Avoiding the spiral of doubt and shame

I was directed towards this post on gamasutra – http://gamasutra.com/blogs/EthanLevy/20140320/213611/Escaping_the_Indie_Shame_Spiral.php – which has some really interesting things to say on motivation and  how to start to avoid the “shame spiral” that I think anyone who sets themselves goals and struggles to achieve them will be familiar with. It goes something like this: Start something with excitement, ambition and impossible goals. Fail to meet impossible goals. Beat self up about not meeting them, think work done so far is rubbish and you’d be better off anywhere but here. Sounds familiar! There’s usually a stage in a project when you think everything you’ve written …

Goal updating…keeping on track

I wrote in an earlier post about goals and deadlines, and how important they are for maintaining focus and getting things done. I’m well on track with this, but here’s a little update on how I’m doing so far: My deadlines: Ilkley Literature festival open mic competition – I’ve applied for a place; if I get it, it’s on the 30th and I need a monologue or poem to perform I’m well on the way with this – I’ve been watching a lot of Sarah Kay recently and am so impressed with her performance poetry, especially how she’s performing with being …

Goal setting – how to help yourself get writing

I mentioned in my earlier post that one of the ways to help yourself get motivated and write more is in goal setting, and it seems like a good moment to write about that. I’m stuck at the moment. I finished my last major project, Balancing Act, in the middle of the summer, and I wrote a short story for the Mslexia quarterly submission, but in the week or so since that’s been finished, I’ve floundered. This frustrates me, aggravates me, because I spend several hours a week in front of my laptop not knowing what to do next. Like I …

Five ways to beat procrastination and just get writing

Over the past year, my written output has roughly tripled compared to last year, and it’s only August. I’ve written and released short stories, entered more competitions and – probably more importantly – really felt happy with what I was doing, that I was making progress as a writer. To me that’s more valuable than anything. What stopped me before? It wasn’t lack of ideas or time – so below are some of the ways that I’ve been overcoming the ‘inability’ to sit down and write. I don’t think it is an inability. Lee Child said something similar recently: “I …

How to get started on a story

At work this week, following a busy summer that’s left me feeling like I didn’t really have a holiday at all, we’ve been looking at their creative writing. Their task is to build towards a short story using a poem as a springboard for ideas. Towards the end of the week, we came across an interesting stumbling block that made me think a bit more about stories in particular, and what they are intending to write. We were writing the opening of a story using techniques gathered from other writers, having looked at examples and what we liked in an …