Oh the irony! This week’s theme on the Blue Sun Network is procrastination and here I am getting my posts done a week ahead of time, while Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song plays on the radio.
Why am I doing this? Because I’m on a creative roll and want to use it for as long as it lasts.
That’s how energy flows for a lot of creative people. Either you have too much of it, or not enough. And when you don’t have enough, you start putting things off.
I don’t know about you, but for me, my issues with procrastination all revolve around confidence. I’ve long-since gotten over the “am I good enough” business, and the type of confidence I speak of isn’t like that at all. I think it has more to do with direction. The clearer the plan, the faster the path.
Numerous blogs and articles have been written about procrastination and how to get and keep ourselves motivated. That’s not the kind of motivation I’m going to talk about today.
This past week, Wendi and I have been experiencing a new burst of creativity with book two, Uncivil Wars. This book has been as much of a challenge for us to write as it has been for our Pack of characters to get through it themselves. The storyline is so much more complex than the one in Loyalties, it’s mentally exhausting sometimes to figure out how everything in the plot’s web connects.
We’ve hit a few stumbling blocks where we’ve both done more staring at the screen than actual writing. Recently while we were trying to figure out exactly what Ramon and Michael were supposed to be doing, we realized the one thing we were missing: Motivation.
I’ve never been one for subterfuge. I think that’s what kept me from playing vampires for so long during my gaming years. The vamps are highly political and deeply infused with behind the scenes mayhem to gain power. Werewolves were always so much simpler, since most of their problems could be solves with a little hack and slash.
With all the politics going on in Uncivil Wars, I found that a bit daunting. I wanted it to kick ass with twists and turns, more than in the first book. Not only did we have the storyline of the present going on, but another one in the past.
Leave it to Wendi to know how to break things down into even smaller steps. At some point she asked the question, “What is everyone’s motivation?”
That made me think. What did Cole want? What did Flynn want? What is Diego trying to prove? What’s everyone’s agenda?
One by one, we sketched out every single character’s motive. Then when we had that, we were able to start linking them together and seeing where they fit into the key points of the overall plot and series.
A little planning goes a long, long way. The next time you’re stuck and find yourself procrastinating, take a step back and do a little brainstorming. That brainstorming will reveal the key to your plan. And once you have the key, the door will open and you’ll be on your way faster than the speed of light!