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Despite being medicated I still have enormous trouble with motivation. I cannot finish projects that I start or gather the energy to do required errands, no matter what I do. Being prescribed to Adderall definitely helps me do the things that I need to do, but I want to be able to find motivation on my own rather than relying on chemicals.

My lack of follow-through is linked closely with my perfectionism. I don’t want to finish projects because I don’t want to face the possibility that my final product will be less than I was hoping for. My image of my abilities and strengths is normally destroyed after not reaching my impossible standards for myself, so I don’t finish anything that I start. Part of why I graduated late was due to my endless editing process for my projects and assignments. Nothing that I did was ever good enough, so I would spent months trying to perfect an assignment that didn’t really matter in the long scheme of things. I somewhat overcame that and managed to graduate, but it was a daily struggle.

My first success outside of school was competing (and winning!) in this year’s National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to writing a 50,000 word first draft of a fiction novel in the month of November. I was so proud that I met and exceeded the word goal, but today I finished my first read-through of my draft! I normally would have shoved my novel in a drawer and forgot about it because the amount of work to perfect it is so daunting. The fact that I got through the painful experience of seeing the weak points in my writing is a big boost to my ego. My perfectionism usually prevents me from wanting to confront things that hurts my self-confidence, but I managed to take it all in stride and look at my draft without beating myself up over the parts that need improvement.

The fact that I was able to complete the second phase of the creative process is a huge milestone for me! I hope that I’ll be able to continue learning how to confront the fact that I am less than perfect and keep the motivation going for my first novel.

-Ashes

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