First and foremost, happy anniversary, BZPower. May you survive to see many more influxes of wannabe bloggers exploiting Premier perks.
* * *
I'm writing this entry to talk about something I'm sure a lot of writers struggle with -- namely, finding the initiative and motivation to write. (Incidentally, authoring this entry is part of my attempt to find both.)
For over a year now, a plan to write a novel has been fermenting in my mind. I told myself at the beginning of this year that I would plan it and write it. As of this writing, I have done neither. Admittedly, my lack of progress is mainly due to procrastination; however, I probably would not be procrastinating if I had the motivation to write something and the determination to follow through.
Of course, a diagnosis is only half the battle. Where can I find a cure?
The most obvious panacea is writing to provide a message. I don't necessarily mean morals in the style of Aesop or Ayn Rand, namely, blatant and spelled out for the reader; I also mean messages like a warning about dystopia (George Orwell, 1984
), the allure of evil (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
), what we're likely to find in the universe (Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey
), etc. If you understand your message well, it can provide a skeleton framework for your story and, if you're lucky, inspiration.
But messages don't always work. Maybe you're too leery of being heavy-handed; maybe there are a few different messages that could or could not work, but you can't select one just yet; or, most likely, maybe your mind hasn't paired a message with a plot. What do you do?
The second cure I know for lack of writing initiative and motivation is adopting a habit of writing. This might seem contradictory at first -- how can you habituate writing if you can't write? -- but think about riding a bicycle, or swimming, or even math: You couldn't do it at first, but you learned. You can't write anything if you don't try to write anything, so write something
A third option is to make writing into a challenge. Some people are motivated by deadlines; though I don't find them particularly inspiring, they can spur writing, especially in the case of a contest. Other people may write stories to incorporate new words into their vocabularies, try out another writing style, etc.
The fourth and final thing I can think of is to write whenever you feel emotionally charged. I find writing an excellent means of catharsis. If you feel particularly happy, sad, angry, whatever, try to translate your emotions into words.
Okay, this isn't a great blog entry, but I figured I should take advantage of having Premier perks and write another rant after such a long hiatus from written ramblings. Now I just have to see if writing the above inspired me at all...