Have you ever sat at your computer and do a million other things than the thing you sat down to do? Take right now for instance: I should be doing schoolwork. I am a college student and my homework is important. But I’ve done nothing all day except play my favorite video game. It could be chalked up to a lack of motivation, or a kind of burnout because all I’ve done this week is schoolwork. Whatever the excuse, this is something I struggle with as a writer- having the need to get certain things done but not doing them. As a young writer there are many things I struggle with. And I bet you do too. So, let’s talk about them.
First, the aforementioned topic of having an important task to complete but finding a million distractions. Video games, social media, and online shopping. All things one can do with a computer, or even a cellphone, but none of which are things that need done. You don’t need to beat the Ender Dragon or update your status. You want to. These things can be fun, but they can become distractions. Distractions from our significant workload that is slowly piling up in the corner. Distractions that let you ignore your lack of motivation.
Which leads me to my next point: motivation.
Ah yes, that cursed word. Motivation. The thing that ebbs and flows like an ocean tide. The switch that can take you from zero to hundred in a rush of dopamine fueled adrenaline. And that thing that vanishes, as if Thanos snapped his finger. Motivation is influenced by several factors: stress, your physical and mental health, even the kind of lifestyle you led. They contribute to you finishing that manuscript or throwing it in the trash.
Time is the biggest factor in anyone’s life, outside of motivation. You can’t control time. You’re not a wizard who can wave a wand and freeze time long enough to get your work done. Time goes on with or without you. Your deadlines approach no matter what state you’re in. But even though you can’t control time, you don’t have to let it control you. You can work with it, create schedules, create spaces of time where you can do whatever you want. Time is manageable; only you can determine how time moves you.
As of the time of this writing (05/25/2020), a global pandemic is happening. Because of how the pandemic has affected our day to day lives, some individuals may find the following paragraphs stressing or triggering to their anxiety.
Right now, the world is facing something it hasn’t seen in a while: a pandemic that has changed day-to-day life. COVID-19 is a novel virus that is the result of a natural mutation. It was first discovered in Wuhan, China- though there has been no word on if it originated there- and has spread globally. Restaurants are doing drive thru or delivery only. Schools are out for the year and going online. Governors across the US are issuing orders to stay at home unless necessary. Right now, everyone’s emotions are huge. We are children trying to comprehend infinity while learning that one plus one is two. Current events and the world around us play a heavy hand in anyone’s life, but especially that of a young writer. Nothing happens in a vacuum and you are not the only person on Earth, though you may wish that. Global, national, and local events can lead to feelings of stress and can mean your motivation to write goes down the drain.
Knowledge is another, albeit smaller, aspect of a young writer’s struggles. When it comes to writing, there are many, many rules. It can feel overwhelming having to know when I goes before E or when to use a semicolon over a colon. When do you use there, their, or they’re? Is it alot or a lot? You also must know how to keep a plot together, make characters interesting, and when to kill your darlings. That in and of itself can hinder writing as you struggle with wanting to know more, wondering what to learn, where to learn it, how to learn it. Now you’re going down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos that have no correlation to anything you’re doing
Featured image by Richard Dykes on Unsplash