Saturday, June 9, 2012

Motivation for the long game

Yay! New background for the blog! Why? No reason. I just figured out how to do it :)

But there is another reason. It's part of what keeps me motivated. I'm revising my WIP and I'm into draft 3. I'm realizing this thing is A) way too long for one book but totally justified in being that way, or B) going to get chopped in half somehow and made into two books. I'm not jazzed about cutting a bunch of stuff and leaving the remains as a single book because the story follows Neal's transformation from street thug to respected charity co-founder and musician.

Cut major stuff, and what's lost is the full picture of how and why he changed, and why other people are affected by what he does.

So, staying focused on the core story and staying pumped about slogging through the revisions (and there will be more of those, oh yes!) requires motivation. *ahem* A shitload of it, if I may be so blunt. How to find and keep it?

I do more than one thing. As mentioned in my previous post, I mostly enjoy revising. It puts a new light on the story and the characters that keeps everything fresh. Plus, I'm a visual person, and I find that having physical reminders of my characters helps me feel connected to them and the story.

The name of the band in my WIP is Sylvyr Star. When I see an image of a single five-pointed star (especially one in silver) I grab it and keep it where I can see it as I write. Many years ago when the bones for this story came into my head, I pictured what the band's debut album looked like: on a white background, a single five-pointed star nearly fills the front cover. Above it, in simple but classy lettering, are the two words of the band's name, also in silver. The star itself is shiny and slightly raised.

That sharp vision has been with me for, well, a long time. The wonders of modern technology (with which I am slowly familiarizing myself) make it touchable. When I can touch that vision, it takes me right back to the reason for telling the story in the first place. I remember that newlywed excitement of realizing I had the seed of something really special.

Now, I see that star every time I open my blog.

Motivation? Aced it!

How about you? When the going gets rough, how do you keep going? Short term breaks are good for recharging, but you need to come back with all cylinders firing. How do you relight your fireworks?


  1. Good question. I guess I just slog through, and the motivation is that special moment I can say, "I'm done!"

  2. Hi Lindsey. Well that counts. Motivation doesn't have to be a huge honking thing, it just has to get you where you want to go.