Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Need Some Writing Motivation?

Another writer and more great writing tips...

I asked Lorhainne
Eckhardt , author of The Captain's Lady, to tell us how she manages to keep herself writing. I know many people would be writers if only...

If only my life weren't so busy. If only I had the time. If only I didn't procrastinate. If only... If only...

So here are Lorhainne's suggestions:

How I motivate myself to write is such a good topic for a blog, since I am sure I am one of many who fights that urge to procrastinate. I love to write, but there are days where it is easy for me to find anything else to do, such as clean the house, mow the lawn, go grocery shopping, talk on the telephone, you get the idea. My children are my biggest motivator.

I developed a schedule. I get up in the morning generally around 4 am, but sometimes it’s 5 am. I put on the coffee, and I schedule a good two hours of writing time in the peace and quiet before the kids get up. During this time I actually get more accomplished then any other time of day.

After the kids are at school, I write for the next five hours. What I do is establish a goal each day. When I am writing a novel, it’s two thousand words a day. So if I can maintain my focus I can be done in three or four hours. On those days, I’ll reward myself. I’ll take some me time, and it could be anything, such as sitting down and reading a book of one of my many favorite authors or working in my garden. Whatever it is at that moment that will bring peace.

There have been many days where I struggled to get two pages written. At anytime if the words aren’t flowing or I’m struggling with a particular scene, I’ll close up my computer and take a walk outside in nature to clear my head. This works for me, it helps me to ground myself to go back and write.

It’s important that I don’t schedule anything during the day when I’m writing. But life is such that things do come up. If I need to schedule an appointment, I do it late enough in the afternoon that it doesn’t cut up my day. I plan meals in advance too, so I don’t spend every day preparing a meal from scratch. When I cook, I make lots so there are leftovers and freeze any extras for a quick meal. Otherwise I found I always had that one thing in the back of my mind, that I still needed to do and that would took my focus away from my writing.

I never write when my kids are home, I maintain that time as our time together. Basically what it boils down to is that this is my career choice, and I treat it as a job, one that I love. No matter what the deadline is, I never write at night.

Thanks, Lohrainne! You've given us some great ideas. I especially like the tip about not writing at night. Have to try that one. And I must admit, my kids were a great motivator for writing too. Writing was the only way I could keep my sanity.

Well, I know after viewing the terrific cover above, you'd love to learn more about The Captain's Lady, so I'm including a blurb below:

Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape.

While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Sounds great doesn't it? Here's a sneak peek at an excerpt (and at Lohrainne):

“We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.”

“What about fishing boats?”

“No, sir, no reports.”

Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.”

Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt.

“So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows.

“Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching, then securing the boat to the dinghy.

His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart; this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically. Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread.

The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.”

Thanks so much for sharing, Lohrainne! Good luck with the book sales! And one lucky commenter on Lohrainne's book tour will win a copy of The Captain's Lady, so get out there and comment. Here's a question for you to answer: What do you do to motivate yourself to write?? Best answer will also be eligible to win a free e-copy of Spark of Magic.


Lorhainne Eckhart said...

Thanks Lily for inviting me to contribute to your blog on such an interesting topic
Lorhainne Eckhart

Bonnie J. Doerr said...

The best motivation for me is a reliable, regular, and frequent meeting with my critique group in addition to meeting with a writing buddy on a regular basis.

Debra St. John said...

Wow, Lorhainne, you are an early riser!

Goals and deadlines are what motivate me the most. I also belong to a fabulous writers' group.


Well, I not writer so I don't have to be motivated to writer. I have to be motivate to do other things or they don't get done.


Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Good suggestions for getting motivated. Clearly you view your writing as a job. When you do this, you have to stay focused or the bills don't get paid. Good luck with the new book.

Diane Craver said...

Great article on motivation which I need.

We are on vacation at Outer Banks and getting ready( to leave for home in Ohio so won't have any internet. I'll be sure to get on here as soon as I arrive home. Thank you for having me.

Lily Stone said...

Have a great vacation, Diane, and I'll "see" you soon!

Lily Stone said...

Thanks so much for joining me, Lorhainne! I love your idea of not writing at night. I think when you set specific hours for writing and know you only have so much time to get it done, you're more likely to be productive than when you figure you have all day. It's so much easier to procrastinate, thinking you'll do it later.

Lily Stone said...

I agree, Debra & Bonnie. Writer's groups are a blessing & having regularly scheduled meetings means you have to produce something. That can keep you on track with your writing goals.

And even if you don't write, staying motivated is still important, as Loretta pointed out.

Lily Stone said...

Penny, Thanks for stopping by. And paying bills can be a huge motivator for getting that work done. :-)