The hardest thing about a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing is the creative part.
Coming up with ideas that are unique and interesting is difficult, especially when under pressure. Not to mention you have to write out your idea in a comprehensive way and with, as my teachers put it, a refreshing style.
It should be your style of writing. Are you a first person writer, or do you prefer third person? Do like lots of details or explain what’s in a room when your character is looking at it? Drama or Comedy? What kind of humor? Dark and gritty, or slap stick?
During this degree I’ve learned quite a few things about myself. First, I suck at humor and tend to lean towards dry or dark comedy (Not the dead baby kind of jokes). I write mainly female protagonist, and if I do venture into a male they generally have feminine qualities (I blame anime) or are overly manly and brooding.
That’s not to say I can’t write other stuff. Spec writing (feel free to correct me if I am wrong) is a concept where you work with already existing shows, like Big Bang Theory. There’s a link that’s a good read about spec writing for TV. It requires lots of research about a show, knowing the characters, how they speak and interact with one another, etc…. Once you have an understanding you craft a story that fits within the show’s build, which means you have to understand beats and other T.V. and Film terminology that makes really no sense at all other than to make writing sound fancy.
It’s a struggle, but then again what isn’t.
Recently, I have found myself struggling with keeping my motivation. Not because my teachers are harsh or that my classes are really difficult because they’re not and I’m getting good reviews. I’ve some how gotten into a mindset that I should be further than this. I am disappointed and feeling like a failure, which is strange because I am succeeding in my Master’s Degree way better than I did in previous schooling. I look at all the successful people I know and I wonder where I am going wrong?
How come I haven’t gotten into a game company or that my novella isn’t selling? Why do I feel like I am in a dead end job when I work for Microsoft (actually VMC which is a contracting company with Microsoft, but that’s splitting hairs)? Where did all my excitement go for starting another degree?
At this point, I feel like am stuck in a loop and can’t figure how to get out. It’s like being stuck in a roundabout on the inside track and not being able to get out because of traffic, the traffic in this metaphor being negative thoughts.
So the big question is, how do I escape the roundabout and get back my motivation?
A teacher said, “take a step back. Do something other than writing.” I’ve done this. I’ve taken up weight lifting. I pace or go for walks.
Writing blogs give helpful tips like READ. Does reading my friends’ Facebook count?
The things I normally do myself to keep inspired and going aren’t really working. I should note that this is different than a writer’s block. I don’t lack ideas or how write them, I’m lacking the drive to put pen to paper.
I don’t know and advice would be great. So it got me thinking, what do you all do to get motivated? Not just for writing but in general. I’d love to hear what you do.
Currently my go to phrase as of late has been, “I’ll figure it out.” Do you have a go to phrase?
Drop some comments on here or on one of my social media sites. I look forward to seeing what you all do to stay pumped.