As a writer, this is something you think about all the time in terms of character development and plot devices. But as is clear from your participation in the ROW80 challenge, you also have to think about this in terms of what prods you forward. How do you convince yourself to commit the time and effort to complete your story, let alone tell it well?
There are conflicting bits of information out there regarding whether telling others your goals is motivational or demotivational. Then there’s the boatload of articles with the top 20 tips to motivate yourself or even the 3 must-dos to stay motivated.
In the end, it comes to this: You’ve joined a group of writers who are all looking for that elusive set of tricks that will keep us from being distracted by all the shiny objects–on the Internet, on TV, in our daily lives–long enough to drive toward a mysterious destination: A completed creative endeavor.
If you approach this task from the meta perspective of viewing yourself as a character who’s reaching toward a goal, how do you recognize the stumbling blocks you put in your own way? How do you reward yourself for the progress you make? Sometimes the key to moving forward is taking that internal step back and assessing your circumstances.
And because creative inspiration is a notoriously fickle beast, how do you handle the obstacles that sometimes-fiend can put in your path? Where do you store your multiplying plot bunnies? Or how do you slog through the desert of the middle of your story?
For myself, even though in recent rounds I’ve vastly overestimated my capacity to power through life events I knew could put roadblocks on my creative path, I still find the public accountability of the ROW80 group can push me further than I otherwise imagine I might have managed.
So I offer you a different kind of motivational reward this week:
May enjoying the cute of a shooting-star-producing sloth so juice your dopamine levels that your writer’s brain kicks into high gear and you reach your goals this week. If not, at least let the smile he produces in you be the consolation that it’s not the end of the world and there are others out there who are still rooting for you to make it.