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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 I’d 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 I’ve been carrying around for more than twenty years.

Not small boxes, large bins really.  Full of photos, kid’s artwork, certificates and trophies, newspaper clippings, baby feet clay plates, sheet music and music books, cd’s, VHS’s, cassette tapes and, of course, short stories, novels and songs I’d written.

I left out my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother’s 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 “story groups”, 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 I’d 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 she’d 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 I’d planned to.  We would write together. She agreed, and at 6PM tonight (Sunday), I’ve finished the sorting. I have over forty short story candidates and all I need to do before November first is sign up.

But that’s 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 Robbins’ 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; we’re 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

Ghostwriting about ghosts Tags: paranormal ghostwriting southwest United States

                 

I belong to the Society of Southwestern Authors, Valley of the Sun Chapter.  We meet monthly and today our guest speakers were Dan Baldwin, Rhonda Hull, and Dwight Hull.  They co-authored a book recently released entitled Speaking With the Spirits of the Old Southwest.

Dan is one of our members and a ghostwriter of some renown. He puts out a steady stream of fiction and non-fiction, both as a ghostwriter and as the sole author.

I found out today he is also a dowser.  I only knew this term when used for water witching, a skill my dad was good at, a skill needed for a rancher in the thirsty desert of Arizona.  Apparently it also describes someone who holds a string with a weight at the end, and when the spirits answer “Yes’ or “no”, it circles to the right or to the left.

The Dwights are paranormal researchers and come across as kind and humble.  Low-key and unassuming, they frequently mention that their goal in life is to help both the living and the dead, in whatever way they can. In fact, they do quite a bit of pro bono work, consulting on line and holding classes to help people find their own paranormal talents, to name two.  As for the dead, they pride themselves on helping people too frightened to cross over to wherever they go to do just that.

Rhonda is a “sensitive” whose talents include mediumship and clairvoyance.

 Dwight is an animal communicator.

These three traipsed through the desert and mountains of Arizona to abandoned mining towns and military forts.  There, they invited the spirits to converse with them and share their stories.  Certainly they’ve picked a popular subject.  Dan emailed a proposal to a publisher on a Thursday and got a call on Monday.  They bought the book that week.  Since it’s published the book has done well.  Thanks to a TV feature and a radio interview, it was a top-seller on Amazon.com for three weeks running.

I am familiar with some of the places they’ve gone to, including the famous Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone.  It was fun to read through the book today and visualize their experiences.  But more interesting than that was the simple layout Dan chose.  Each chapter begins with a few pages of the history of the spot or person they encountered, double that number of pages of the conversation’s transcript, a few pictures and a couple paragraphs of summary.

He is a straightforward, concise writer with no pretenses about writing for the upper echelon of readers. I admire that.  His books sell, and he makes a living from writing.

The book is available in soft cover, hard cover, and kindle.

http://website; www.beelieveparanormal.com

 

 

Inside Lingo Tags: writing

                                 

Has this ever happened to you? You’re typing away, describing a scene, and something like this comes out.

“As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to pass him in the ever-diminishing space beside him.”

Okay, that just toppled the flow of the go.

How about, “If Victoria had not made sure everyone was stopped in the intersection before going through it, everyone in the car would have died.”

Wait, what?  That’s just way too many words.

It probably happens most when your characters are adventuring in an arena you don’t typically write about.  All of a sudden, that inside language every trade, profession, hobby and lifestyle has is knowledge you need RIGHT NOW!

Today I thought I’d blog about words and phrases commonly used in driving.  As a driving instructor, I use them every day.  So might you, as a driver yourself.  But I bet there’s a few you’d not thought of.

So here’s a bit of inside lingo you might use in your stories.

Instead of the first example how about  “As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to shoot the gap.

And for the second example let’s try “If she’d not secured her intersection before proceeding through, everyone would have died.

Here’s some more:

The poorly distributed load teetered dangerously to one side.

He was boxed in, with no out on either side of him.

He was good at scanning for both actual and potential hazards.

He rolled past the two fighting dogs, cautiously covering his brake and giving them extra room.

She signaled her intention to move over a lane to give him time to follow.

He created space for the merging truck, allowing him to pull in front of him.

She considered the road and traffic conditions before setting out.

“He has excellent hazard awareness, I’d be surprised if it was his fault.”

A good driver is a predictable driver, one who matches the flow of traffic, facilitates merging and lane changing, maintains space cushions and always signals their intentions.

Grimly, she determined the closing rate of the oncoming vehicle would not allow her time to pull back.

It was his superior slow speed maneuvers, reversing, positioning in narrow spots and turning in tight spaces that won him the Waste Remover Award of 2018.

The child stepped into Logan’s path of travel forcing him to make an evasive maneuver onto the gravel shoulder.

Her eye-lead time was severely restricted, leaving her little time to determine her options.

Without space to maneuver she was destined to collide with the object.

It was a matter of managing space and time, and she knew she was up to the task.

As the car spun out of control, Mr. Webb’s words from driving 101 came to her, clear as the rain on her windshield. “When hydroplaning, avoid using the pedals or the steering. Wait for the vehicle to re-establish traction before applying either one.”

The winding roads and hills severely restricted her sightline. The dense shrubbery and trees on either side of the road created continuous blind spots for her. 

For drivers who hyper-focus or have tunnel vision, it is our job to teach them how to expand their scope of awareness.

Understanding sequential priority of focus is essential for new drivers. Without this, they will be looking at the wrong things at the wrong time.

She drove past him in idle speed, insuring he saw her in the 1967 Mustang.

He proceeded through his turn as if that was what he’d intended all along.

She sped through the semi’s no-zones, paranoid he would move over without seeing her.

It helped alleviate her anxiety to repeat, pace the space” over and over when merging onto the freeway. 

And a few straight-up definitions:

Pinch points: Areas where traffic condenses, such as where lanes end, intersections, and on/off ramps.

Point of No Return: The PONR is that point beyond which we can no longer safely stop for the light.

Traction patch – the amount of tire touching the ground, about the length of a hand.

Space cushion: The distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also called “following distance.

Spatial reasoning: The ability to judge distances and the amount of space around your vehicle.

Staying staggered: Maintaining an empty space on either side in traffic

 

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