Planning for Motivation

Today, I have the brain of an unmotivated squirrel. Outside, the weather is wonderfully cool, after a solid week of humid high eighties and even nineties. I am on my third mug of tea, rather than sitting on an ice pack and alternating water with sports drinks. We have off and on rain, which means I get one of my all time favorite sounds, car tires on wet asphalt, outside my office window. My most natural desires at the moment are: A) take a nap, B) scroll mindlessly through Facebook, C) Netflix all day, and D) probably should do something about getting some pages for tomorrow’s critique session, but :points to A, B, and C.: See the problem here?

We’re verging on midday, when I want to be several pages into the day’s work, but I’m writing this blog entry, which is close enough. Once I get going, I’ll want to keep at it.  It’s the getting started today that’s getting me. Today, I started the first full week of spreads in my new daily pages book, this time a dot grid, soft covered Moleskine. The format works well for me, but the visual part of my brain says it still needs more pretties.


Copied from my own Instagram, because I am that unmotivated today.


Right now, I have my Go To Work playlist on the earbuds, and my brain answers each song with a resounding “meh.” This is not an auspicious start to the day. I mean, seriously, nothing. Nada, zip, zilch, empty, dry barren plain, which is not at all the plan. I worked on that plan yesterday afternoon, at my desk, with pencil and ruler and markers and fancy seltzer with pink polka dot straw for added snazz. Planning has become an important part of my Sunday afternoon, and it should be part of getting my brain into work gear, because these books are not going to write their own second drafts, especially when said second drafts veer off into uncharted territory.

Aha. Uncharted. See? I knew that, if I kept with this, I would find the source of the meh. Last week, N pointed out areas where I could crank up the volume on the emotional connection for a certain scene, and I know that I’m not going to be able to go further into what happens next, without feeling like I’ve been dropped off a ship in the middle of the ocean, with naught but the Styrofoam donut shaped floaty of my kindergarten days to keep my head above the proverbial  water.  I don’t like that feeling.

What I do like is knowing what I’m doing, so, after I babble my way to the magic seven hundred and get this posted, I will step away from the computer, grab my pages from last week, with N’s notes, and then mark said pages further, note where I can cut, what needs plumping, etc. Then I take notebook and trusty green pen and sketch out what I’d like to see in this scene if somebody else were writing it.  I have no idea if this is going to end up being another marathon day, or if I will pull it off in spurts, but I do have the rain outside my window, so that’s a point in the day’s favor,

I’ve been writing a lot about planning on this blog, because planning is fun for me, and an instant way to raise my interest. Maybe I can add an E) to the things my squirrel brain would like to do today, which would be aimlessly play with notebooks and things that make marks in notebooks, possibly combined with aforementioned Netflix, but, as fun as that would be, and relaxing, and possibly even good for unsticking some of those cranky gears, it’s not going to get pages written.

This means that, if I’m not motivated (and I’m not, at the time of this writing,) I need to get motivated.  Since I want this draft done and the book in the hands of readers, instead of lingering in my hard drive, that means I’m going to have to keep moving forward. Make a list of the things that need to be fixed, and then fix them. Somewhere along the way, inspiration will show up, and my mood will improve.

Right now, I’m edging out of the meh. I have Skye in my doorway. My toes are tapping, because I’ve hit the Right Said Fred part of my playlist. Soon, it will be time for lunch, when I can indulge myself in a short break for Netflix or Sims, or, even better, a chapter of a historical romance novel, to remind myself what it is I love the best about what I’m doing in this whole writing novels thing.  Then it’s a once-over of pages and the notes I made on the last few pages of my old daily tasks book (because what else am I going to do with pages that would otherwise sit there?) that turned out part doodle, part checklist, part what-mark-does-this-mark-making-thing-make. I’ll take that.



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