Monday, February 28, 2011

You Are Your Own Motivation

"What motivates you to keep writing and not give up?"

That's a very good question, considering I haven't written anything all month. Have I given up? Pffft. No. I'm in this too deep, past the point of no return.

Do I want to give up? Nah.

Have I thought about giving up? Of course I have. Life would be easier if I didn't write. After all, I have a day job. I could do what most American's do after work; watch TV, drink a cold one, hang out with friends.

Instead, I do what only writers with a day job do; I go straight to my computer and work. I don't watch TV because it distracts me from writing and promoting. I don't drink because I get buzzed easily and I don't want to see the result of drunken writing. Scary thought. Seriously. As for hanging out with friends ... What friends?? Oh, sure, I talk to Ana and Charlene on Skype and I go out with my boyfriend once in a while. But that about sums up my social life. I'm too busy trying to be an author to have a social life, so my social life consist of "friends" and "followers" online. Don't get me wrong, I love my social networking buddies.

But I wasn't always a hermit crab. I wasn't always a writer. I'm only twenty-five, I still remember my high school and college years. My pre-writing years. I don't have kids, I'm not married. It would be very simple to quit and go back to "normal".

So why don't I?

Honestly, I don't want to. I have a stubborn, determined passion to become an author. Well, scratch that. I'm already under contract with MuseItUp Publishing Inc. So, I AM an author. :)

Why would I quit now? I'm just getting started.

As far as what motivates me, the only answer I have for you is Me, Myself, and I. There's nothing, NOTHING easy about being an author. You might think plotting and writing the first draft is hard - and it is! But just wait until you start editing. You'll think "Nothing can be harder than this s**t." But of course, you wouldn't write and edit an entire manuscript without planning to publish it. HA. Guess what? Getting an agent or editor contract is HARD WORK. Lets say you get that far... have you tried self-promotion yet? That's where I am now. Hmm? Why are you looking at me funny? Oh, they didn't tell you you have to promote yourself? Yup. Unless you can afford to hire a PR. Which most of us can't.

Seriously. There is nothing and no one out there that's going to push you to do this. ANYTHING would be easier than writing. Especially since you don't get paid until you start selling books. Oh, and no one gets into this biz expecting to become rich. Sure, we all hope to be an overnight success like Stephenie Meyer. But we all know in the back of our heads that Meyer is the very definition of "exception". More like "jack pot lottery winner" if you ask me.

After all the blood, sweat, and tears (yes, I've actually done all three. Blood? Paper cut. Nasty things...) you may or may not sell a book. But whether you do or not, once you come full circle, you realize you're not at some higher place on the proverbial chart. No, you're back at the beginning, staring at the blinking courser on a blank Word Document, trying to puzzle out your next manuscript. And the whole process starts over again. HA.

Oh, not happy with that answer? Want to know what REALLY motivates little old me? It's the dream of one day seeing a novel I've written in print on the shelf of a Barns & Noble. Hopefully they won't also go bankrupt before I get that far. That, and a level of stubbornness only a female Taurus can achieve. Yup, that's really, really it. Just a stubborn dream.


  1. I'm so glad, I'm not the only one who's abandoned every distraction in my life, except for writing. lol. Great post!

  2. Me, Myself and I... well, I agree with all three of you... funny how you are all Tuareans (or Tauri - if that's the right word) :)

  3. Another Taurus! Well, with my crowded head, that must make at least a dozen of them.

    I too have that dream. Baby steps. Darn those baby steps. The million little things that have to happen first. The little successes, like getting the word count in the day, or staring down that cursor, and winning.

    I'm glad we got to do this subject one more week. You did a great job, J.D.

  4. I only have one question for you, my friend. How long did it take to write this post? I'm only wondering whether it wrote itself or not. I know mine did. It took me about an hour to do mine.
    Great question, great post. Well answered, especially about the PR work that we have to do.

  5. I'm with you, babe. My husband asks why I work so hard and it's always the same answer "Because I want to succeed." It never just happens with out work, you know?

  6. Rachel, you're definitely not alone. Most authors I know jumped off the deep end without looking back. lol.

    David, I believe you were correct the first time with Tuareans, not sure though.

    Sharon, I agree with you... damn those baby steps! Lol. Are you a Taurus too?

    James, it took me about an hour because of a few tiny distractions, but yeah, it wrote itself. Now that I re-read it, I think I might have been a little grumpy yesterday lol. But, it's the truth.

    C.J., my boyfriend doesn't understand it at all. I'm starting to accept the fact that he never will. :P

  7. Okay, who changed the subject line? I'm not going insane, but the jury is still out on my computer skills.

  8. J.D.,

    You expect guys to understand deep concepts?

    Good for you for not giving up. Then, again, you are a Taurus and we Taureans, Tauruses, Tauri (whatever) must stick together. And if we stick together, that's a lot of bull.

    (Yes, I'm a Taurus -- 4/25/67)

  9. I love the picture. Kind of looks like me with my piles of rejection letters! I'm a Aries - I'm stubborn - does that count?

  10. Reading your post has me thinking what I'm gonna write about.

    You guys want stubborn? Ha. Try a Capricorn. Us fishy goats are the leaders in stubborness...

    Oh, and wait a minute... you're a writer and you got a boyfriend? And he is like real and NOT a character living in your head? D@mn, I didn't know we writers were allowed a living, breathing one! I gotta get me one of those...

    Had to laugh about the drinking and writing part. I am a true believer in the Ernest Hemingway quote "Write drunk, Edit sober." Been thinking about getting a tattoo with that on it...

  11. LOVE that quote, George! If I ever get a tattoo that will be my motto as well!

  12. Sharon - I'm not sure what you're talking about, my dear. Who did what with the topic?

    Greg - My birthday is 2 days before yours. Many years later though... :)

    Julia and George - I've always heard Taurus was the most stubborn? *shrug* it's not a competition. But they don't call us "bull-headed" for no reason.

    George - Yes, he's real ... and still breathing, I hope. Love the quote, but would still be scared to try writing drunk, LOL.