Motivation is the driving force behind achieving a goal, and the key to being successful in anything. As a result of dedication and hard work, fruits of backbreaking labor can flourish. Inspired by different occurrences, every individual is motivated by a desire unique to their own life.
For this week’s Building the Writing Craft column, I spoke with Lara Shugoll, a Louisville native and student currently studying at American University in Washington D.C.Shugoll is a budding writer who is using her motivation to propel her writing career forward, while still staying focused on her academic career. Heavily involved in writing since the fourth grade, Shugoll was barely ten years old when she won her first first poetry contest. Enthralled with creating art, she began to take writing far more serious than she ever expected.
“I write about experiences I’ve had in love,” Shugoll said, adding that many romantic events gave rise to her motivation. “I believe that love drives all of our thoughts and actions. It is one of the most powerful things a person can choose to write about. Its a major stress reliever for me. Exercise junkies release their aggression at the gym. I put mine on paper.”
Thus far, her work has been published twice. First, for an inspirational book aimed at girls, and second, in an anthology of Appalachian poetry.
“I was lucky to have received publication both times by winning contests I’d heard about from friends,” she said. “I put hard work into it and it was not easy. I’ve been blessed. Anyone looking to get published should enter local contests, use your teachers for professional connections, and don’t give up.”
Knowledgeable in never quitting, the 21-year-old has dealt with steep challenges. Shugoll sometimes gets so invested in the creative aspect that she overlooks proper form and technique. A day or so of unproductiveness prompts her motivation to kick in.
A versatile young woman, writing is not the only thing Shugoll enjoys doing. She also writes and sings her own music, as well as playing the piano and guitar. An avid user of social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Live Journal have given her the opportunity for exposure as an unsigned artist. Interestingly enough, she sees a similarity between writing lyrics and writing a short story or poem.
“Often times, I’ll turn a poem into a song,” she said. “I guess the difference is that a song requires a specific rhythm that free verse does not. You have to incorporate a chorus and bridge to have a great song.”
Shugoll plans to move to Manhattan this August to further her professional career with the goal of having at least one song recorded and released.
Tips on Motivating Yourself to Write
- Break the work into smaller pieces. Instead of saying “I am going to write a chapter today,” say “I am going to write for the next 30 minutes only.” Doing this prevents procrastination by making the writing process feel less daunting.
- Read something good. Read a few pages from a good book or a passage from a writer that you admire. This will motivate you to try to write something on their level.
- Get some exercise. Walk around or stretch for a 10-15 minutes, then return to your work.
Nevelious L. Jordan IV is a contributing writer for Wrightspeak.