Monday, February 09, 2009

Motivation

Progress on the novel (yes I am still writing it) has become tortuously slow of late.

It’s a mite frustrating as I am now into the last phase of the plot. Just a matter of tying everything together. And at 170,000 words (and counting) I don’t think anyone can knock my dedication.

But finding time and energy to devote to it lately has proven to be monumentally difficult. The worst thing about this is that it makes me feel distant from the novel and then it’s doubly hard to get back into it again. It requires a huge effort to pick up all the piece and embrace the myriad strands once more.

And then yet more interruptions and delays... it soon feels too difficult to re-engage.

I’m being lazy and moany, I know.

Part of the problem is that I have an idea for a second novel and, human nature being what it is, I want the first one done and dusted so I can get on with the shiny new one.

Which feels a rather childish reaction.

I suppose I ought to try and see the positive. All these delays are ensuring that I don’t rush the ending – a crime committed by many a writer and of ineffably annoyance to any reader... cos you can always tell when a novel has been rushed. The conclusion is invariably shoddy, unbelievable and way too convenient... altogether very, very dissatisfying.

I guess I’ve just got to tell myself that the tortoise is always better then the hare and just knuckle down... Instead of distracting myself with constant displacement activities.

Like writing this blog...

13 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

I've never got anywhere near as far as you (and never will). But I know exactly what you mean. When you've written it in your head, getting it down can seem tedious. Especially the bits between the bits you really look forward to writing. But then, I suppose if I had bits like that in between, it's just as well I never did finish.

Steve said...

Oh I don't know, Brother T, one of my creative writing tutors (the one whose opinion I always respected) always used to say that poetry, prose... all needs some artistic leven in between the high drama... but you're right; they're the hardest to write. Writing the storm is always preferable to writing the calm...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Steve, like BT I fear I would never stay the course to write a novel, so stop beating yourself up about not finishing it in super-speedy time!

Steve said...

Yes ma'am!

EmmaK said...

I don't know, sometimes there is a case for just putting it in a drawer for a while, maybe even starting the second one, then coming back to the first with fresh eyes. If one keeps banging away at something just trying to get it finished the result could turn out to be a bit lacklustre.

Steve said...

"If one keeps banging away at something just trying to get it finished the result could turn out to be a bit lacklustre." So disappointing to realise that there isn't an innuendo in there.

Emma, I'm one of these sad anal times that has to finish something before moving onto something else... or I give up completely. As it is I had a decent stint on the novel today so am feeling a lot better about it.

Pearl said...

Wrapping something up is ALWAYS the hardest part for me. Well, that and NOT DOING something else while I should be wrapping something up...
I actually worked a part-time job in December just to make the money I'll be using next week. I'm going to a bed and breakfast about an hour and a half away, a lovely place with a hot tub and a fireplace. My, but that sounds seedy... Anyway, it's not seedy. And the best part? No distractions. No TV. No housework. No work. I'm going to write both my upcoming reading (Mar 13) and try to finish my own book (everyone's got a book...).
So I wish you luck -- perhaps you have a friend with a cabin?
Pearl

Steve said...

Ah Pearl, what a fab idea - a writing retreat! Not sure my finances could run to a hot tub (alas) but one day maybe a garden shed like Roald Dahl...!

The Sagittarian said...

Steve - at least you have started!! I have both a garden shed, and a kids play house available in my yard...I could get the wabbits to shove over if you like company?

I have always been of the ilk that function best when I'm meant to be doing something else. Dunno why that is. Consequently I have a few half arsed projects lurking....

Steve said...

I'm already on my way Amanda, I even like raw carrots!

missbehaving said...

I'm with EmmaK on this.
That's if you don't mind me chiming on on this, when you don't even know me.
Motivation is the magic ingredient, if it isn't there you can't really manufacture it can you?
I would pop the first one in a draw for a while, do as much of 2 as you can while the mojo is working, and then hopefully get back to 1, when you have cleared your mind of 2.
I often find that I think things to death, and allowing myself to not think about something for a while, lets in fresh ideas.
I have to do this in all things, I am utterly inert unless I happen to wake up 'motivated' then and only then can I get anything done.
It doesn't hit often but when it does, I am a powerhouse.
That said, you'll not find my work at Amazon ;)

Reluctant Blogger said...

Endings are often disappointing and I guess that is why - the writers got tired of the book even though the reader sits there gripped and wanting a fulfilling end.

I have no idea where you find time to do all you do - your days must be longer than mine.

I could never write a novel - I don't have the sticking power, I am always attracted to the shiny new things. I struggled through my thesis but I could never face reading it after I submitted and never have done. I don't even know where it is. The ending for that was not gripping.

I look forward to reading it - but I am happy to wait. Be kind to yourself - you do SOOOOO much.

Steve said...

You're probably right Missbehaving but leaving things alone is something I find difficult to do... much easier to berate myself and force a little inspiration. 9 times out of 20 it does actually work. I just like to moan about it!

Gina, I probably just try and do toooo much! However my part-time Uni degree finishes in June: I graduate at last! So that will be one thing less to worry about!