Tagged with "Writing"
November 2018 News
Category: Site News
Tags: writers abroad newsletter creative writing prompt flash fiction

Here is the link to our latest†Newsletter†if you haven't received it...and if you email us your story or poem in response to our Monthly Muse, you could see your work published in a future newsletter!

MUSE OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER

Use this picture for inspiration to write a piece of flash fiction or short poem. Could be anything from 6-100 words or a maximum of 30 lines.

Or if you prefer a word prompt... Decision Making

Post your work to†Writers Abroad†and your story/poem could be published here in our next newsletter!

The Six Human Needs of Motivation Tags: writing motivation writers block inspiration

The paper sorting system!

Last May I began the search for a new career. Something that would allow me to wind down from the more than full time management work Iíd done for so many years. I chose a job that would give me the same time off that students get and became a school health aide.†

I wanted the vacation and holiday time to get my body into shape, to write, and to sort the thirty-nine boxes of memorabilia Iíve been carrying around for more than twenty years.

Not small boxes, large bins really.††Full of photos, kidís artwork, certificates and trophies, newspaper clippings, baby feet clay plates, sheet music and music books, cdís, VHSís, cassette tapes and, of course, short stories, novels and songs Iíd written.

I left out my mother, grandmother and great-grandmotherís things because I want to get to the point of the story.

At the end of September I stopped. Motivation fled and for two weeks fifteen boxes of photos and papers stared at me from the corner of my bedroom.††My plan was to sort these into ďstory groupsĒ, like the time we crash landed our plane and were written up in the Mexican newspaper, or when at sixteen I hitchhiked across Europe. But Iíd lost my forward momentum and nothing could get me across the room for that last push.

Until my granddaughter came home from school and announced sheíd joined a writing club that participated in NaNo WriMo each November.†

And there it was. My motivation to finish the sorting and write the book Iíd planned to.††We would write together. She agreed, and at 6PM tonight (Sunday), Iíve finished the sorting. I have over forty short story candidates and all I need to do before November first is sign up.

But thatís not the reason I wrote the blog. I wrote this because I was astounded at how quickly I went from no motivation to fired up and raring to.††Astounded and curious. How did that happen?

I looked up motivation, but nothing resonated with me until I read Tony Robbinsí theory of the Six Human Needs of Motivation.††He says if you can pick your top two primary needs from the following list then it will become obvious how your decisions and behavior are influenced.†

To sum up what he teaches:

All humans have six basic needs that make us tick. Everyone is motivated; weíre just motivated by different needs.

All human behavior is motivated by meeting certain needs. This means we are always motivated to do what we do.

1. The need for certainty.†The need for safety, stability, security, comfort, order, predictability, control and consistency.

2. The need for uncertainty. The need for variety, surprise, excitement, difference, chaos, adventure, change and novelty.

3. The need for significance.††The need to feel unique, important, special, worthy or needed.†

4. The need for love and connection. The need to feel connected with, and loved by other human beings.††To belong, to be seen, to be part of a community.

5. The need for growth.†The need to challenge yourself and develop emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically.

6. The need for contribution. The need to give beyond ourselves, serve, protect and care for others. Create a legacy. Create something that surpasses your own needs and desires.

What are you driven by? †What are your two primary needs and how are they influencing your decisions and your behavior today?

Any guesses on what need motivated me to finish the sorting and preparation for National November Writing Month??

† † † † † † †

The resulting short story ideas

Step Away from the Desk Tags: writing colour senses

I love the autumn colours. Walking around at the moment I often stop and look at the trees, or a few scattered leaves on the ground. Having lived in Hong Kong for seven years where the definition of seasons is less defined (and there are far fewer deciduous trees), it feels like Iím experiencing this for the first time. I hope the novelty never wears off.

Recently Iíve read that colour is a good detail to add into a story and where better to draw inspiration than from the nature around us. Even if youíre not experiencing the autumnal colours like me, Iím sure thereís plenty of colour to find if you look in the right places. In Hong Kong, there was always colour everywhere, which made it easy to overlook, but you can try walking a different route, see something (as if) for the first time. Stop, take out a notebook and jot down a few lines about it, go home and write about it in detail.

As I peg out the washing in the early morning, thereís often dew on the grass, sometimes I can see the plumes of my breath as I chat to my children. The sun is now noticeably lower in the sky, casting different shadows, and effecting the light. Fewer daylight hours evoke different feelings in people, many negative, and this in turn can be used in a variety of ways. Squirrels dart around the garden and that makes me think of animals hoarding food for the winter, and others preparing for hibernation.

I think itís easy when weíre working on a story, or a section of a novel, to get stuck inside; whether that be physically inside our homes, or the places where we choose to work, or stuck inside our heads. Iíve never been a big one for exercise, but am starting to see the benefits of spending time away from the desk. Sometimes a quick walk allows me to formulate a sentence or paragraph or story that Iím struggling with and sometimes I see something completely new that I just know will one day make it into a story.

So, get up and out. Just donít forget to take a notebook and pen with you.

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