Managing Motivation

To my future reader,

You could call this blog a diary, except it’s in a much more public format than your typical diary, so maybe diary isn’t the right word, maybe there isn’t a right word. I’m a struggling writer and I can’t think of the word I want to use, that could be a problem.

I say struggling not because I am struggling to meet crazy deadlines set by my over-bearing publisher, or struggling to think of a perfect way to end my umpteenth novel, I’m struggling because I’m not any where near that point yet. Writing to me is not yet my job, I write because I want to write, not because my family will go hungry if I don’t. I’ve had ideas come to me in the most clichéd of ways, in the shower, in a dream, or even on the toilet and I’ve written them all down and I’m trying to do something about them. But I’m struggling.

I’d love to say that because I’m a University student (studying nothing to do with the written word) that time has evaded me, and my lack of progress is because I’m too busy to be writing, not because I can’t be bothered. It isn’t even that I can’t be bothered, I psych myself up and get quite excited by the prospect of just being able to sit down and write. But when I actually sit down in my very, very uncomfortable desk chair, (which I am sat in now), I go blank. I lose all motivation and end up on YouTube or Twitter or Tumblr doing everything I can to avoid what I should be doing. The same process happens when I try to do the Uni work I am so frequently given, I put it off. I am the definition of “I’ll do it tomorrow” except, with no reference to Ronan or his Keatings, tomorrow never comes.

Although recently I’ve changed. Maybe for the better but probably not, and it was something horrible that changed me. The next blog post will be something I wrote last week after my Uncle died. I got inspired to write when that happened, I realised that “I’ll do it tomorrow” is a horrible attitude because there is not always a tomorrow, sometimes there is only today. So I’m doing everything I can to make today count, trying to do the things today that I said I’ll do tomorrow. I’m probably messing up my priorities slightly by putting Uni work behind this “work”, if you can call writing words on a page and not being paid for it “Work”, but this is something I can do that matters. I’m not scared of death; I’m scared of dying without having made a difference. And the written word is all I can think of that can make a difference.

I’ve grown up around words and books and novels, I’ve always loved to read. I used to read Star Wars to my Dad when I was a kid, and no I did not say that the wrong way round. Usually parents read their kids stories, but my Dad couldn’t pronounce half of the names and places in the book and he’s naff at accents. Thus my love of books was nurtured and has blossomed into me wanting to write one (but hopefully more) myself. I’ve read a lot of good books and even a few bad ones and they’ve all changed me in their own way, given me a new way of thinking, a new way of interpreting life. That’s the kind of stamp I want to have on the world before I leave it. That (hopefully) won’t be for another sixty/seventy years, but like I said: there’s not always a tomorrow.

This blog is a way for me to document and date my progress from nothingness to writerness, but also it will act as inspiration and motivation for me to finally publish that first novel. When I get bored of writing my novel I can write this, and if I get bored of writing this I can go back to my novel. That’s my plan, at least. The step up between blogger and novelist is huge, but it’s a lot smaller than the step up between being nothing and being a novelist.

James

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