A Shift in “Motivation” (I hope…)

So, remember back when I was all “I need a course to motivate me to write” blah, blah, blah…? And I was all excited about the course I had enrolled in?

Well, I dropped it.

But, I did so for good reason.

I’ve totally jumped onto the NaNoWriMo bandwagon this year. I even have some ideas about what I’m going to write. My original intent was to just “pants” it (look at me, all swinging around NaNoWriMo lingo like I know what I’m doing), but then I decided to take a short story that I wrote (which never really felt like a “short” story) and work with it. I came up with some ideas about how to frame it and what shape the chapters/sections would take. It began to feel like something that could potentially develop into a novel-length work, but would also work as a collection of interwoven short stories. I began to feel excited about the possibility and started plotting out how to plan my time for the month of November.

I’ll be cutting down the rest of my schedule to the bare bones where I can, and I just no longer saw how the course could fit in. My original intent was to use the course as something to help me with NaNoWriMo. My original writing plan for NaNoWriMo was to just crank out as many short pieces as I could to reach the 50,000-word mark. I had no real goal of them being connected or related in any way, I just wanted to use NaNoWriMo as an impetus to write a substantial amount of writing in a brief period of time (something I’d never done before). My original thinking was that the course (which focuses on short-form writing, i.e., flash fiction, prose poetry, and micro-memoir) would work to guide me in my writing and inspiration. I thought that a double-dose of motivation (assignment due date! NaNoWriMo! everyone is watching!) would work for me.

But then, reality sunk in. The course was going to require reading and participating in discussions and giving feedback to others. Granted, it’s not for credit, so I could have totally coasted through it, “phoning” it in, but that’s just not my style. I’m a rule follower. A grade grubber. If work is assigned (even recommended!) I do it. For me to take the course the way I would want to complete the course, it was going to take more devotion than I have to spare for the month of November.

The course will likely be offered again in 2014, but my first NaNoWriMo is now. I’ve made some “buddies” on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ve interacted with a few people who are local participants, and I plan to attend some of the write-ins that will be in my city. So, while I had thought that I needed some form of external motivation to accomplish writing, I’m hoping that a more internal motivation will work instead.

My motivation is knowing that I’ve wanted to tackle NaNoWriMo for several years. I told myself I would never attempt it unless I honestly believed I could do it.

And, I think I can. (I think I can… I think I can…)

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