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I write novels for teens and adults. Visit me here & on my website http://www.jenniferarcher.net

Friday, April 20, 2007

Need a Shot of Motivation

Maybe it's the beautiful weather, but I'm having a hard time kicking myself into gear to write. You'd think a deadline would get me going, but no. Today, I stood on a ladder and cleared the gutters around my house of leaves, I piddled with a little research, I emptied the vacuum cleaner and went out for lunch, I helped a writer friend over the phone by brainstorming her work in progress -- all while the characters in my own work in progress waited for me to show up at the page. I disappointed them, and myself. Getting into a routine has always been a problem for me and I'm not sure I'm seeing any improvement. I'm beginning to wonder if I wouldn't do better if I had an office outside of the house where I report every day, just like a (gulp) "real" job. I'm thinking I need a shot of motivation in the form of a visit with a friend of mine who reads this blog. (You know who you are.) She doesn't pull punches and has been known to say to me, "You keep saying you're going to do it, so do it already." She always makes me realize how silly I am to procrastinate. It only makes me crazy. I'm much happier when I tend to business. This friend motivates me just by watching her move through her own life. I'm amazed by how much she does in a day and by how she typically not only reaches her goals, but surpasses them.

Here's what I've noticed about myself in regards to writing. I do best if every day:
1. I get up early, feed the dogs, put on the coffee, then shut myself in my office where I read over my goals then journal for a few minutes, finishing by making a list of creative, business and personal things I want to accomplish that day.
2. I eat then take my coffee into my office, close myself in again, put on some music and write. Typically I'll finish my page count for the day by or before noon, leaving the afternoon and evening for...
3. business, errands, appointments, exercise, family & friends, more writing if I so desire.

So...as my super-motivated friend would probably say to me... "If you know this works for you, WHY DON'T YOU DO IT CONSISTENTLY?? You keep saying you're going to do it, so do it already." Okay, okay. Tomorrow is a new day.

On another subject, I'm still so saddened by the Virginia Tech tragedy. With two sons in college and living in university communities, I can't help thinking about them a little more often every day now and being so thankful they're okay. And I can't help hurting for the parents of the young men and women who lost their lives this week.

Stay safe and hug your loved ones or call them and tell them you love them if they're not close by.

Happy Reading,

Jenny

5 comments:

Desperate Writer said...

"If you know this works for you, WHY DON'T YOU DO IT CONSISTENTLY??

That's a question I can't answer. And when I try to answer, all I come up with is "I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME!"

When it comes to kicking butts in gear, does your friend hire out?

BTW--I think you are a FABULOUS worker and producer of pages. Are you being too hard on yourself?

And cleaning out rain gutters? Seriously? *G* I find much lazier ways of procrastinating, like not doing the laundry or not scrubbing the floor as much as I could!

Jennifer said...

Nope. Not being too hard on myself. Writing is my job. My only job. If I worked at McDonalds, I would have to show up every day for a certain number of hours. Period.

Fortunately, I usually get past this phase with every book and then "hammer down" as my husband would say. It just seems to me it would be so much easier to work at a consistent and slower pace each day, rather than procrastinating and then having to work crazy hours to finish. But maybe this is my process and I shouldn't question it? It's seen me through many a book. Who knows?

As for my friend, I'll see if she hires out! Maybe we can all meet once a month and she can bring her whip!

Desperate Writer said...

It might be your process, who knows? While you're off doing other things, I bet your brain has something bubbling on the back burner.

dee said...

Hmmm...so...are you ready?? I mean really ready? Cause I've been thinking about inviting you to lunch anyway...I'll email you.

Jennifer said...

I'm ready. Do I need to wear body armor? :-)