Posts tagged ‘motivation’

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Road Winds Ever Onwards

by Leanne Yong

Long And Winding Road

The first time I had a terrible failure at work was a few months into my first job. I hadn’t checked the information I was given, we imported some code into the development environment on a faulty assumption, and it caused an error that couldn’t be fixed without rebuilding the whole environment from a back-up. The last back-up was taken a few days previously. That’s a lot of work when you have a whole team working in the environment. My manager was not pleased, to say the least.

Then there was the time, a few years on, when the component I was supposed to be working on with the lead from another team crashed and burned during the initial testing. I hadn’t been able to get a solid block of time with the team lead, and it didn’t help that we were in different cities. Because we were too busy with other work to put aside a whole day when everyone was available to test the component, we relied on it being built to design, and on the design being correct. Needless to say, it was neither. When you have many moving parts and a lot of things being done under the covers, there’s a million ways for it to screw up. During our troubleshooting, it felt like we hit every single one.

About these ads
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Motivated to Show

by Leanne Yong
One of the key rules all writers are taught (or should be taught!) from the beginning is: Show, don’t tell. And it’s definitely one of the keys to solid prose. After beta-reading a friend’s novel, however, I think it needs a small addition to the end: Show, don’t tell… but don’t forget to motivate.

We all do things for a reason. There is always a driving factor to our actions, whether or not we are aware of it. Consciously, I speed because I’m running late, and I feel embarrassed when attending an event that I consider important, or where I’ll miss part of it–I hate the feeling that I’ve missed out on something. I suspect it’s due to the inherently competitive culture of Asian society. In Singapore, there’s even a common word to describe people who are scared to lose. (“Kiasu”, for those who are curious.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Angry Writing

by Sara Goas
Today, I’m angry.

I’m not going to say why, because any explanation I could give would be far too tedious and unnecessary. But rest assured, I’m angry. Blindingly, burningly so.

I don’t like to face down a deadline when I’m angry, upset, or stressed about some real life problem. I much prefer to write while calm and collected, with gobs of of empty hours at my disposal.

But that’s the thing about deadlines. They care not a whit about one’s real life circumstances.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still Feeling the Fear…

by Sara Goas
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately. As often as I’ve already written on the importance of facing our fears, I’m starting to wonder if I’m particularly good at it myself.

Last week, a select group of seniors at our school competed for the chance to deliver original speeches during graduation, and I was asked to sit in as one of the judges. I sat and watched these seven or eight honors students shakily read through speeches they had written themselves, each hoping for the chance to share his or her speech with an even larger, more intimidating audience. I couldn’t help but feel awed by their bravery. Could I have done the same thing at their age? Not likely. Hell, I doubt I could do the same thing now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doing, Doing…Done!

by Sara Goas
Nobody likes to revise written work. No, not even we English teachers enjoy that process, even though we regularly go out of our way to teach the art of revision.

“The kids should learn how to do it,” we think to ourselves, year after year. “We don’t have to, of course, because we know better. But let the kids suffer through it–it’ll make them stronger!”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Build an Inspiration Wall

by Sara Goas
Looking at that title, I realize that it doesn’t feel like something I’d write. It sounds more like a suggestion out of a SARK book (e.g. “Take lots of naps”, “Swing as high as you can on a swingset, by moonlight”, et cetera). Fun, sure, but not really my thing since I’ve become a writing adult.

The Inspiration Wall, on the other hand, has helped me out of a bind numerous times.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“I Don’t Have Time” is No Excuse

by Sara Goas

There can be no honest discussion on the fear of writing that doesn’t, somewhere, include this line:

Fear is the issue. “I don’t have time,” is just an excuse.

I have been dancing around this statement on this blog since August. In hindsight I should have just come out and said it sooner, but a writer is nothing if not willing to revise, so I’ll take this chance to make sure the following is clear (just in case it wasn’t already):

If you want to be a serious writer, you must stop using the false excuse of time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“Action conquers fear (for now)”

by Sara Goas

Since I’ve begun writing for this blog, many people have confessed to me that they, too, harbor a fear of writing.

But how (readers will ask, time and time again) does one move past that fear?

“Even though my former professor highly recommends it, I am hesitant to pursue the MFA in creative writing,” one young woman told me, upon reading my blog. “I would like to have read [in your article] some solutions about how to overcome the fear demon.”

Yes, and I would like to have written that. Because if I actually knew some concrete ways of overcoming our fears, my writing life would be much easier.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Don’t Have Time to Believe in Writer’s Block

by Julie Goldberg
Last night, I finished writing a draft of a chapter that had tormented me for weeks. It’s one of only a handful of chapters I have left to write (in what I like to call the Adequate American Novel, which I’ve been writing on and off for almost 20 years) for which I had no rough drafts, or even scribbled notes. I needed certain things to happen in the plot, in the development of one character, and in the relationship between the two main characters, so I sent them on a hike to a waterfall. They fought me every step of the way, up the trail and back down again. By the end, though, sorry to have put me through so much trouble, they presented me with three peace offerings: a baptism, a sandwich, and a lie, all of which I can certainly use.

I complained about this recalcitrant chapter to my friends and my husband, and if they weren’t bored and annoyed, then they are much nobler people than I am. My Facebook writing group (consisting of several Nosy Authors and a few others) offered great suggestions, including having the characters jump on a trampoline while I moved on to work on other chapters.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

“A Good Way to Start is to Stand”

by Sara Goas

“I know what I want to say in my essay,” my students tell me, over and over again. “The problem is, I don’t know how to start.”

“Start with what you know you want to say,” I’ll tell them. “You can always work backwards later.”

“Uh huh,” they’ll say, still eyeing their keyboards nervously. The middle of the essay didn’t seem so intimidating a minute ago—but if they’re going to write the middle first, the middle becomes the beginning. And beginnings are scary.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 340 other followers

%d bloggers like this: