Motivation

What motivates me to put myself in a position where I have additional work every week with no visible, immediate payoff whatsoever?

Well at first it was simple. I had an Idea in my head. It was a fun and interesting concept about a normal girl surrounded by the most extraordinary things, people and situations and it had potential. I wanted to know where it was going. I decided it would be episodic, the girl recording her thoughts every week, whether that be via blog or podcast or diary entry. And then I thought about it. Any free moment I had, I wanted to know what would happen in this world that I was creating, what that person was going through.

Eventually I had an outline. I knew what she was doing, what was going to happen. I still had to think on characterization, world building, individual character arcs, side plots and the things that might happen after the outline I already had, but by that time I had an Idea of what it would be like, what it would sound like, how the story would progress. This is when I definitely chose podcast as the medium. It fit perfectly with the story and most importantly: I could do it. Right now. Sure, I could have also made it a blog, but that didn’t fit the story as well. Six episodes in, with even more already scripted I can’t imagine it would have turned out this good as a blog.

Now my motivation shifted. I was still interested in what might happen, sure. But to continue at this point would mean to work intensely with parts of the story I already knew. It became about letting other people know the story too. I’ve been writing story for years now, and the reasons have been and probably always will be the same: I want to know the story, and then I want others to enjoy it as well. But at this point I’d waited for so long, always trying to find a story I could finish, a story I could publish, and the knowledge that even once I finished it I would be so far away from getting it out there, and that it would be so much responsibility and work (that I was ready to do, simply not equipped to do yet, seeing as school is something I want to survive without dying of stress) that I didn’t want to wait any longer. I wanted to stop stalling. I wanted to take matters into my own hands, and publish one of my stories. Publish a podcast. So I got to work.

I set a date. This is when the first episode will air. Every week following will be a new episode, until it’s done. (The date I picked out turned out to be very inconvenient, seeing as it lined up with one of the most difficult and most important tests of the semester, but I couldn’t change the date now, I knew if I backed out I might not find my way back in.) I asked my father to find out how to make a podcast that I could upload on iTunes, since that’s where I listen to podcasts. (Thank you so much for that, Papa.) And I scripted. Not as much as I had wanted to, but I got far enough. I asked my friends to be my creative support, by beta readers, just simple moral support, honestly, I couldn’t have done it without them.

Motivation is a lot of setting goals and then holding yourself responsible for achieving them. I had clear goals, I had clear deadlines, I had all the tools I needed. A mix of deadline, consequences if the deadline is missed and the desire to meet the deadline and ta-da! Propper motivation. At this point, all you have to do, is just do it.

And expect to fail. The first episode was uploaded a day too early because we weren’t sure I quick iTunes would be on the uptake (very, as it turns out). The second episode was uploaded a few hours late, because I’d forgotten to switch on my alarm and had to get to school on time so I couldn’t do it in the morning (I nearly had a nervous breakdown). And there are still a few mistakes in my scripts and on the website that everyone noticed to late. But I’m not letting any of that destroy my motivation. I’m doing this for the story after all. W learn as we fail.

Sometimes it is hard to motivate yourself to do something, even if it’s something you like doing, then you have to show some willpower, and get trough it. I like to think we learn as we fail, so better get around to failing fast, if you want to be succeeding any time soon.