WBC: Keeping it interesting.
This week’s Writing Blog Circle topic is: What keeps a project interesting?
Struggling to keep a project interesting is something all writers will experience at one point or another.
Writer’s Block. Writing Slumps. The Murky Middle.
Whatever you prefer to call it, all writers hit that snag. Sometimes the wall is due to lack of ideas. Other times, however, it’s due to lack of motivation.
So when your muse runs away with your motivation, what do you do?
For me, it’s The Murky Middle.
Though I know where I want the story to go and what’s supposed to be happening, the will to sit down at my computer and write out the scenes just isn’t there. The story is completed in my head. I know what happens and how it ends — it’s time to move on to the next plot bunny!
But, I’m a writer.
Having the story finished in my head isn’t good enough. The point of being writer is to share the story with others, not to write the story in my head and then move on to the next New Shiny.
Luckily, I’ve got several methods I use to help jump start my motivation so that I continue on a project.
1. Change of Scenery – My normal writing area is at the dining room table, but writing somewhere new and different is one of the easiest ways to keep a project interesting. You’d be surprised how a simple change of scenery can help get your creative juices flowing again. Whether you go for a walk, a drive or from your house to a local coffee shop, changing your surroundings is an excellent way to keep your motivation levels high.
2. “Researching” – Writing a high-seas adventure? Take a break from writing and do some research! Read a pirate book, watch Pirates of the Caribbean, Google pictures of pirates and the ocean. Reading, watching or looking at things related to your project is a fabulous way to remind yourself why you were excited about your project to begin with. Using these resources is good for inspiration.
3. Multiple Projects. – Some writer’s may disagree with this, but sometimes the project is stubborn and no matter how hard you try, you can’t manage to want to write it. For these reasons, I work on multiple projects. If I get bored with one, I move on to the other. Remember, I wanted to finish Party Favors this month, but I hit a wall. Rather than beat my head against it, I started working on The Dragon Moon instead. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever finish Party Favors, it just means that right now I prefer to work on something else. When I get bored with The Dragon Moon, I’ll go back to Party Favors and so forth.
4. Music – Make a soundtrack for your novel. Music, like pictures, helps put you in the mindset of your novel. I prefer instrumental music (if the song has words I end up singing along and doing less writing…), but some people like to use the lyrics of songs as a way to get into an emotional state of mind. The Dragon Moon is set in the desert; I have a playlist in iTunes titled “Dragon Moon ST”, and it’s filled with a lot of Arabian type of music (it reminds me of the desert,and has the feel I need for The Dragon Moon) — The Prince of Persia soundtrack (which is awesome, btw), lots of belly dancing music (thank you, Cid!) and even a few pieces from The Lord of the Rings soundtrack.
5. Hash it out! – Talk to a writing buddy or take it to Twitter. Sometimes a project’s interest level disappears because you’re stuck on what should happen. Brainstorming on your own isn’t cutting it. The other day, this happened to me and I noticed Cid online. I asked her if she could give me some help and she agreed. I then gave her information about The Dragon Moon, the characters, what was happening and what I wanted to happen, but was unsure of how to make happen. Cid probably said all of 10 words before ideas just started flooding my mind. Though I ended up solving my own problem, just having some one there to bounce ideas off of helped immensely.
And the last suggestion I have to offer,
6. Take a break – You know what? Just take a break. Close the computer, go watch TV. Watch a marathon of Dr. Who or Farscape. Something completely different from your project. Go hang out with a friend. Spend time on that other hobby — knitting, sewing, baking, scrapbooking, etc. Read a book. Clean your house, do some laundry. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you distract yourself from the project. Then, later, when you are ready to come back to the project, you might be pleasantly surprised at how interesting it seems. Doing a load of laundry or cleaning your bathroom is almost guaranteed to make anything seem more interesting to do. 😉
Do you have any different ways you use to help keep a project interesting?