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Motivation and Discipline

Posted on Jan 24, 2016 by Louise Blackwick

What motivates you most about writing

It is January the 13th. The Quill Army come together for the very first time in the New Year to discuss their writing habits, their idea of discipline and what motivates them most about writing. Our Inquirer, Ernest, has challenged us with numerous questions about our self-discipline rules and motivation triggers, providing insight into our daily writing habits.

Quill Army Second Meeting

Our Inspirator for the evening, Alireza, spoke about the importance of taking Action, even in the absence of Inspiration, and how tacking things head-on can break the cycle of fear and create Motivation. He advises us to take direct action in our writing, but also beyond, in our decission-making process. As the second Inspirator, I drew attention on the characteristics of writing good dialogue, and the many ways that can be achieved through flow, organic realism and diversity of speech tags. We have also touched upon the importance of amplifiers and modifiers, in conjunction with speech verbs.

Our Writing Builder, Laura, had set us all with a great freewriting challenge. Each of us was compelled to extract a secret (My first time...) question, to which we challenged ourself to answer in aproximately 7 minutes, in writing. Some of the results are seen below:


Topic: My First Holiday Abroad

Author: Meisam

"Last month my wife and I went to Gran Canaria in Spain. I was happy that I managed everything for the first time. I booked the hotel, rented a car, everything seemed under control. We even had enough time to reach the tram, which was not the case before. I was comfortably resting on the plane, thinking of how everything was going my way. When we got off the airplane, I checked the large luggage, looking for my driving licence. It was not there. I asked my wife and she didn't know either. I turned all our luggage upside down: still nothing. We simply forgot to bring it! I visited the desk and tried to figure out if we can still rent a car without a driving licence. Of course we couldn't! 6 p.m. and our hotel was 200 km away from the airport. I was angry at the officer, disappointed at myself and couldn't bring myself to thinking rational."


Topic: My First Pet

Author: Ernest

"The guinea pig was my first animal. It was small, I was small, we both were small, but in different ways. A little creature, living in a cage, eating salad and carrots, making sounds when you were sleeping. Now I revere the fact that I was small, hence curious about the physical limits of that little creature, found in my care. I was just like a scientist testing the performance of an athlete, not always the right way, at times maybe even cruel. This idea just made me think: is every child cruel when born? If so, then why? If not, why was I?"


Topic: My First Bike Ride

Author: Wouter

"I remember it clearly! So vividly. That first, horrible bike ride. Up until that moment, I could ride tricycles. Or bikes with sidewheels. But now... an abnormal, somewhat too big, new bike. A bmx bike. You know, with large steers and too small wheels. And my dad behind me, telling me to get going. "I'll hold you," he said. "No, you're not going to fall. I promise!" Little did I know of what was to come. The first stretch of road was alright. We went slowly. My dad held me tight. He walked next to me, holding my shoulder, keeping my balance. And it got better. The speed increased. My dad had to start running. In his younger years, he was still capable of that. Not anymore, now. He gained years and with the years came the weight. There I went! I felt the touch of my dad getting weaker, his breathing grow heavier. I had the confidence I could do this! Down the road we rolled, towards the junction. I could pull off a turn, back up into the road of my home. My dad stared hopefully at me. I did it! I approached the driveway. Wait... the driveway! How am I going to stop? That was not in the plan. How to stop!? And before I could figure that out, I ran into these nasty, spiky bushes in front of our house..."


Topic: My First Job

Author: Laura Nellestijn

"When I was 17 years old, my parents moved from a town in the Netherlands, back to my birthplace in Germany. Having lived in the Netherlands for 3 years, I didn't really want to go back. But since my dad said I was too young to live by myself, I had no choice and so I moved with them. Not being in school at that point and convinced that I would move back as soon as I'd turn 18, my dad told me I had to look for a job if school wasn't what I wanted. After about two months two months of living in our new place, I applied for a secretary job on the Dutch military base. During the interview, I had a nice chat with someone I didn't know. Or so I thought... At the end of the interview, he explained to me that he actually lived two doors down from me! To keep it short, I was hired for the job, but not because I was his neighbour. I was solely chosen on the count of being the only applicant who was flexible with the work hours"


Topic: My First Day in Elementary School

Author: Louise Blackwick

"I remember the day I first attended the local elementary school. It was a beautiful day of autumn, and my hands were slightly shaking with nerves about what I was about to experience. A large woman welcomed us all into the school's playground, and begun a roll call. I was to attend room 28, on the second floor of a large building, with a winding flight of stairs. As I stepped into the classroom, it stroke me how much older everyone looked. I had all my milk teeth still, whereas some of my future classmates had already sprouted beard stubs and pimples. How come i was so different? That day I had Chemistry. And Trigonometry. And Physics. And Ecology. And Civic Education. And Career Planning. And Grammar. And we spoke about North African history in frightening detail. Throughout the proceedings, I never felt more stupid in my life! "I'm not at all good at this school business," I thought to myself. "I want to go back to kindergarten." Later that day, I came to realize that upon taking a wrong turn, I have ended up in a 7th grade classroom... and that I wasn't to study any of those subjects for at least 7 years. I exhaled in relief. All was well..."


The Quill Army is an open-attendance social group with a goal for self-expression and a life of its own. It acts as a support group for writers, aspiring writers, writing enthusiasts or simply people who would like to take up writing, whether as hobby, for leisure or as profession. Our meetings follow a meeting agenda on which writing-related topics will be brought under discussion

The Quill Army's long-term goal is to maintain a creative identity, develop a professional writer mindset and more importantly, make writing fun!

The Quill Army aims to:

  • inspire its members to pursue writing
  • motivate attendees to write creatively
  • empower each other to complete written works
  • help you find the story in you
  • discuss the alchemy of good writing
  • share our experiences with publishing
  • overcome writers' block
  • reshape the world through writing

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