ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

Your Unmotivated Story is a Poor Story

It’s both lacking value and filled with grammar errors

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Unironically, this story is born from a lack of feeling and motivation. I have a goal to write at least two quality stories a week for the new year. How hard can that be? Clearly, it’s a bit difficult.

I began writing another story for my Business A to Z series, then didn’t like the path I was on, so I scrapped it. I almost wrote a story about my ten-year plan, but I realized I don’t have a ten-year plan… yet. Why is completing a story so hard?

It’s not and shouldn’t be. The solution is in the photo, and it’s not that you need to wear sunglasses. Writing begins with, well, content. That content is born from filling your brain with wild thought juice and filtering out the purest words to send to your hands and fingers. If you prefer to use pen and paper to write a story, do that; if a keyboard is more your style, I better start hearing some keys click when you finish reading this.

But don’t stop moving. Keep the juices flowing. I use a blend of EDM music, blessing my ears while my body begins to fill with caffeine from my 4th cup of dark, warm liquid of the day. This wonderful mix of music and coffee allows me to keep my focus and keeps the letters flying across the page. (Even if my wpm is only about 40.)

This is my focus system and occurs every time I write. I close off any external distractions and begin to sip coffee to keep me moving and keep the thought juices flowing. I highly recommend creating a focus system to keep your motivation and focus in check.

A focus system also prevents your brain from slipping into the equivalent of a YouTube hole and you soon begin to wonder how many Earths fit in Jupiter. (It’s more than 1,300 if you were wondering.) Get back to writing!

I also have found that it’s helpful for me to complete a single story in a single sitting. By this, I mean your 12-minute story should be completed with one writing session. It’s understandable to walk away from a story if writer’s block wins, but get yourself back in the game as soon as possible and work for the comeback you deserve.

After your words have been successfully placed into Microsoft Word on a piece of paper, it’s time to edit. This can be one of the most daunting parts of writing. You just wrote 1,500 words and now must read it to yourself? Yep.

Reading your work allows you to catch simple mistakes such as stupid spelling mistakes and grammar issues, such, as, comma splicing. There have been several times I have read over a story, and before the Grammarly tab is opened, I catch at least ten misspelled words and might even change whole phrases to make the sentence or paragraph flow better.

If you are not motivated and focused, you will likely fail to see the errors and your poetic masterpiece will be denied by every publication. Even outside of Medium, every publication has strict editors that critique your submission, like Gordon Ramsay on Masterchef. I wouldn’t want to be cursed out because I fed a world-class chef raw fish, don’t feed respected editors word vomit.

If you lose track of the reason you were writing in the first place, your story becomes messy, and you begin to talk about topics that are not related to your core focus at all. Don’t be the writer that pulls readers in with a great headline about financial advice, only to offer one or two tips before giving them a clear picture of how saving money made you lose weight too. Congrats on good health, but stick to your topic.

Finally, bring your work full circle and remind your readers why they clicked on your story in the first place. You are here because I wrote about being unmotivated, and in some strange way, that motivated me.

Be passionate about your writing and never, ever lose focus!

After you get this writing thing down, check out Marc Guberti’s story about how to rethink your spending and get the personal finance thing down as well.

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