One week before NaNoWriMo I had a dream. I woke up in the middle of the night, I just had to write it down. I scribbled some short notes, and got back to the notes first thing in the morning. I have never before felt such an urge to tell something. It was as the main character said to me ”you have to tell my story, you have to do it!” And so I did.
That was the first and the strongest motivation – the need to write it down, to tell that story.
I thought of it as a short story.
But as NaNoWriMo approached I thought I'll make it into a short story collection and let the first short story be a part of NaNo. But the one and single short story grew, and expanded, and so, eventually, it became a novel.
Because I started the story one week before NaNoWriMo, I had written the first chapter on forehand. I had also started editing that first chapter. By now, I've edited that first chapter about fifty times this far, making it more or less perfect, or as perfect as I can do it, right now. With that first chapter finished and polished, I have a strong motivation to make the rest of the story to come up to the same level, every other chapter, to be as good as the first one. That's a big challenge and therefore a big motivation.
Never before have I encountered this, a character who in such a strong way persist and persuade me to tell his story. The main character is a strong character, and he's very clear to my mind. He has a assertiveness that makes it easier to write about him. I try to go into the character, to be the main character. He's so much different from me, he's a total opposite. That motivates me, to become another person. The big challenge, to try to think different, be different, to put that in the story, that's a equally big motivation.
Because of that dream, I had the beginning and the ending of the story from the very start. I knew the setting of the first scene, I knew how the story would end, and I had a main conflict, something that was more of a secret of the main character. So, with a secret, a beginning, an ending, and some small knowing about what happened in between, it was much easier to motivate myself to write. The motivation grew as I made a story board, a synopsis, and used index card, one for each scene, to help me keep track of the story.
NaNoWriMo motivated me, to get an exact number of words a day, to get at least 50 000 words in November, as well as 1K a day motivates me now, to reach to the goal of number of words a day.
What inspires me the most: music and walks. I go at least two walks a day and on those walks I'm thinking about a scene, try to picture it in my mind. Walks are great for solving problems.
Walks motivate, I can walk and feel a scene, sense it, the atmosphere, or see the setting, a glimse of dialogue. I can write, in my mind, a whole scene, as I'm walking. And I have to go home, to sit down by the computer or by a notebook with a pen, to write down the words before they escape me. That's a strong motivation. Write it down or it'll be forgotten. And whilst I'm writing, new words and scenes come forward, and I have to write them down as well, before they go away.
For me it's like solving a puzzle. You go back and forth, in the story, add sentences, fragments, dialoge, setting, narrative to old scenes in between writing new ones. A puzzle of this kind is a big challenge; the bigger the challenge, the bigger the motivation.
Most of the time, I've a lot of scenes and fragments inside, and I have to get them down, before they escape me. Or I have to lay down and think about them, think about them so much and so vivid that they are crystal clear to the mind, and in that way, there's no way I'll be able to forget them.
That's how I started writing, by resting a lot. I lay down in my bed thinking about the scenes, trying to picture them, to get a feeling for the setting, for the characters, the story. Over and over, I tried to get a bigger picture of the novel, to see the forest and not just the trees.
Other than that, what motivates me the most is the fun. I have so much fun writing. It's a real joy.
I have had the blessing, though, of a constant flow, more or less, since I started this project. Images, fragments of dialogue and so forth, keep coming, without much effort.
I work very intense when writing on a new project. I'm constantly thinking about the project 24/7. In different ways, I have to add. To be such close to a project make me breath the project, makes it easier to keep the motivation.
It must never get boring or dull. I quit projects with such ease. Usually, I get stuck very easily. In this case, I'm really trying to make it exciting, as I go back and forth between chapters. I follow my inspiration and what comes to mind, follow the ideas I get. Constantly adding new scenes to the story, making it longer, forcing myself to keep writing. Never stop to think the negative thoughts like “this is crap”, “what will become of this”, “it's no good”, “you'll never make it”, “it's too big, you'll never get finished”.
I try to stick to the feeling I got in the beginning, when I had that dream, I keep hearing the main character's voice: “Do it! Write!”, and since I know who he is, and why he wants me to write, I obey.