Finding Motivation

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ 
I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’”

-Stephen King

Writing is not a simple task. Sure the act in itself is easy enough, but taking the time to think about each word forming the perfect sentence is a bit more difficult. Writing even gets more complex when your desire is for those sentences to make up paragraphs which can be knit together into scenes that create a chapter, all while hoping that each of the words ultimately tell a story. A story that readers will want to read and enjoy reading.

A novel is daunting. I decided to take on the task of NaNoWriMo this year, which looking back is a pretty crazy idea. Especially for someone like me, who is really just starting to wade into the waters of writing. If I am honest, I can admit that I did not (and still don’t) have the best record of daily writing. I know I need to do it, but for whatever reason, I just don’t. Unless I have a scene that I am eager to write, it feels like work to stare at the blank white screen and press keys until it is filled.

So how do I find motivation to write in those times? Well, one thing that helps me when I’m not particularly excited about the next scenes I have planned to write, is to find something new to try out. Sometimes this might look like a suggestion I read on a forum somewhere, other times it might be the book on writing I just bought that is giving me some new ways to think about characters (if you need such a book, my last post is a great recommendation).

I hope I don’t ever become set in my ways as I continue to write. Flexibility seems like a wonderful thing, and change seems inspirational. New atmospheres, new people, and new experiences create a wonderful soil for stories to crop up in, so new techniques should also help create inspiration.

Going back to NaNoWriMo, while I really did “lose” by not writing the 50,000 words (and yes, I’m aware that there is still time to pound out my remaining words–but with Thanksgiving and such, I’m going to be busy and won’t have that much time), I find that I am still proud of my accomplishment. I still wrote 25,000 of a story. The competitiveness in me enjoyed tracking my word count in such a public place. I think I will look into Camp NaNoWriMo to help me develop my habit of daily writing.

What helps you to remain motivated to write?


2 thoughts on “Finding Motivation

  1. Hi D.L., thanks for visiting and following my blog. Another historical fiction writer – yes! What era are you writing?

    To answer the question of this post, I find motivation by coming up with exactly the type of story I’d want to read and letting my enthusiasm to eventually read it beginning to end help me through the tough writing times.


    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by.

      Currently, my projects are taking place just a few years after the Civil War, so right around 1870.

      I often find that whatever I’m reading can help trigger some story ideas for myself, so creating stories based on what you would want to read makes a lot of sense. I guess I probably do that without even thinking about it that way.


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