There are some lucky authors who have the ability to write copiously, producing book after book to deadline. However, for many of us, transforming the concepts and ideas in our heads into prose presents a mind wrenching challenge. Strangely enough the drivers that can help us are also the ones that can hinder. Do you recognize any of these and if so are you using them to help you write or is it these very same drivers that block your words?
The need to please other people. Not so good when you want your husband, mother, sister, friends, agent, publisher and critics to like you and like your book. Particularly difficult for erotic fiction I would guess (not my mother!) but good when it makes you think about your genre and what attracts your readers.
The need to pull your socks up, be a man (woman in my case) etc. Quite useful this one when it comes to coping with rejection letters and ploughing on despite them. Not so good when you are struggling to balance life with your writing and could do with asking for someone’s help.
The need to do everything perfectly. This one’s a killer for me. I think it stopped me writing for years because I would have to produce the greatest novel ever! Only by allowing myself to write for enjoyment, and make mistakes on the way, did I manage to start my book. Now I use this driver to propel me through the editing process.
The need to do everything quickly and on time. Always a great motivator in my case whether studying or at work – nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. But it proves a problem when I rush around so much I don’t stop to take in my surroundings and gain inspiration from them. This driver can make you do too much too fast so that you land up doing it all badly.
The need to make an effort. The problem is that trying to do something can be a block to actually doing it and this one can hit badly when you sit down in front of that blank piece of paper.
There we have it – five motivators that drive us to achieve or drive us to despair. Next time you put pen to paper, don’t feel you have to try hard to quickly write the perfect sentence which will delight your publisher and show how competent you are – or you could land up writing nothing. Instead, take a deep breath, shrug your shoulders and dive straight in.