Thursday, 3 May 2012

Chapter 6 - Motivations

I want to talk about motivation today.  First,

My plan has been set in motion and amounts to this:
1.  Leave job at Soul Crushing, Inc. (and write).
2.  Start waitressing (and write).
3.  Move into a more affordable apartment (and write).
4.  Begin Creative Writing courses at a local university in the fall (and write).

As to #1, my parents are not very happy with me and while I understand, I respectfully disagree.  I have done everything practical and "right" in my life.  I've also done it in the correct order.  I graduated high school in the top of my class, went to one of the best public universities in the country, chose two majors and stuck to being pre-med, I didn't get arrested (just one drinking ticket, but come on - we like to pretend we're a dry university and that's laughable), I didn't get pregnant, I graduated in four years without amassing loads of debt, and I landed your typical office 9 to 5 after graduating.  I became financially independent.

What I'm saying is I did all the right things and you know what?  I'm unhappy because what I want isn't practical.  Sure, if I ever get published and make a living doing what I love, then all of this will seem like a bad dream, but I don't have a crystal ball.  My parents, I think, probably once had the same ambition and head-in-the-clouds kind of attitude that I do.  Call me crazy, say I'm regressing to childhood fantasy, but I am unwilling to give that up.  I pledge to always be curious about the world.  I do not ever want to lose the magic I see in day to day life.  I refuse to.

When I told my father, he sat back in his chair and did his sideways disapproving head-shake, keeping his eyes away from mine, and almost laughing, said, "My daughter, the waitress."  Like it was a slur.  Like I was slumming it to go back to where I've come from.  It would have made any other person angry.

For me, it lights a fire under my ass.  My entire life I've felt that I have to fight for what I want.  I told them I was going to college.  I told them I was going to be pre-med.  I told them I was going to Spain.  I told them I was going to run a marathon.

I did all those things.  So I know when I tell them that I'm going to be a writer, one day through hard work and dedication I will be a writer.  It may not be soon and I'm sure as hell it won't come easy, but it will happen.  My best motivation has always been someone telling me I can't do something.  So I will take the little head shakes and that twitch at the corner of everyone's mouths when I tell them I'm quitting my job to write a book and I'll pocket it for later when I'm bogged down in the middle of it, wondering why the hell I wanted to get myself into this business.

Second, I thought I'd share some of the motivations behind Momentum (current word count: 57, 607 - I know I've been slacking).  Although it isn't happening yet because no one really gives a shit what I have to say at the moment (but that will change, world! *shakes fist*), I know eventually someone will ask me where I get my ideas.

The idea for this story came from several different experiences.  One of the scariest books I ever read was Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  I had nightmares for years after, not about the act of killing someone, but the guilt and paranoia that follow it.  Then, one night my junior year of college, I was leaving the library at 2 am, in a caffeine-and-Adderall-incuded haze and I passed by some of the frat houses on campus.  They sit in two semi-circles, Frat Court where there are 5 houses, and the aptly named Little Frat Court where there are 3.  As I cruised by Little Frat Court, I saw that the courtyard they all face was lit up in blue lights.  They were having a party.

And that was that.  The blue skinned girl came directly from that.

I also found a feeling I wanted to capture.  I believe you can bare the most intimate parts of yourself with writing.  It is a vulnerable task by nature and I wanted to explore a feeling I've felt often during my life.  Not to go all emo on your ass, but there is something very lonely and alienating about watching a party go on without you.  I've written about it before (not here), but it's like standing outside on the street and watching that warm happy glow come through a window you aren't allowed through.  JR, the main character in Momentum, spends a lot of time glimpsing things through windows.  I want the reader to feel that sort of alienation with him, the want to join in on that life you've only seen in flashes before, but somehow you can't find a way inside.

Hopefully, I can articulate all the things I want in this book without bashing the reader over the head with it.  If I can, I think this thing may be halfway decent.


  1. Good for you! I think we've narrowed a lot in our beliefs about acceptable careers. I like to see someone challenging the 9-5 office work.

    1. Thanks Cameron! You know, now that I've made what I'm doing public, I have found a lot of support and it's been very encouraging.