...and you gotta get bored to get creative. Today's blog post comes from Reddit, where a user commented on a post I made to ask me about motivation:
every time i see one of your posts i really want to get writing but i just cant find the motivation. Would you say there's a way you deal with a lack of motivation to write?
S. A. Hunt
Nowadays I have two sources: (a) if I don't write I don't eat, and (b) if I don't write anything, those fans won't have anything to read. This second one also presents itself as a need to "wow" the readers or get one over on them. It's so fun when people message you at 1AM to shit a brick at you because of a twist you wrote.
But in the beginning--and, really, it still applies--there was only the need to see how the Story continues. I think it's a mixture of curiosity and discipline. The curiosity, for me, comes from the flashes of scenes I get in my head. I need to see them on the page! I need to see them all arranged in a row! I need to see how the story goes! You gotta find a story that really interests you and characters you can't help but love, even when they're evil. Think of that feeling you get when you're reading a novel series like Dark Tower and you just need to know what happens next. Dream up a character you're really interested in, really emotionally invested in. Now put them through the wringer, throw them into the shit, and see how they get themselves out of it.
Once you've arranged a hell of a lot of words on the page for a certain amount of time every day, the discipline comes on its own.
To achieve that, it really helps to be bored. Gotta get rid of distractions. You know how you daydream a lot when you're on the toilet, or standing in line, or in the shower, or lying in the bed trying to sleep? That daydreaming is your creativity knocking. That daydream state is what you need to hook your writing-sleigh up to and start whipping that keyboard-horse. Those moments of "how would I stop a bank robbery if it happened in this bank right now" is your brain slipping into a narrative state. The next level below that is the Groove, the Flow, or what's called the Writer's Trance. And that's where you want to get. But you have to put down the words to get to that point, and to put down the words you have to trust them. Look for the first word that pops into your head when you imagine the scene you want to write, and type that down. Then type the next word in the sentence. Then type the next sentence. Then type the next paragraph. Then the next page. The next chapter.
Anyway, basically, I find that a lot of the lack of motivation comes from too many distractions. You're too entertained to entertain yourself.