horrible things happened in the world, but I was “the glass is half full, and if it isn’t I’ll make it that way” sort of gal. Along with my daily dose of reality, I watched re-runs of the original Star Trek, and then a few years later ST:TNG won my unending devotion. Those shows, with a smattering of other science fiction shows and movies, reinforced my beliefs that humanity could be so much more, so much better, but sometimes it took a single voice to lead the way. Science fiction wasn’t afraid to question the status quo. It wasn’t afraid to ask “What if?” It made you think. It made you ponder. It wasn’t about the special effects and explosions of today’s sci-fi movies and shows. It invested you in characters and you found yourself wrestling with dilemmas right beside them in your imagination.

On a small scale, when one reads, one is taken to another place, escapes to a universe where horrors or drudgery from everyday life disappear as long as you keep turning pages. Fiction can open your eyes to ideas in ways that mere didactic knowledge cannot. Open one mind to love, acceptance, tolerance and all of the things our world is in so much need of and you have planted a seed of hope for the human race.  Make it entertaining, fantastical, and gut wrenching and you make that world and those characters stick with a reader long after they put the book down.

How does all of that boil down to why I write?

In short, I write to change the world.

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Dr. Who?

Doctor ME!

Yes, I know, you expected the one with the TARDIS. I’m sorry, I’ve misplaced mine. It would really come in handy when dropping children off at different schools which insist on starting at the same time on opposite ends of town. Needless to say, Miss Drama has a few tardies as a result.

I graduated in December and am now employed. Yay for work, b/c work = paycheck. Now that I’m working, the urge to write has returned, at least in my non-comatose hours. I also want to garden, but it’s below 32 F outside. The motivation macro in my brain is clearly out of sync with the world. Perhaps it’s from zooming around in the TARDIS?

My companion seems reluctant.

My companion seems reluctant.

I suppose if I want to get writing done I’ll simply have to recalibrate the inertial dampers. What? That always worked in Star Trek, unless of course they had to reverse polarity.

Novel Misconceptions

So, against all sane reason, I signed up to do NaNoWriMo. In all honesty, I highly doubt I’ll reach the 50,000 word count goal, but that’s okay. I signed up to join many of my writer friends, share in the angst that accompanies the grueling process of writing a first draft, and to end my streak of procrastination.

First of all, let me point out what National Novel Writing Month ISN’T meant to accomplish:

  1. A finished, polished novel ready for submission.  If you can write and edit at least 50k words in a month you probably won’t sleep, or eat, or do any of the things which keep a person healthy and sane.
  2. Improve your writing skills. Depending on your skill level in the craft, re-writes and edits may take a few months or a few years. Workshops, books, and practice are all part of that process.
  3. Get you published. It has been said that the last thing you should trot out in your query letter is that the piece in question is a product of NaNoWriMo. Never mind that you may have spent five years making it the best work ever, editors have seen too many unpolished manuscripts to view that as a bonus.

The point of all the hub-bub of NaNoWriMo is to help aspiring writers get past that daunting first step: writing the novel. Whether digital or an actual blank page, that expanse of white can be a monumental hurdle to leap. When thousands of other people are attempting the same task and you realize it isn’t particularly easy for any of them, you discover you aren’t alone. The important thing is to persevere.

There are ten gazillion reasons to put off writing that story rattling in your head, but you only need one good reason to set pen to paper or fingers to keys: determination to tell your story.

Let the writing commence!

I might be crazy

November is just around the corner. For those who aren’t aware, November is National Novel Writing Month, aka, NaNoWriMo.  A number of my friends are participating. I never have, but I feel like I need a bit of a kick to get started on a new project.

I’ve finished two novels, they are off in submission land, and I haven’t really done much since I declared them finished.

It could be the pseudoephedrine/acetaminophen/ibuprofen cocktail swimming in my bloodstream or the giddy relief of my head not hurting, but I’m contemplating attempting NaNoWriMo.

If so, I have a whole day to figure out what I plan to work on. I think I might be crazy, but then I’m a writer. Crazy is part of the job description.

Momentum

Ever find yourself dithering, stalling, or flat out avoiding a task? No lying. Mhmm, that’s what I thought. We all do it from time to time. When it comes to things we hate it’s understandable, but what about when it’s something we love?

Ask any writer and few will have a single project on which they work. Most have more story ideas than time to develop them. The novelty of switching from one project to another usually keeps me progressing at a nice pace, but every once in awhile my momentum fades. The friction of life saps my energy and time until I’m tapped.

In case anyone was wondering, I can confirm that perpetual motion, literally or metaphorically, does not exist.

So, just as the roller coaster requires energy to haul it up to that first hill, so to my muse needs the occasional injection of creative energy and enthusiasm.  Sometimes my monthly writers’ meeting provides it, or my chats with fellow writer friends, and sometimes it comes from someone simply asking, “So, what’s your story about?” or “How’s the story coming along?”

I’ve been coasting on my warm fuzzy feelings of accomplishment from finishing a short story and another short story being accepted into Midnight Screaming for their next issue. YAY!!! So, even though I know I should keep trucking along on my novels, my creative engine needed a jump start. My beloved Soup King provided it, much to my delight. While we ate a lovely meal out, he listened as I babbled endlessly about my plot arcs and conflict quandaries.

So here’s a shout out to all the people out there who fuel those voracious muses! Thanks! Without you, Newtonian physics would get in the way of art. 😀