Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Discouragement and Sustenance

There's been a lot of talk lately in blogland and in real life about keeping motivated when you just can't so much as look at your WIP anymore. You're sick of the characters, you hate the storyline... how do you stay motivated?

I'm in that boat. If I have to even glance at Liv Leigh right now, I think I may toss my cookies. Understand, I don't hate my characters (this ala Charity who made me think about that)... in fact, they feel like my friends. BUT, like friends, they don't always do what I say (fools!). And they frustrate me. And sometimes I don't understand their motivation or reasoning or anything else.

It makes me want to scream and run around the room breaking knick-knacks. Though I don't really have knick-knacks around my house so that would be impossible... but you get the idea.

One member of my writing group is having the same problem, and one is between books and is tired of twiddling her thumbs and another has about five WIPs to choose from (this sounds a little like me). What's a girl to do?

Some advice that came across the 'net:

Kill time looking for character pictures, researching character names, picking out the perfect sound track for the book -- Ahh... yes. Writing, without actually writing. A good suggestion because you're still working on deepening your book.

...keep several projects going... at least one other long WIP because there are times I just get plain sick of the people I'm working with (my characters, not my fellow writers ). Plus, I have short stories I'm working on... -- this tends to be my course of action. Wise? Should we work on more than one WIP at a time? Do they suffer for it or are they better? Are short stories worth their time or is it just procrastination? I've heard both sides of those arguments from several different writers.

My own contribution to the cause contained this nugget (gem? or fools gold?): I do like having more than one WIP because I can flit between them a little. I try to stay focused on one, but when it gets really, really bad, and I've tried to work through the problems, then I need to work on something else. Sometimes I just fire off a couple of short stories and send them somewhere, sometimes I write on my blog. I seldom feel like not writing, but I frequently feel like not writing in a particular book.

I think as long as you're moving forward somewhere, you're moving in the right direction.

What about you? What do you do to stay motivated to write even when you don't feel like it?

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