Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Motivation

I have been feeling much better lately, emotionally and physically ... and I have been writing less than I have in years.

Those two things are related. For years, I poured my pain into my writing. I didn't write maudlin, self-pitying, navel-gazing stories. I escaped from my unhappiness by creating fantasy worlds where generally well-adjusted people dealt with their problems and moved forward in their lives, in healthy and appropriate ways. Now, that I finally have addressed my own problems and moved into a new phase of my life in what I hope to be a healthy and appropriate way, I have less need to escape into fantasy. I also need to stay focused and affirmatively take control of my real life.

For the first time in years, I'm sleeping well, so I'm not as inclined to get up at 4:00 AM to write out my misery.

My writing output has dwindled to approximately 6000 words a week (largely composed on the weekends) compared with my blistering pace even a few weeks ago (as the crisis in my life built to its climax).

I am writing less now, but I think that my Voice is getting stronger. What is more, I am growing confident that I can tell increasingly complex stories. My early efforts were simple: there were few characters; the themes were simple and straightforward; there wasn't a lot of action. The stories I'm writing now is more complex, with more characters, more action and a broader “stage” for some of the stories. At least one project on the drawing board is so ambitious it scares me.

My immediate task will be to marshal the motivation to keep writing at a reasonable pace, without the motivation of pain avoidance.


1 comment:

  1. I'd be happy with 6000 words a month! My writing time has dwindled to nothing.

    As we grow older, we mature and grow beyond our problems, and thus naturally lose some of the emotional drive. But as you stated, the writing becomes better!