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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How do you stay motivated to write?

When I'm feeling blah, funky, or uninspired I turn to the members of my writing group. Sharelle, Eileen, and Becky are the first to hear about my writing issues because (1) they let me whine as much as I need to, and (2) they know how to cheer me up. If my plot hits a dead end or my characters are dead boring, my writing group helps me brainstorm my way out of trouble. They also tell me in the kindest possible way that my “great” story idea isn’t going to cut it. (Sometimes they don’t say a word; their expressions of pity get the point across.) Whether I need a shoulder, a hug, or the occasional kick in the arse Jenny mentioned in her blog, I can count on them.

My other motivators are the same “people” who cause me the most trouble—my characters. They might let me go without writing for a few days, maybe a week. But when their patience runs out, they stalk me. Their favorite tactic is to wait until I’m in bed with my eyes closed, almost asleep. Then they camp out in the semi-conscious part of my brain and start talking. Pulling the covers over my head just makes their voices louder. They’re not satisfied until I drag myself out of bed, boot up my computer, and write down every word they’re saying. After they’ve wormed their way back into my head, there's no stopping them. They talk while I’m running and lifting weights and walking the dogs and so on. And, just like that, I’m in their clutches again.

Which, as it turns out, isn’t such a bad place to be.

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