14 November 2013

The Hard Makes it Great

I live in an unpredictable, chaotic world. I have a non-fiction career at GeekMom.com, a fiction career that has resulted in six books with contracts for three more as yet unpublished, and I have a life as a mom of four kids, including one on the autism spectrum and one with a variety of mental challenges that defy easy explanation.

On any given day, an emergency with one of my kids can happen, usually meltdowns at school that require instant attention. I can't commit to a solid schedule or even look for an outside job--I'd have to miss too much time or leave at the drop of a hat.

All of which isn't complaining. I love my kids, I love all the writing I do.  But every now and then, people who are aware of my daily life say "how do you do all this?"

I don't really know how I manage to scrounge time every day to write fiction. My methods vary from day to day, to handwritten chapters to daydreaming to getting up early/staying up late.

But I don't think that's the real question people are asking. I think what they really want to know is "how do you motivate yourself to find the writing time?"

Writers have all kinds of organizations available to provide motivation. We're in the midst of one right now with National Novel Writing Month. The Romance Writers of America chapters offer courses and workshops on motivation and creativity. And that's just scratching the surface.

I'd write without any of that. Because the answer to the question of "how do you motivate yourself to find the writing time?" is that I want it that bad, no matter how hard it gets.

Motivations and support can keep a writer going during challenging times but the want and need to create has to eventually come from within.

I'm not sure where my inner motivation comes from. I know from the time I was little, I made up stories, either on paper or in my head. My first work of any length was at age 14 and it was a mosh-up of John Christopher's Tripod series with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Elvish lords in exiles saved someone fleeing slavery from aliens. Yes, even then, I was tossing a whole bunch of genres in a blender and hitting "stir." If the internet had existed back then, I would have written reams and reams of (probably very bad) fanfiction.

Along with my love of stories came a drive to finish. Partially because I love writing stories too much to abandon one and partly because of my emotional background. I lost my dad when I was young and that left me with a sense that life is short. I don't want to leave things to some later date because I might not be around at that later date.

There's a sense in the back of my mind that there's just no time. So I squeeze everything I can out of what I have.

How does all this help you to write? I'm not sure but I'm guessing each and every storyteller out there has a desire, sometimes hidden, to get that story told.

Listen to that voice that whispers and nurture it until it shouts and screams at you to keep writing.

And that's hard. But, remember, the hard is what makes it great.

Corrina Lawson's book can be found at www.corrina-lawson.com, and you can usually find her wandering about her house, notebook in hand or daydreaming about the next story.
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