Writing?! Habits and Motivations?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Hey Gang,

    This is for all/anyone who has ever written or who is writing now. I expect it might apply to UZTHD, Broadus, Dr. Bob, and others who have done extended academic work. Please do not think that I am only looking for imput from these, others of you who have some insight please feel free to comment.

    Remember, I asked!

    I have my doctorate, I have a full-time teaching "gig," I have a book idea in the works, it is being sold to a major publisher, I work (teach college) about 25 hrs. per week, I am home by about 1PM every day, I am off from May 1st to Aug. 15 every year.

    I know my problem is Christian discipline and personal laziness. Although, I did show an amazing level of discipline in the 22 years I spent in my 30s & 40s getting five degrees. I am in the process of repenting. I expect what I need is some encouragement and some tips with the process of writing.

    I have tried to put myself under the same strain and discipline as I had when doing a dissertation but that does not seem to work. I have tried personal "guilt trips" and such. What I may need is an actual "deadline" by the publisher. Thay might "kick me in the passing gear" as it were! Who knows?

    Please help! Please pray!

    SDG!

    rd
     
  2. Broadus

    Broadus
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    RD,

    I suspect too many of us are in the same boat. Perhaps if you had someone nearby to whom you were accountable, set up some reasonable goals, and then had to sit your behunkas (PhD terminology [​IMG] ) down and write, that would help. It took the realization that if I didn't finish my dissertation by a certain date it would cost another $2500 for the next semester that motivated me to get done.

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  3. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Broadus/Bill,

    Thanks for the input. I wish I had the motivation I had when doing my dissertation. But, there is no one standing over me with a stick or $2500 tuition due. That is a really great motivator.

    Think of me!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  4. UZThD

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    I've not been published, but:

    passion.

    I know that we have considerable difficulty separating what think we do for Him and what we do for ourselves. Maybe I will be surprised on that Day to learn that even my passion which drives me is heavily stained with selfish components.

    But a perceived passion to bring honor to Him in academic venues has motivated me to finish the dissertation a few months ago and to write a paper for an ETS meeting last month , and I think it will for you.

    passion: without it, why do anything? with it, what is beyond doing?
     
  5. TaterTot

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    Sounds to me that maybe you are just tired My husband and I are both "published", but that has been fairly recently for us, so the excitement still is a motivator. My husband is writing his dissertation and 3 ETS papers (actually presenting one today), so he does way more writing than I do. We both have started books, too. He is more driven than I am - probably because he is still in an academic environment.

    Maybe you should take a few days, go somewhere quiet and alone, and refuel. That has worked for us.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Rhet

    Sometimes the motivation is not there when the Spirit is not moving behind it. Sometimes the motivation is not there because the enemy is attacking.

    It might help you to figure out the why the motivation is not there.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Two questions:Why are you writing? What are you driven to write?
     
  8. MargoWriter

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    RD, for me all it takes is a deadline enforced by an outside source, and it seems you already have that.

    In college, I wrote some of my best papers a few days before they were due. I knew I could do it, I just didn't feel like it, so I put it off until the last minute. [​IMG]

    Another thing to keep in mind, however, is if that you force a quota or time constraint on yourself you will be opening yourself up for contstant failure. If you want to enforce a word quota per day or even per week, I would suggest making it leniant. Then if you get it all in easily, you might feel like getting some extra done too. [​IMG]

    Right now I am doing the write a novel in 30 days thing. I have to get in about 1,600 words per day. I'm on day 4 and each day I've exceeded my quota by at least 100 words.

    One of the best ways to stay on your toes is to tell everyone you know (family, friends, church people) what you are working on and ask them all to pray for you and keep you accountable. Ask them, whenever they see you, to say, "Hey, RD, how's the book coming?" That's what I've done with some friends. They say, "Hey, MargoWriter, how's the novel coming?"

    You're going to be motivated to work on it just to keep these people from clobbering you. :D
     
  9. Paul33

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    I asked my church to pray for me and then wrote two chapters of my dissertation in two weeks. I now need to write two more chapters in the next three weeks.

    You are right about having a deadline. I am writing my dissertation with the idea that it will be published. That is the goal of my D.Min. program at Gordon-Conwell.

    I'm paying over $10,000 to write a book that I could probably write if I had just sat down and began. But mentors help you flesh out your ideas, etc. So, yes, the motivation of finishing a dissertation is a big plus.

    I have other ideas for books. Will I write them? Only if I make an outline, do the research, and begin writing. Boy is that tough when you don't have to and you're not driven by fame or money!
     
  10. MargoWriter

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    I'm driven by money . . . LOL. Not the way you might think, though. Starvation is a great motivator . . . don't worry, though, it's not quite that bad. :D

    But the motivation that always keeps me going (in the long run) is my burning need/desire to write! There's no explaining it . . . It's just there.
     

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