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Motivation Advice

AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Here's the deal:

I dream big, a little too big sometimes. I set these longterm goals for myself but I have trouble meeting all the little 'now' goals because I'm so focused on the Finish Line.

example:
I've been working on a novel for almost 8 years now. I keep writing outlines and designing the book cover and reworking the final scene and ending, but I've done very little in the way of actually WRITING besides small sections and character bios.

That's where I need help. If any of you are good at meeting small deadlines, how do you do it? Whether it's losing a pound a week or writing/drawing a page a day, what keeps you motivated? I need something to kick my ass into gear and I'm out of ideas. Fact is, soon as I start thinking of ideas, I get excited about the final product and get distracted again.

"A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
AryaLeingold on

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    DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sorry- as totally non-constructive as this sounds, but what you need is self-discipline!

    From my own experience, when there's a big task to be done, it's always easy to see the start and end points, but as you have found out, it's the mid-stages that are the most difficult, especially when it seems that there are many of them. Personally, i tend to get intimidated by these, and so end up doing nothing.

    A good way i found was to make a checklist, hardcopy mind you- not a virtual one, and physically tick off each goal that you set as you do it. Motivation-wise, it's a case of browbeating yourself into action, as each time you look at all the empty checkboxes, guilt can take over... Just remember to appropriately reward yourself as each goal is achieved!

    Well, this strategy works for me anyway, but i suppose it may only work if you have a similar mentality.

    DusT_HounD on
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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    A large project is really just made up of a bunch of small tasks.

    Write out all (ALL)the small tasks required to finish your project. Finish the tasks. Concentrate on the tasks, DO NOT concentrate on the project. Step back and review the entire project (by reviewing all the tasks) every one in a while, and revise the tasks if needed.

    If you finish the tasks, you've finished the project.

    Serpent on
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    AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ^^^ That's basically what I've been hearing. That I should just set a bunch of little intermediate goals. Sad thing is, I did that. I just lose motivation in things where I don't want to work on them because they feel so overwhelming.

    I have no problem churning out short stories and papers for class, but once I sit down to write the book I am lost again and end up playing games. Same goes for my degree. I go to class one day at a time but I get so overwhlemed by how many credits and years I have left that I get to that point of "why bother" and skip class that day.

    Is it really a self discipline problem that I lose motivation or do I need a break from so much crap?

    AryaLeingold on
    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
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    RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Scrap the ending to your story. If that's the most interesting part of the book, and you can't even be bothered to write the rest, what makes you think the reader will be interested?

    RocketSauce on
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    vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Don't overwhelm yourself. That's the biggest problem I find, if I end up trying to do too much at once I will not get any of it done. When I'm writing, I find it a lot easier to do small sections at a time as opposed to forcing myself to write 15000 words in a single night. And I'm not in school, either - I've got a 9-6 job and a girlfriend as pretty much my only commitments, and I still lose motivation when I try to do too much. You're in school, and you spend a lot of time writing as it is - keep that in mind. It's not impossible to write a novel in university but it'll be a lot harder.

    At the same time, try and make yourself write about 1000-1500 words a night. Soon you'll find, like everything else, that you miss the nights you aren't writing. And if motivation/inspiration strikes, write until you no longer want to. I've had nights where the words were coming out of me so fast it was all I could do to get them on paper - other nights, I have to force myself to do even 1000 words. Try and be cognizant of these things and don't overextend yourself.

    vsove on
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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I just lose motivation in things where I don't want to work on them because they feel so overwhelming.

    Your making your tasks too big if you're getting overwhelmed.

    Tasks shouldn't be big.

    Something like "Make Doctor appointment" is TOO BIG.

    What really goes into making a doctors appointment?

    1. Get recommendation for Doctor from Sally
    2. Look up number and address of clinic
    3. Go to transit website and determine possible bus routes and time to get to clinic
    4. Call and make appointment
    5. Write appointment time in calendar, allowing for travel time

    It's pretty hard to get overwhelmed when you're focussed on asking a friend for a recomendation.

    Serpent on
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    ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    a trick i use is to put a roadblock up in front of your distractions. if your drive to write flags and you turn to the tv, put a post-it on the remote that says "YOU SHOULD BE WRITING INSTEAD". if the 360/ps3/etc is your distraction, bury the controllers at the back of the sock drawer.

    try setting aside a block of time each day/night dedicated to writing. turn music/tv off and ignore the phone as much as possible (emergencies & job obligations aside, of course).

    ascannerlightly on
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    AryaLeingoldAryaLeingold Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    a trick i use is to put a roadblock up in front of your distractions. if your drive to write flags and you turn to the tv, put a post-it on the remote that says "YOU SHOULD BE WRITING INSTEAD".

    I love that idea!

    AryaLeingold on
    "A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things." ~ Herman Melville
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