Have you ever noticed how Sundays just seem to pop up out of nowhere? Well, they do for me anyway. I missed my update post completely last week and this week it was my movie review post. So ... what happened?
Well, I missed the updates post a week ago because I really had nothing to update. I only got half my weekly blog posts done over the last couple of weeks (my Monday and Friday ones), and only a couple hundred new words added to Wandering Wizards.
Now granted the last couple of weeks have been busy - we’ve had visitors a couple of times and hubby took a week off to get a start on the bathroom renovation (I say “start” because this bodes well to becoming a never ending story). The bathroom in question is across the hall from my office, and it was impossible to focus in even my secondary office (the living room) - do you know how noisy a renovation can get?
And let’s not forget how insanely hot and humid it was for the last couple of weeks. I’m a winter person thru and thru - humidity is most definitely not my friend. It makes me lethargic and ill and sucks the life right out of me.
But the biggest impediment to being a more productive writer was a singular lack of motivation. Staying motivated to write is difficult at the best of times. There’s little to show for it so people don’t consider it a real job. And even for a lot of professionals the pay isn’t that great. The inner motivation needed to get you (and keep you) writing is greater than for any other job and these last few months it just seems to be more of a struggle than usual.
It’s cold comfort that I’m not alone in feeling this, I have a whole slew of writers sites I surf to on a regular basis and it’s surprising how many of them are feeling the same thing. One author posted that she was going to take a few months off to gather her scattered thoughts, another just stopped posting - right in the middle of her serial story. A lot of sites the posts are few and far between.
So. How can we better motivate ourselves?
1. Take responsibility for your own actions; acknowledge that you’re the only one that can do this. The world is waiting for your story and only you can tell it.
2. Create a deadline and stick to it. Mark it on your calendar.
3. Set a daily goal - a word limit, a number of pages, a number of hours - something to strive for.
4. Get rid of distractions - phone, internet, TV - unplug the electronics and hide away if you have to.
5. Find a carrot - set yourself a mini-goal and reward yourself when you reach it.
6. Find a writing buddy - you can egg each other on.
7. Find a time and place that inspire you - everyone has a time of day where they feel more creative, and the perfect setting will help persuade you to write.
8. Make yourself accountable - tell family and friends what you’re doing and let them be your cheerleaders. At the very least you won’t want to let them down.
I think I need to print out this list. ;-)
Blog Posts (not counting this one)
3,239 words total
This is kind of an unfair total. Though I only counted my regular four posts, one or two of them were a couple of weeks old. Overall I think I was up by about 100 words.
0 words total
I set aside Lord of the Flies for a bit, but I’m halfway through Inkspell and I’m on the third of a boxed set of SEAL action/romances on the Kindle. I think I may have read a couplf of other books on the Kindle, but I forgot to write down the titles and/or authors. I’m also about halfway through this book I found in the stack beside my chair called A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain - I’m not entirely sure where it came from, but it’s pretty interesting.
0 hours total
Out of sight, out of mind - I tell you what. The sad part is, there’s not a lot that has to be done before Elemental Earth is ready to be set loose on the world, I just seem to be having a bit of trouble doing it. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing - once I’m finished it I’ll have to come up with a cover. And I have no clue what to use as a cover. ;-)
3,444 words total
Ha! Fooled you. I bet you thought I’d have no words to report, didn’t you? Well, the week the hubby was off, the writing urge was strong but the noise was too distracting so I only got about 500 words done. The rest of the words were kind of in a burst of a couple of days that petered out as quickly as they appeared.
I also started what I think will probably be a flash fiction piece. I have the beginning and the end, I just need to work on the middle. And I suspect it’s going to be a creepy little story (as most of my flash pieces are).
Last week (or two):
Did not finish editing Earth.
Did not start An Elemental Spirit.
I surpassed my 2,000 word goal for Wandering Wizards, but only because it’s been two weeks since I updated here.
Revive my interest in An Elemental Earth.
Minimum of 2,000 words on Wandering Wizards.
Work on new story, tentatively titled Frog and Scorpion.
Back to Wandering Wizards for the excerpt this week, because I really don’t have enough of the new story written to extract anything from it yet:
A slight scuff on the path made her turn her head. It was without surprise that she saw the elf Kaelan approaching. There was something about him . . . it wasn’t just that he was so beautiful, or that he seemed to find her fascinating. It was something else. Something she couldn’t put her finger on. Or maybe the truth was she didn’t want to put her finger on it.
“I’m sorry,” he said as he drew closer to her. “I did not wish to intrude.”
Damn. Even his voice was beautiful.
“It’s all right,” she told him. “You’re not intruding. And actually, I’d kind of like the company.”
He sat down beside her on the bench leaving just the right amount of space between them. Once seated they were on more of an even level, so to speak.
“Are you having trouble sleeping too?” she asked.
“Yes,” he answered honestly. “I cannot help but wonder what has happened to the elves of the Wild Woods Realm. Different possibilities keep running through my mind.”
“And each one worse than the last,” Ellen finished for him.
“This is true. I thought perhaps some time in the garden might clear my head.”
“Then perhaps I’m the one intruding,” she told him. “If you’d rather be alone . . .”
“No!” The flush on his face was apparent even in the moonlight. “That is, I would much rather talk with you than be alone with my thoughts. But tell me, Mistress Ellen, what thoughts were you thinking that had you looking so serious?”
“It’s just Ellen,” she told him. “And I was thinking it seems that everyone else is just dripping with magic - everyone except me. I feel the odd man out.”
“Ah,” he nodded. “I know the feeling well. I, too, have been curse with a lack of magic.”
“Really?” She was surprised. “I thought elves were magic in themselves?”
He smiled at her. “Alas, no. And it is this lack that has made me the odd man out as well. I have three brothers and a sister, all, as you say, dripping with magic.”
She thought about it for a moment. “It must have made it very hard, growing up in such a magical household.”
“You have no idea.”
“Oh, I think I do. I have five brothers, all of whom take after our Irish mother - they’re big and brawny and every one of them a ginger.”
She grinned. “They have red hair. Not only am I the only girl in the family, I’m also the only one who takes after our Chinese father.” At his confused look she said, “Asians are smaller in build with straight black hair and a tilt to their eyes.”
“I think your eyes are beautiful - dark and mysterious, holding the wisdom of the ages.”
“I . . . thank you . . . I--” she broke off what she was going to say, blushing.
“Surely you have received many compliments on your eyes,” he said, with a teasing grin.
“Yes, but no one’s ever accused me of them being full of wisdom,” she said dryly. “Certainly not any of my brothers. In fact, they’d probably say just the opposite.”
He laughed outright at that and she was mesmerized by the sound. How anything could sound so musical yet masculine at the same time was beyond her.
“Are you the youngest in your family?”
She nodded. “Yes, and that just makes it worse.”
It was his turn to nod. “I, too, am the youngest. When I realized I could never hope to compete with my siblings with magic, I begged my father to allow me to learn to fight. He was not happy, though he gave his permission. He had hoped I would follow in his trade as a silversmith, but without magic my work would be mediocre at best.” He shrugged.
“My father runs a dojo - it’s like a school for the martial arts,” she added at his confused look. “When I was five years old I begged to be allowed to learn, but it took my mother putting her foot down before he’d teach me. She told him that the world was not a safe place, especially for a woman and that one day I’d be a woman out on my own and by then it would be too late to teach me.”
“A very wise woman, your mother.”
“She has her moments,” Ellen said with a grin. “Anyway, I’ve been taking lessons ever since. And if I’ve had to work extra harder than my brothers, it’s because I wanted to make sure I could beat them.”
“And can you?” he asked.
“All but one of them,” she said with satisfaction.